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Willa MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Willa MLM Compensation Plan

Grrrrrr!  My name is Pigeon Blood, and I am here to tell all of you to scram!  Notebook Crazy is my multilevel marketing (MLM) blog, this is my Willa review, and if you don’t like it, you can blow it out your ear.  You probably want to know what I think about Willa products, don’t you?  Well, I will tell you.  Willa products are sunscreen and other skincare products for preteen girls, so what do I think?  I hate Willa products because I hate sunscreen because I hate sunshine, I hate childhood, and I hate fun.  If you wanted an MLM review that was going to tell you how awesome the Willa compensation plan is and how rich you’re going to get, you’ve come to the wrong place, because I hate money.  You might say I have a bad attitude, but if you don’t like my bad attitude, you can just …

Just kidding.  It’s me, Brad, and Notebook Crazy is still my blog, albeit the grouchiest MLM review blog in the Midwest.  I have been at this MLM reviewing project since right around New Year’s, and there is so much empty hype and so much faulty logic in the MLM world, to say nothing of how many interesting stories I have come across since I set out to review every MLM business opportunity available in the United States, that it often gets me thinking about launching a second career as an Internet troll.  So much of the stuff I read while researching my reviews gives me ideas for Internet troll names.  Dirty Dalton.  My Dear Watson.  The NefflonNimbat.  Flat Stanley Kubrick.  How could anyone stay mad at trolls with names like those?  Until now, I always just noted the potential troll names in the Advantages and Disadvantages sections of my MLM reviews and then moved on, but last week I was reviewing an MLM company called Ruby Ribbon, and I came across the phrase “pigeon blood.”  Pigeon blood is the term that gemologists use for rubies that are a color the rest of us would call “ruby red.”  As the name of a gemstone color, frankly, I find it bizarre.  Why pigeon blood?  Do different species have different colors of blood?  If so, how did people figure this out?  Of all the red things in the world, why pigeon blood?  Why not wine or pomegranates or roses?  As an Internet troll name, however, Pigeon Blood is unbeatable.

Willa: The Company and Its Products

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I, like any would-be classic rock blogger worth his salt, love a good origin story, and the Willa business opportunity definitely has one.  The original idea for Willa products came from Willa Doss, when she was twelve years old, in 2011.  She noticed that there were skincare products for adults and there were skincare products for babies, but there were almost no skincare products aimed specifically at girls her age, at the market segment that was old enough to read chapter books, ride bikes, and do multiplication and division but not old enough to have a driver’s license or a voter registration card.  The only skincare products aimed at tweens, as this age group is called in marketing parlance (I am a dude, so I do not use that term in conversation), were little more than toys.  One of the Willa reviews described the inferior products that gave Willa the idea to make a better alternative as “pink bubblegum.”

You might argue that adult sunscreen and moisturizer work just great on middle schoolers, and you would be right, but in business, knowing your target market and branding your products accordingly is very important, and Willa Doss had a great idea in doing just that.  Her parents, Christy Prunier and David Doss, encouraged her to make and sell skincare products. I read an article with Willa from a new site that isn’t specifically about MLM, and the quotes from Willa Doss herself give the impression that she is quite knowledgeable about how to make skincare products and about business. She mentioned that sunscreen was important to her business, because she enjoys outdoor sports, and she gets sunburned easily without sunscreen.  The article also said that Willa products are sold at Target and several other retailers, which gives me the impression that the Willy company has not always operated on an MLM business model.  Today, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page of the Willa website says that the only way to buy Willa products is through a Willa consultant.

I do not know what prompted the business decision to move from selling Willa products in stores to selling them through MLM, but I am not a fan of this decision.  While researching this Willa review, I read about other entrepreneurs who launched successful businesses when they were in their teens, and while most of them had businesses that existed entirely on the Internet (such as a teen girl whose business centered around making My Space pages with an appealing layout, during the My Space era), one of the most memorable ones was a British boy who learned from his grandmother how to make jam, and now his brand of ja is sold in several supermarket chains in the United Kingdom.  If you have a good product, make it easy for people to buy it.  Sell it in stores.  Sell it through your website.  Don’t make people jump through a bunch of hoops to buy your products, like the MLM business model makes them do.

Oh, but it gets worse.  The Willa business opportunity does not just take place in painless transactions such as one girl showing her friend a catalog of Willa products on the school bus or after ballet class, and the friend sending the catalog owner, the daughter of a Willa distributor, a text message with the name of the product she wants to buy.  Instead, Willa products are sold at (you guessed it) home sales parties.  I have said it before, and I will say it again.  I hate MLM home sales parties.  Quadruple crown diamond barf.  It is especially appropriate to say “quadruple crown diamond barf” in this Willa review because the target audience for Willa products is still young enough that most of them still think the word “barf” is funny.  (By contrast, college girls tend not to find the word “barf” amusing, which is one of the reasons I dropped out of college, but that is a story for another day.)

