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Younique MLM Compensation Plan Review

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Introduction to Younique MLM Compensation Plan

I was reading somewhere online today that 90s nostalgia is all the rage, which I guess isn’t really news.  Once you start clicking on 90s nostalgia links, you can see images of all kinds of 90s fashion trends, like Manic Panic hair dye and those T-shirts with the Tasmanian Devil and other Looney Tunes characters dressed in hip hop fashions.  People reminisce about the edgy humor of the animated TV shows of the early 90s, both on shows like Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, which were ostensibly aimed at children, and the more adult-oriented shows, like Beavis and Butthead and The Simpsons in its Golden Age.  (If you ever want to read some interesting debates, scroll through discussion forums on when the Golden Age of The Simpsons ended.)  Then there is the nostalgia for 90s music videos.  One of the saddest sights my eyes have ever seen is a screenshot for the video clip of “I Can’t Dance” by Genesis juxtaposed with one of the video for “Steam” by Peter Gabriel.  Why is that so sad, you might be asking.  Well, to the casual 90s nostalgia connoisseur, they are just two adult contemporary music videos from VH-1 in the early 90s, one cheesy and the other artsy.  If progressive rock was your refuge when you were a teenager like it was mine, it’s devastating, because you know.  You know it’s the sight of two friends whose lives went in opposite directions.  It’s devastating because you know that Peter Gabriel used to be a member of Genesis, that the band Genesis was the manifestation of the friendship between Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks.

You probably don’t even know who Tony Banks is, do you?  Tony Banks is the guy who wrote most of the music for Genesis.  If you tuned in the 90s, or even in the 80s, you know him as the third member of Genesis, not Phil Collins and not the guy from Mike and the Mechanics.  When Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel were in high school together in the 60s, they formed a band together.  Mike Rutherford (the eventual Mike and the Mechanics guy) joined fairly early on, as in, before they got the name Genesis, but the essence of the band was Tony and Peter’s friendship.  They were different from the other British rock bands of the mid-60s.  They were in the British invasion but not of it.  (They didn’t even really “invade” the U.S. at all.  They never released any music here until the 70s, and they didn’t have any hits here until the 80s.)  While other British rock bands strove to be as loud and bombastic as possible, and as other bands delved into psychedelia, Tony and Peter and their bandmates cared more about making nerdy puns set to music that sounds like you’re having an anxiety dream during a lucid half-sleep at a Renaissance Fair.  Compared to other British bands, they were mostly indifferent to the African-American music from which British Invasion rock drew its artistic inspiration.  They lived in their own world.

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It’s beautiful when two friends do something together.  I write this blog with my friend, the other Brad; we disagree on so many things (it’s an election year, so things are about to get really interesting), but when we do a project together, it takes on a life of its own.  He understands me more than anyone else on Earth.  That’s why, for years, it made my blood boil every time I remembered that Peter Gabriel left Genesis in 1975, right before his 25th birthday.

Perhaps now is the time to tell you why I am relating this story.  Brad’s and my blog is about multilevel marketing (MLM), and our goal is to tell you the pros and cons of as many MLM companies as possible.  Today, I am reviewing Younique, an MLM company that sells cosmetics, and since I am a dude, the best way to get myself into the mindset to write about makeup companies is by highlighting a notable male wearer of makeup, and today I choose Peter Gabriel.  During his tenure in Genesis, the young Peter Gabriel portrayed some outlandish characters on stage, and he used makeup to bring them to life.  (I recommend Googling “Peter Gabriel Brittannia.”)

As for the story of Tony and Peter, if you think the “end of the Golden Age of The Simpsons” is an interesting online debate, try Googling “When did Genesis start to suck?”  In a nutshell, there is one contingent that thinks the band lost its creativity the minute Peter Gabriel left and another that thinks the band’s spark gradually faded throughout the late 70s and even into the 80s.  But everyone agrees that things were never the same without Peter Gabriel.

I used to ask myself, as did so many other teenagers who couldn’t get excited about Pearl Jam or Dr. Dre or Marilyn Manson: Why did Peter Gabriel leave his and Tony’s band?  Did he want to become a star?  Did he want to make music that was even more pretentious?  Was his wife a shrew who pressured him into leaving the band because she was jealous of his and Tony’s friendship?  All that anyone ever said in published interviews was that the birth of his first child was one of the events that led to him leaving the band.  To make a long story short, when Peter Gabriel became a father, he was faced with adult responsibilities.  I understand that now; I didn’t really understand it when I was 16.  The next years were Peter Gabriel finding a way to fulfill his adult responsibilities while still being his creative self.  That is, in all likelihood, what got you into this whole MLM game.  It’s probably why you’re reading this site.

