Multi-level marketing businesses are much maligned in and out of the business world today, but that does not deter many local startups from going that route.

The following is an excerpt from “A look at the (still booming) direct sales business in Utah County” (Herald Media, July 05, 2015):

heraldextra-20150705-thTo some, Utah County seems to be the network marketing headquarters of the world, and there is valid reasoning behind that. According to a 2014 report by Mark Januszewski of ranking the top 100 MLM companies by revenue, seven of the top 50 were from the state of Utah, and five of those were from Utah County alone. The country of Japan is the only place claims more top 50 spots.

As to why there are so many MLMs in Utah, many, like Tom Wood of the social media site, postulate that it’s due to the network marketing, friendly business atmosphere of the state and the talent pool.

“A smart kid graduates from college and spends two years in another country on a religious mission. The skills they learn in dealing with people and linguistics are a direct sales company’s dream,” Wood said.

Whatever the reasons, and regardless of one’s feelings on the business model, network marketing companies are raking in big money in Utah. Some of the more famous ones in the state are NuSkin, Neways, Xango and Morinda (formerly known as Tahitian Noni).

Another rising network marketing star is ASEA, currently based in Salt Lake City. The company has only been around for five years, but it is already earning its spot on high ranking direct selling lists. Due to its own speedy growth, the company recently completed construction of a large FDA registered NFS certified production facility in Pleasant Grove.

ASEA founder Verdis Norton built the business based on groundbreaking technology related to the science of redox signaling molecules – life-sustaining cellular messengers that help protect, rejuvenate, and keep cells functioning at optimal levels.

“Verdis had worked in Fortune 50 companies, and he’s a retail genius. He knew how to price products. But he saw that the ASEA tech was ahead of its time, and realized he couldn’t put the ASEA products on the store shelves and expect consumers to pick them up and read the ingredients and understand what they can do,” said Kurt Richards, executive vice president of ASEA.

Norton went directly to a network marketing business model so people could use the product and share their experiences with others. ASEA embraces the MLM designation, because it allows its associates, as they are called, to create teams of sellers and benefit from the sales of those teams.

“We actually have a large amount of sellers who are medical practitioners – that is very unique to us. We also have a large segment that are strictly consumers and not sellers,” Richards said.

While based in Utah, both Younique and ASEA are already operating in the global realm. Younique boasts more than 200,000 sellers worldwide, while ASEA hovers just more than 160,000. Both companies rely heavily on technology, both in the research and science behind their product, and in getting out to consumers. And both readily admit they are a multi-level marketing company – not one based on the “get-rich-quick selling and opportunity” mentality – but fully based behind products sold by honest people.

Apparently the business model, in the right hands, works.

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A look at the (still booming) direct sales business in Utah County by K. Neely (July 5, 2015). Retrieved July 7, 2015.

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