Amway makes a comeback

At the end of the 90’s as Amway began to utilise the internet in a big way, a host of new internet “brand” names were also introduced. The best known of these was Quixtar in North America, which was supposed to launch a separate internet-based operation to Amway North America . Quixtar became so popular that within a few years virtually all Amway North America IBOs had transferred across to Quixtar .

In other Amway markets a different approach was used. Amway Australia and Amway New Zealand launched a2k . a2k was a new “brand” but the opportunity was still Amway, and after a few changes the Amway name was still prominent on the website. In Asia new websites like were launched for Amway Malaysia. In Amway Europe the new internet shopping portal was launched under two brands – Vebso, servicing Amway IBOs in Hungary , Poland , Czech Republic , Slovakia , Croatia , Slovenia , Romania , and Turkey and Amivo, servicing Amway IBOs in Austria , Belgium , Denmark , Finland , Germany , Greece , Netherlands , Norway , Portugal , Spain , Sweden , Switzerland , and the United Kingdom. Amway South Africa (which operates as part of Amway Europe) and Amway Italy never underwent the Amivo makeover. Meanwhile Amway Japan launched Amway Live and Amway Central and South America operated as Latin Amway on the internet. The newest Amway market, Russia, retains the Amway name as Amway Russia as does Amway Ukraine and the biggest market, Amway China .

All in all not a coherent message! The branding of the Amway opportunity ranged from complete removal of the Amway brand (eg Quixtar) through dilution (Amivo, Vebso) through to no change at all. One can speculate on the thinking behind this. In North America the Quixtar brand was most likely an attempt to address Internet Critics and some reputation issues in that market. In Asia, where the Amway brand and products have won numerous awards (such as the latest for Amway Malaysia) it was obviously thought best to persist with the Amway brand. In Europe and Australia I can report from my own experience that while the Amway name per se does not have significant image problems, it does raise at least one flag for many – “The American Way” isn’t exactly what many Europeans and Australians aspire too! It’s quite ironic that of all the Amway markets, “The American Way” was only completely removed as a brand in one market – North America.

Lately however, some things have begun to change. In the United States, where Amway officially no longer exists, the corporation has aired Amway television advertisements and paid millions to have the Orlando Magic’s home stadium named Amway Arena. In Eastern Europe, Vebso has been closed completely for all but Poland and Czech Republic and even there it appears the login redirects to Amway. I’ve heard rumours the same is being considered for Amivo in Western Europe.

Quixtar - Amway North AmericaIs this good or bad? A quick straw poll of some western european IBOs I know was universally in favour of retaining Amivo. They like the name, it distinguishes from those who are still operating offline-type businesses, and it gives a little distance from “American Way” while still maintaining the connection with the Amway brand. Amway has always had a strength in being a global company yet working closely with regional brands in partner store and catalogue operations. Removing the “local” name takes away some of this. On the other hand, Amway is a known Global Super Brand . A consistent name across the world will help with marketing and control corporate expenses. Of course, it seems unlikely that Quixtar will revert back to Amway, but I guess it’s not out of the question. Stranger things have happened!

What do you think? Vote in the poll down the left of the page. Then come to the forums and discuss.

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AMWAY FACT: Amway Malaysia Wins The BrandLaureate 2006-2007

From Amway Malaysia

{mosimage}Amway Malaysia has been conferred The BrandLaureate Award 26-27 for Branding Excellence in the Direct Selling Category. Y.Bhg Dato Ab. Halim b. Mohyiddin, Chairman of Amway (Malaysia) Holdings Berhad received the award from YB Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department on behalf of Amway Malaysia at a glittering ceremony held on 8 January 27.

This is an inaugural award given exclusively to the best brands in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific that meet stringent selection procedures based on a 3-point judging criteria that include Brand Strategy, Brand Culture, Brand Communication, Brand Equity and Performance. The short-listed candidates are then audited by the Process Auditors, Price Waterhouse Coopers. The final selection is decided by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation (APBF) Board of Governors headed by YAM Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar. The APBF Board comprises distinguished corporate personalities such as Tan Sri G Gnanalingam, Datuk Tony Fernandes and Datuk Michael Yam.

