Introduction to Plexus Worldwide MLM Compensation Plan
Let’s talk about pink drinks. There are so many multilevel marketing (MLM) reviews out there that begin with ear-shattering hype, that I thought that the best way for Notebook Crazy to live up to its reputation as the thinking man’s MLM review site would be to begin my Plexus Worldwide review by placing Plexus Slim, the most famous of the Plexus products, in the context of other famous pink drinks.
Let’s start with pink lemonade. The first time I ever really thought about the history of pink lemonade was when I read that the slogan of Plexus Slim is “drink pink and shrink”, and I started thinking about other pink drinks beside which to contextualize Plexus Slim. The first one I thought of was pink lemonade, because, unlike most of these other pink drinks, I have actually imbibed the stuff. Ever since I was a kid in the 80s, my grandma has kept pitchers of Crystal Light pink lemonade in the fridge. I have always held that pink lemonade (at least the modern version) tastes exactly like yellow lemonade. My brothers and I have even done pink and yellow lemonade taste tests (it was my dad’s idea; my parents are pretty creative when it comes to thinking of ways to keep kids entertained during summer vacation), and none of us could taste the difference between the pink and yellow varieties. For this reason, when I looked up the history of lemonade, I expected to read that it was invented, or at least popularized, in a cookbook published by a food coloring company, and that housewives in the 1950s started adding a few drops of red coloring to lemonade to get their kids to drink more of it or to make it match the kitchen wallpaper or in pursuit of whatever other advantage comes with dyeing lemonade pink. To my surprise, I found out that pink lemonade has been around since the 19th century. It was first made by adding some kind of red fruit juice, such as strawberry juice or cherry juice, to lemonade. Of course, lemon juice has a stronger taste than just about any red fruit juice, and the result is that the finished product tasted just like ordinary lemonade but was a pleasing shade of pink. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there are drinks on the market now that are a mix of lemonade and the juice of some or another red fruit, but these days, red fruits have attained such super-fruit beauty queen status that they would never go anonymous. There probably is pomegranate lemonade out there somewhere, or cranberry lemonade, and maybe even goji berry lemonade or acai lemonade, but in 2016, I am certain that the red fruits get top billing.
The pink drink of which I have consumed the most has to be Pink Swimmingo Kool-Aid, which was probably discontinued in the 1990s, but which remains the subject of a great deal of 90s nostalgia on the Internet. Like many of my peers, I drank extraordinary quantities of Pink Swimmingo in the early 1990s, when I was in elementary and middle school. In those days, I never thought about what Pink Swimmingo was made of; it just tasted pink in ways that pink lemonade never could. Today I found out that my favorite Kool-Aid flavor is still around, but by now, it has dropped its stage name in favor of a name that more accurately reflects its origins and is in line with our contemporary tastes, in which fruit ingredients make their presence known: Watermelon Cherry.
As for pink drinks of the more alcoholic variety, almost all the ones I researched ended up having more masculine origin stories than I would have imagined. I was in college when Sex and the City was at the height of its popularity, so you can be that all the girls who were old enough to buy drinks in bars were drinking cosmopolitans. (I dropped out and moved back in with my beer-drinking family before I ever reached bar-going age, so I actually never bought a cosmopolitan for a female college classmate, but that is a story for another day.) I knew that the bright pink drink was made popular by the show, but I once I started researching pink drinks for this Plexus Worldwide review, I got to wondering how long it existed before the desire of audiences to keep up with the spending habits of the characters on Sex and the City did arguably as much damage to the financial wellbeing of the average American as the MLM industry did during the same period. It turns out that, as with almost everything in our culture, the cosmopolitan has competing origin stories. The one that seems the most credible is that the combination of vodka and cranberry juice first became popular in the gay community in Massachusetts in the 1970s, and it didn’t take long to for disco-era partygoers who had first tasted the aspirational pink drink in Massachusetts to recreate it at parties in New York. When Sex and the City first aired, the cosmopolitan was still a regional drink, but it quickly became a fad.
In New Orleans, the locals are fond of vodka with grapefruit juice, which I had never tried before I went there, but which does, in fact, make for an alcoholic beverage that is a pleasing shade of pink. As far as I know, this drink does not have a name, but if you have heard of a name for it, please let me know. Pink screwdriver, perhaps?
From there, the intoxicating pink drinks only get more interesting. The Pink Lady is a drink that became popular during Prohibition. It is made of gin mixed with grenadine, often with egg white to give it a layer of froth on the top. (I have never drunk raw egg white, and I don’t plan to start. The other Brad, the cofounder of Notebook Crazy, drinks raw eggs all the time in order to build lean muscle, and he seems none the worse for it.) It is said that adding grenadine to gin first started for practical reasons, because bootleg gin tasted terrible, and the sweet grenadine improved the tasted. After Prohibition ended, when better tasting gin became available again, the Pink Lady gained a reputation as a feminine drink, even though dudes had had no problem drinking it when it was the only way to make gin palatable.