Younique and Its Products

The Younique company was founded in 2012, which makes it fairly new as MLM companies go, but it has passed that critical mark of two years. Its founders, Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft, are brother and sister.It boasts an array of eyeshadow, lipstick, foundation, facial cleansers, makeup brushes, and more among its products.  As is always the case with MLM merchandise, Younique makeup is just makeup.  It’s not very different from the makeup you get at Wal-Mart or CVS.  Of course, Younique products cost a little more than drugstore makeup, but that is also par for the course when dealing with MLM.

The thing that sets Younique apart from other MLM companies that deal in cosmetics is how supportive it is of ecommerce and how much it encourages its sales representatives (called “Younique Presenters”) to think creatively and strategically about business.Younique presenters can host sales parties at their homes, but at least the dreaded sales parties are made a little bit more fun by the fact that the presenters are encouraged to come up with Catchy Younique Party Names.  Of course, unlike other MLM companies, Younique realizes that a greater and greater percentage of the world’s makeup purchases are being made online, and it even encourages its Presenters to host online events and to use social media as a promotional tool.  It even sets up its presenters with retail websites of their own, so that each Younique presenter can have her own online store.  You’ll recognize them when you see them; they have domain names like “YouniquebyAudrey” and “YouniquebyLoriW.”

The Younique Compensation Plan

Some MLM companies have hopelessly convoluted compensation plans, and the ones that deal in makeup are notorious for having the dreaded “stair-step breakaway” system.  If you think Peter Gabriel leaving the band he founded with his best friend was betrayal, you should see the hard feeling the stair-step breakaway system leaves in its wake.  It basically involves recruiting people so that you can make money off of them, and then not making money off of them if they succeed, and also not making money off of them if they fail.  The founders of Younique are decent enough to avoid all that, or else they know you’re smart enough not to fall for it.

The levels (Younique calls them “Statuses”) of presenters within the Younique company are Entry Presenter, Exemplary Presenter, Elite Presenter, and Exclusive Presenter.  It’s neat and alliterative.  Each status is further subdivided into two colors, which, in ascending order of status are white, yellow, pink, blue, green, orange, purple, and black.  The names are simple, but they get the job done.  You can imagine them as eyeshadow colors.  The Younique site describes the percent sales commission each level is awarded; the highest level only receives a commission three levels deep.  That means that if Angela recruits Hiba, Hiba recruits Imogene, and Imogene recruits Jasmine, Angela can receive commissions on all their sales only when she meets all the requirements for the black level.  You might think that sounds like Angela is getting a raw deal, but it also means that Jasmine gets to keep a greater part of her sales commission instead of paying it upline to the people who recruited her and the people who recruited them.  Less multilevel apparatus means more money from your own product sales.  Much like Avon, Younique seems to base its sales on finite periods or individual sales campaigns, so your eligibility for big prizes like cars is based on whether you have made black status three times (not necessarily consecutive).  Younique doesn’t keep you on a constant treadmill of having to pay more and more money just to stay in the game.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Younique is one of the rare MLM companies that has gotten with the times as far as helping presenters set up online stores and encouraging them to use social media.
  • The Younique compensation plan is based on a simple structure. It doesn’t have the sleazier aspects of MLM compensation plans, like the right leg left leg thing or, God forbid, the stair-step breakaway system.
  • The Younique website is readable, straightforward, and easy to navigate. You would think that would be a no-brainer for MLM websites, but you would be surprised.

Disadvantages

  • There is nothing really unique about Younique products. The company has an attractive website that puts you in the mood to shop for makeup, but it isn’t really any different from the makeup you can get less expensively at Sally Beauty Supply or wherever else you normally buy makeup.
  • Even though Younique home parties sound like marginally more fun than other MLM home parties, MLM parties at someone’s house are still just about the last thing your friends want to do with their time. If you want people to physically attend an event to listen to your MLM sales spiel, at least take the somewhere with nice weather and lots of free alcohol.
  • It’s really hard to make money at MLM. Younique does seem to have a more fun culture than other MLM companies, but it’s hard to keep a smile on your face when you work hard month after month at trying to sell and recruit when you end up just a few dollars richer than if you had just stayed home and played video games.

Conclusion

If you’re into makeup, it is worth giving Younique a try.  Younique seems to treat women with a lot more respect than so many other MLM companies that target women do.  The Younique compensation plan seems designed for people who have been burned by MLM companies with too many levels and too much fine print.  It is really hard to get rich at MLM (I cannot stress this enough), but if you like looking at pictures of makeup and enjoy tending your website, then being a Presenter for Younique products could be a good choice of second job for you.

 

I am no expert on makeup, but I do know a thing or two about which MLM trends to avoid like the plague and which ones actually give you a chance at success.  If you want to know more, give me a call.

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