The first regional brand award to originate from Malaysia, the BrandLaureate covers various industries and categories from multinationals to the local SMI and SMEs. Amway Malaysia is proud to be recognized along with other distinguished brands that include Shangri-La, Public Bank, Nokia and The Hour Glass who were each awarded the BrandLaureate in their respective categories.

The term "laureate" is defined as "one that is worthy of the greatest honour or distinction". Hence, the BrandLaureates are the best brands in their respective categories. (source )

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Quixtar 2006 sales results – some hints

Quixtar IBO Association InternationalThe IBOAI website has an article from the Jan/Feb edition of Achieve magazine and it has some interesting comments –

In the future, observers will mark 26 as not only a successful year for this business but a pivotal one as well. Successful because 26 was another billion-dollar sales year. 

Quixtar 25 sales were $1.58 billion . Another billion-dollar sales year indicates that sales were flat or increased. Some gossip around the internet has suggested sales of $1.5 billion, but frankly I find that hard to believe, and I'm sure if true would have lead to a more interesting post than the above. The achieve article continues –

And because achievement at all levels – from the new IBO Crown Ambassador – remained strong, including increased numbers of IBOs qualifying for Achievers Invitational, Diamond Club, and Peter Island.

Jim DornanA new Crown Ambassador? Now that IS news. Perhaps they mean Jim Dornan , founder and leader of IBO Organization Network TwentyOne, who qualifed as a new Founders Crown Ambassador? Still, increased numbes of qualifiers for the events indicates growth. So much for all the gloom and doom of some critics!

Official Quixtar sales data should be out soon , but if anyone attended Achievers or can squeeze the info out of their upline, let me know ! If you've got a had copy of Achieve, I'd love a scan Cool

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The Quixtar/Amway experiences you rarely hear about

QuixtarOne of my concerns about the internet and Amway or Quixtar is that it's an ideal environment for the perspective of "critics" of our business model to get their word out and amplified, something I addressed in Amway/Quixtar Myths and the Internet Echo Chamber. This means of course, that a small number of voices can seem to reflect a larger problem, when in fact, it may only reflect the views and experiences of a small number. I wrote about this last week in  The Problem of Context: Amway and Quixtar – it's bigger than you think!.

Well, today I had a different experience. I came across two bloggers talking about their Amway/Quixtar experiences. Neither of them are IBOs, but both give a different perspective to what we usually encounter on the 'net. In My Experiences at a Quixtar Recruitment Meeting, blogger Matthew Paulson reports –

 I’m sure by now it’s become quite obvious that I am not a fan of Quixtar, Amway and similar multi-level marketing “sell to your self” programs. Very often recruiters for these programs use deceptive marketing techniques to try to get people to buy into the systems. I decided that I should go and see for my self if it’s really bad as the people such as my self who bash Quixtar on the internet claim it is. My room-mate happens to be an IBO for Quixtar, so I went with him to one of their recruitment meetings to see what all went on, I was quite surprised.

AmwayI recommend reading the whole post. I have no idea which group was running the Open Plan he attended, but full kudos to them. They obviously presented the opportunity in a professional manner. Indeed, Paulson says –

I was really impressed with the operation that I had found.

Now, he didn't join, with the common misunderstandings about products being overpriced and that he'd have to "bug all of my friends to sign up for a multi-level marketing program so that I will make some money", but he "no longer think there is anything inherently deceiving and evil about the business plan". An excellent result! Again, kudos to the IBOs involved. They've done their part to improve the Amway and Quixtar brand image .

