Multi-level marketing firms are sales-oriented companies with a pyramid-like sales structure. Salespeople are compensated both for their own sales and for the sales of the salespeople that they recruit. This means that the sales force is motivated not only to make sales but also to recruit new, successful salespeople to work along with them. An additional factor that often comes into play is company-branded promotional items. These promotional items—which can vary from branded apparel and accessories to water bottles, cell phone chargers, and desk items—are often used by multi-level marketing companies to entice their employees toward higher sales and recruiting thresholds, and sometimes they can be even more of a motivation than extra cash. Here are a few ways that a multi-level marketing company can use promotional items to increase employee loyalty to the company.
Multi-level marketing companies will frequently use branded promotional items to persuade newcomers to join the sales force. For example, a special recruiting campaign might offer a free take-away kit complete with a reusable bag, pens, a water bottle, and a hat to everyone who signs up to join the sales team.
Promotional items are also often used as rewards along with commission to encourage salespeople to meet certain thresholds in sales. A salesperson, for example, might strive to get a $200 company jacket for hitting a particularly high sales quota—added incentive to close more sales, to be sure. These types of rewards also happen to showcase those reps who have reached certain thresholds. A gold heat transfer, for example, could show other employees that a certain rep has reached “gold status.” This helps drive other employees to reach those same thresholds, without the additional cost of larger cash bonuses.
The sales quota rewards model can be applied to sales recruiting as well. As an alternative (or in addition) to offering high-end company-branded apparel and accessories for meeting certain sales thresholds, multi-level marketing companies will frequently award high-end promotional items to the salespeople who recruit a certain number of people, or who recruit the highest number of people for their company.
Outside of serving as rewards, branded apparel and accessories are also used by these companies simply to build camaraderie and increase loyalty in the sales force. In today’s material-driven society, people are truly seen as—and purport themselves to be—the summation of their possessions. And when for a person some of these possessions include branded items from the company they work for, the company becomes a more integral part of that person’s identity. Company-branded items interspersed within the workings of a multi-level marketing company have the power to unite the sales force with the company they represent, and to build a sense of solidarity amongst salespeople.