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 amway2u.com 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.
Is 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!
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