There once was another beverage called Pink Lady, and this was the farthest thing from a girly drink you can ever imagine. In World War II, the torpedoes were powered by a fuel that was 90% alcohol, and it wasn’t long before the troops started trying to drink the stuff. The most popular mixer to make torpedo juice, as the fuel was colloquially known, more palatable was pineapple juice. Of course, it wasn’t long before Uncle Sam found a way to stop torpedo juice from being repurposed as drunken antics juice. Poisonous additives were added to the fuel to stop people from drinking it. Reportedly, one such additive was methanol, which causes blindness. The non-potable additives were often mixed with red dye, such that the torpedo fuel that no one dared to drink became known as “Pink Lady.”
And now onward to the Plexus business opportunity.
Plexus: The Company and Its Products
Plexus is headquartered in Arizona, which is one of the states in which MLM company headquarters are numerous. (I have mentioned in previous posts here on Notebook Crazy that reptiles and MLM companies seem to thrive in similar parts of the United States.) Given my penchant for origin stories, I tried to find out where Plexus got its name. I did find out what a plexus is, but not why the MLM company of the same name named itself after one. In anatomy, a plexus is an area where many nerves intersect. You have probably heard of the solar plexus (it was the only plexus I had heard of), which is in the upper abdomen and is responsible for making you feel out of breath if you get punched in the stomach. The plexuses are among the many parts of the body that you don’t even realize you have unless they malfunction; I don’t know what would possess someone to name an MLM company after them. To my knowledge, there are no MLM companies called Lymph Node, Bile Duct, Ligament, or Inner Ear.
The Plexus website, for its part, is a particularly bold shade of pink. It looks like the color of a cosmopolitan that a designated driver would pour for herself. Plexus products include the full range of nutraceuticals, from vitamin supplements to weigh loss drinks to skincare products to my personal least favorite “detoxification” products. The most widely known of the Plexus products is, of course, Plexus Slim, which is sold in the form of packets of pink powder that you add to water. Of course, the idea is that Plexus Slim will help you lose weight, hence the “drink pink and shrink” motto they used to use in the old days, and indeed, the original formulation contained an appetite suppressant, but the formula has since been changed.
The Plexus Compensation Plan
The Plexus compensation plan is available for download on the Plexus website. One of the things that immediately stands out to me about the Plexus compensation plan is that fully half of the company’s revenue from product sales goes into bonus pools. 45% goes in the Ambassador Pool, 3% in the Emerald Pool, 1% in the Sapphire Pool, and 1% in the Diamond Pool.
The leadership levels in the Plexus compensation plan are Associate, Ambassador, Senior Ambassador, Silver Ambassador, Gold Ambassador, Senior Gold Ambassador, Ruby Ambassador, Senior Ruby Ambassador, Emerald Ambassador, Sapphire Ambassador, and Diamond Ambassador. I am a bit disappointed that there is no mention of pink sapphires or pink diamonds, since those things exist. For that matter, why isn’t there a leadership level called Rose Quartz Ambassador?
As with many other MLMs, your sales are calculated on point volume, not directly on the dollar amount of sales made. Over the course of the Plexus business opportunity, the value of one point has ranged from $2.82 to over $4.00, which makes it sound easier than it is to earn points.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Writing this Plexus Worldwide review made me nostalgic for Pink Swimmingo Kool-Aid.
- According to other Plexus Worldwide reviews I read while researching this one, the company will cancel memberships of Plexus distributors if they ask for advice in a way that sounds like a criticism. In the experience of these distributors, and in my experience, one of the worst parts of being part of an MLM company is having to keep up the façade all the time that you are making lots of money.
- The Plexus business opportunity carries a substantial risk that you will end up with a basement full of pink drink powder.
- 5% of an MLM company’s revenue going into bonus pools is too much, let alone 50%.
You don’t have to read very many of my reviews to find out that I am not a fan of nutraceutical MLM companies. The Plexus business opportunity seems to be full of much of the same mischief that you find with almost any other nutraceutical MLM company, the empty promises and bogus health advice. I think I will skip this pink drink, and I encourage you to do the same, meanwhile, there are plenty of other pink things I recommend more highly. Pink Floyd. Pink grapefruit. The old Pink Panther cartoons. Salmon. Midwestern sunsets. Cotton candy. And you don’t need MLM to enjoy any of those things.
Are you outraged that I did not give a shout out to your favorite pink beverage in this review? Instead of punching me in the solar plexus, why not schedule a call with me, so we can talk it over like true gentlemen?