A comment on that post lead me to another excellent site, ExtremePerspective. The blogger, Paul, actually built an Amway business up to the Direct level in the Yager organization in the '9s. Now, he's no longer an IBO, and admits he didn't profit much, investing earnings back in to his business, but here's some of his comments –

On "the system" – 

The books, tapes and seminars really were the best financial education I have ever received and worth every penny. I also, had many opportunities to consult with millionaires and listened to millionaires who had succeeded outside the Amway business as well. Finally, I had the chance to hear President Reagan speak which was priceless. Even though I didn't get rich, I think that this experience was one of the best financial decisions of my life. (My Financial Resume )

On failing to succeed – 

So why didn't I achieve the wild success that I thought possible when I first saw the marketing plan? I can only blame myself. My personality is not outgoing – I loath small talk and just could not interact one-on-one with people. I really do not make friends easily. I think success in that business required work, investment and people skills.

It's easy to assign blame for our failures but tough to look in the mirror. That opportunity was not the right one for me. Hopefully, real estate will be. I won't have to make friends with sellers or buyers. It's been a long time since I was involved with Amway. I wish those that participate the best. (Network Marketing Amway)

On product pricing –

I investigated the value of the Quixtar/ Amway products quite extensively when I was involved with that business (I don't think that their pricing philosophy has changed but can't vouch for it now.) What I found was that the products really performed far in excess of comparable products. Many companies make good quality products and people buy them. Some would say that a Mercedes or BMW is too expensive but these companies sell a lot of cars due to the value they provide (Quixtar/Amway prices and poverty thinking)

On critics –

In my years in Amway I heard every imaginable negative comment about making money and becoming wealthy. In fact, from this standpoint, I think that Network Marketing is the toughest businesses mentally to endure due to one on one attacks from financial trolls. If you talk to 1 people about network marketing 99 will try to justify their unwillingness to work by dissing your dreams or wealthy people in general. This is called "transference" in psychological terms and you just have to see it for what it really is – not an attack on you but a measure of that persons poverty consciousness, lack of confidence and poor self-image. (Becoming a Millionaire)

On getting advice –

Getting good data is also of paramont importance when evaluating a new business as well. Now when you are investing $1,, into a business you probably will do some due diligence. However, for businesses like Network Marketing with low entry costs, nearly no one does due diligence. So I found that people asked their "expert" friends about the business and they got information on how prices are too high or the market is saturated or whatever. When I got involved in the Amway business I did not ask one unsuccessful person what they thought of it. I investigated the pricing structure, the quality of the products, the payouts, the franchise "system", and interviewed people that had made the business work. (The llusion of Knowledge )

 On change and personal growth –

I remember when it occurred to me that I might become very wealthy in Amway. It actually scared me to death! I wondered how I could be responsible for handling millions of dollars and dealing with hundreds of thousands of distributors. I thought that I could not change into the type of person I observed as successful in that business. Now I don't know what the heck I was thinking. We grow as we accumulate wealth and the changes are gradual. Success wasn't going to suddenly attack me in the middle of the night and change me into someone I am not. In fact, the changes happen first, then the success follows. Looking back now, I realized how much I personally grew during my years in Amway. (Success Will Not Attack You)

On responsibility for failure –

When I was in Amway I was able to observe hundred of people in my down line directly. I could see their words and (in)actions. What I mostly saw was people that failed to take responsibility for anything that happened. Blame, excuses, laziness, lack of commitment and failure mentality all permeated everything they said and did. I don't have any ill feelings towards Amway or anyone involved for my failure to become rich. I lay the blame entirely on myself. People don't fail in that business because its saturated or the products are too expensive. They fail because they fail to take responsibility to succeed. (Success Will Not Attack You)

 On the Amway/Quixtar business model

As far as business models go, the Amway model has a number of key components that really can help you succeed. The downside is that the cost of entry to this business is so low that people think it will be easy. Among the excellent attributes I saw:

  1. Access to millionaires – I always had the opportunity to listen to and meet and personally talk on the phone to people that were extremely rich. If you want to be rich – you have got to associate with wealthy people. Broke people think like broke people.

