According to Small Business Notes, MLM is defined as:
Multilevel Marketing is selling products by using independent distributors and allowing these distributors to build and manage their own sales force by recruiting, motivating, supplying, and training others to sell products. The distributors' compensation includes their own sales and a percentage of the sales of their sales group (downline).
Another description is any business where payouts occur at two or more levels; i.e., if you make a sale, both you and the person above you will get a portion of the proceeds.
Network Marketing is defined as:
A business in which a distributor network is needed to build the business. Usually such businesses are also MLM in nature in that payouts also occur at more than one level. Network Marketing is sometimes also used incorrectly to indicate that the business uses a network of product suppliers in order to offer a broader selection of products. It is usually used this way to differentiate themselves as a way to suggest that their program is superior to other such programs.
Consumer Direct Marketing is defined as:
Consumer Direct Marketing is Network Marketing in which the distribution chain is referred to as consumers rather than distributors. In such businesses the distributor must also buy the product for their personal use.
Why all of the definitions today? Well, I have been going round and round with a Melaleuca Representative who claims that Melaleuca is not MLM.
Here is a fact: Melaleauca pays on Mutiple Levels, therefore by definition, Melaleuca is MLM. You can call it Private Franchising, you can call it Network Distribution, or you can call it Consumer Direct Marketing, but when you say Melaleuca is not MLM, you are deceiving people. It is this type of deception that gives MLM a bad name.
I like MLM. I am an advocate of MLM. Melaleuca actually has some characteristics that make it a better MLM than most, but hiding behind a term like Consumer Direct Marketing while claiming that you are not MLM is a stretch of the truth at best. Stop doing it! Stand on the merits of your company. Tell people why you are different.
Melaleuca people, it's time to come out of the closet and embrace your true self....MLM.