A business centered around organizing parties for preteen girls is another brilliant idea.  Based on the interview I read with Willa, she really seemed to enjoy the outdoors and to enjoy the science of making skincare products.  She could probably do great business if her business concept were to organize skateboarding excursions for preteen girls, or hosting parties where preteen girls make sunscreen and moisturizing lotion, and then take home the products they have made.

The more critical Willa reviews I read when researching this Willa review tended to focus their criticism on the fact that the company tries to recruit mother-daughter teams of Willa distributors.  I tend to agree that it is not particularly admirable to intentionally show your teen daughter that entrepreneurship means pressuring your friends into giving you money by putting them in a situation where it would be rude to say “no.”

The Willa Compensation Plan

The Willa website contains some details about the Willa compensation plan.  It says that Willa distributors earn a 30% commission on the Willa products they sell.  When you open the Willa compensation plan document, which is linked to the website, it says that, actually, your commission starts out at 22%, but if you sell more than $299 of merchandise in a single month, it increases for that month.  The 30% is only for months when you sell more than $1,500 in merchandise.  I don’t want to think about how it is possible for a teenager to sell more than $1,500 of skincare products in one month.  It would either have to involve horribly overpriced products or enough MLM sales parties to make a horse barf, and horses have digestive systems that are not equipped to barf.  (I have always heard people say that horses can’t barf, but this is the first time I have thought about how strange that is, considering that, in size and diet, they are so similar to some other animals for which regurgitation is a normal part of deriving nutrition.)

The leadership levels in the Willa compensation plan are Consultant, Advanced Consultant, Senior Consultant, Mentor, Advanced Mentor, Senior Mentor, Ambassador, Senior Ambassador, Executive, and Senior Executive.  Senior Ambassadors can earn commissions on sales made by 7 levels of downline.  The Willa compensation plan document says that the perks for the Executive and Senior Executive levels are to be announced.  There are Advancement Bonuses, starting at $200 for the mentor level and going up to $2,000 for the Senior Ambassador level.  The Willa compensation plan also involves Matching Bonuses, which means that when someone in your downline gets an Advancement Bonus, you also get one.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Willa products seem to be quite good skincare products, and the idea of marketing them to a specific age group makes good business sense.
  • I enjoy maps, and the Willa website has a nifty map that shows you that there are no Willa distributors in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont, or West Virginia.
  • Writing this Willa review has helped me in my quest to become the world’s most knowledgeable college dropout. Thanks to this Willa review, today marks the first time I have ever read the “Digestive system” section of the Wikipedia article on Equine Anatomy.
  • The Willa compensation plan is linked to the Willa website, and it is concise and free of gaudy images.

Disadvantages

  • The way that the Willa website focuses on the fact that Willa products are “healthy” feels a bit like fearmongering to me. (In Willa’s defense, there are other MLM companies that lay the fearmongering on a lot thicker.)  Willa products do not have parabens, sulfates, or phthalate, but if you want to avoid those ingredients, there are plenty of skincare products at your local supermarket that are also free of them.
  • Parties where the guests are middle school-aged are supposed to be fun, not MLM cash grabs.
  • The Willa compensation plan requires you to recruit Willa distributors on different “legs” of downline.

Conclusion

As business ideas go, Willa’s idea of making ordinary skincare products and marketing them to preteen girls is pretty solid, and selling Willa products in stores was a great move.  My only issue is with the MLM aspect.  I have said in other MLM reviews based on projects started by teenagers that encouraging your kids’ interest in entrepreneurship and in whatever kind of product they are interested in making is a great thing to do.  My vitriol is reserved for people whose idea of setting an example of entrepreneurship, or of financial responsibility at all, is trying to squeeze money out of their friends and relatives with one party model MLM business after another; my vitriol is not for Willa Doss and for other teenagers who do things like make skincare products, design videogames, cook, or write music.  I am not going to encourage you to join the Willa business opportunity, but I am also not going to use my curmudgeonly sense of humor to make fun of Willa, who is a real person.  I am a grouch, not a troll.

I am still impressed with the British boy who learned to make jam.  Even my brother Bryce doesn’t know how to make jam, and he is one of the best cooks I know.  Likewise, I have read numerous career interviews on The Art of Manliness, and jam chef is not one of the listed careers.  If any of you guys out there know how to make jam, schedule a call with me, and I will personally congratulate you.

 

 

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