  2. A good "franchise" system (see E-Myth Revisited). One of the criticism's of Quixtar is that people make money on tapes. Well, the tapes are part of the success system that leaders in that business have put together. When you purchase a Franchise, what do you you think you are buying – hamburgers? Heck no, you are buying the system. What does that franchise system cost? From $1,'s to $1,,'s. The Quixtar franchise system is a bargain.

  3. Good quality products. The Green blogger complains about the cost of the products. When I started that business I too was sceptical about the prices. What I found out was that the products are very high quality and very good value for what they did. Now when you start a business you can have a low cost pricing structure like Walmart (My Chinese wife claims the Chinese ship all their "crap" to Walmart – the quality of goods in China is much higher :)). Certainly Walmart makes a lot of money, but so do stores that cater to high-end customers like Neiman-Marcus. When you are in sales is it easier to justify good quality or have to explain poor quality? I always found it very easy to justify the higher quality products to people – much easier than handling complaints.

(Is Quixtar/Amway a good or bad business? )

 On why "higher pins" work –

I can remember when I was in Amway and the people that made it to the highest levels of success were on a mission. They were not in it just for the money anymore but seemed to have a higher purpose that allowed them to overcome their fears and move outside their comfort zone. I remember I had that sense for the first 3 months I was in the Amway business, but somehow started having a fear of success, fear of failure and no longer could see the people I was talking with as successful. In fact, I inwardly was very cynical of most people I talked with despite their braggadicio attitude. So it became more and more difficult for me to talk to anyone about the business. (Goal Setting )

 Now, I don't agree with everything he says. I don't feel I need to be the boss to be a "real man" and I'm still a socialist/leftist/atheist (at least by American standards) and he's unfortunately bought in to the oil companies propaganda about Global Warming but I certainly recommend reading his posts. He has quite a few referencing Network Marketing.

So there you have it. A prospect and a former IBO. Neither are involved now or apparently plan to. One was "anti-Amway/Anti-Quixtar" but is no longer. The other, despite his "former IBO" status gives great credit to Amway and "the system" for his financial and personal growth. Unlike the small number of vocal Amway/Quixtar critics on the Internet, he takes full responsibility for his lack of continued success. I also strongly recommend a book he references often – Michael Gerber's E-Myth Revisited

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LOC Wipes Video from Amway Europe

Amway LOC Range

An LOC Plus Wipes promotional Video from Amway Europe. I personally love this product! LOC was one of the world's first environmentally friendly cleaning products, and was Amway's first product way back in 1959. The LOC range has expanded since, and the LOC Plus Wipes were the most recent to be launched.



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Amway Thailand beats expectations, with 9.1% growth in 2006

26 sales for Amway (Thailand) Co , the country's largest direct-sales business, reached 9.71 billion baht in 26 (US$271.6million), slightly higher than the expected 9.3 billion projected earlier in 26 and an increase of 9.1% over 25 revenues of 8.9 billion baht.

Looking ahead, Amway Thailand is  looking to enhance its image and expand its customer base through its brand ambassadors who will appear in its ads. They are celebrity Grace Mahadumrongkul, star couple Kamolchanok "Kwang" and Nuti "Not" Khemayodhin, actors Pattarapol "Paul" Silapajan and Thanakorn "Au" Poshyananda.

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16.6% growth for Amway India

Despite the distractions of being temporarily shutdown in the state of Andhra Pradesh because of a marital dispute, Amway India has reported spectactular sales growth for 2006. Amway India sales for 2006 are reported at Rs 738 crore (US$168 million) compared to revenues of Rs 633 crore in 2005 – growth of 16.6%. This is a spectacular turnaround on the relatively flat growth of the previous few years.

Double digit growth is expected to continue for the forseeable future, with The Economic Times quoting Amway India Corporate Communications Manager Rajat Banerjee as stating –

“We will open 3-4 more distribution centres in Tier-II and Tier-III cities this year, including Faizabad, Panipat, Kota, Bikaner, Dharamsala, Srinagar, Mysore and Vellore”

Overall Alticor and Quixtar sales data for 2006 has not yet been released after Alticor made a change in their financial reporting methods.

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