In this article we take a quick look at the network marketing industry heavyweight contenders. We review the features, advantages and disadvantages of the top 5 MLM companies based on their popularity. The measure used to determine the most popular is simply Internet search traffic volume. Although popularity may not necessarily be the best reason for any person to join, we thought it would be useful to know a little about these companies that are attracting the most attention in the online world.
The actual popularity of various network marketing companies is calculated by Mark D Worthan’s Best-MLM-Opportunities.com which uses Google search data. His rankings are based on Google Trends, which is a service from Google Labs that allows you to compare the number of searches for various keywords across time. The service can be used to determine the relative number of searches for various MLM companies. Here are the results from current data, along with a short overview of each company:
1. Amway – Amway began when its founders became distributors of Nutrilite vitamins in 1959. Amway is famous for “legitimizing” the network marketing industry in 1979, based on FTC’s ruling that the company did not qualify as a pyramid scheme. This was based on the finding that the Amway compensation system was based on product sales vs. recruiting payments. Amway reported sales of $8.4 billion in 2009. Amway North America was closed in the early 2000’s and most North American distributors became memebers of sister company Quixtar, but still continue to order Amway products. At that time, the average monthly earnings for “active” Independent Business Owners was disclosed to be $115. The main advantage of Amway is is broad name recognition in the industry. Its main disadvantage, as reported by many distributors, is its compensation plan which makes adequate earnings difficult for most IBOs.
2. Herbalife – Herbalife was founded in 1980 and achieved net sales if $2.3 billion in 2009. Over the years Herbalife has faced occasional legal challenges over the safety of its products, none of which has yet been upheld. The company reached settlement with the California Attorney General in 1985 for $850 million when charged with making inflated product claims. The company’s product formulations were changed to eliminate Ma Huang in 2002 when several states enacted laws to ban the use of ephedrine alkaloids. In 2007 a scientific study at the University Hospital of Bern Switzerland and Israeli hospitals found an association between consumption of Herbalife products and hepatitis. These items and other media and legal settlements seem to be the company’s main disadvantages.
3. Mary Kay – Mary Kay started in 1963 as a skin care and cosmetics products company, based initially on a tanner’s formulations. Worldwide revenues were $2.5 billion in 2009. Brand recognition is the main advantage of this company, which obviously appeals more to women than men. A significantly high annual turnover is experienced for both US (68.6%) and Canadian (85%) consultants. Earnings statistics reported for Canada were that of …