Attitudes to Multi-level Marketing Companies


To determine the attitudes of the different generational groups to multi-level marketing companies to assist in consultation with a company developing a business model and go to market strategy.

Early Findings

Attitudes to Multi-level Marketing Companies

  • One of the few available studies of attitudes to multi-level marketing was completed in 2012 in Thailand. It found that perceived value and trust had a largely positive impact on attitude towards corporate image. Brand architecture, corporate social responsibility, and internet marketing were found to significantly impact on consumer attitudes to the company.
  • An Australian study found that non-store retailing methods, multi-level marketing or network marketing, has recently incurred a degree of consumer suspicion and negative perceptions among Australian consumers. What was interesting was although there is a negative perception of this type of marketing, it did not seem to impact the consumer's decision to purchase.
  • A study of attitudes to multi-level marketing in Taiwan found the main reason that some consumers preferred this approach was because of its effectiveness.
  • Previous studies have indicated that direct selling companies should seek to build trust, reliability, and create better awareness about their company's image in order to succeed.
  • The perceived value of a product is likely to influence the consumers attitude and consumption behaviors in relation to multi-level marketing companies.
  • One article suggested there is a social awkwardness that goes with being pitched an item by a neighbor or friend, and this contributes to consumer unease about multi-level marketing.
  • There are also concerns that multi-level marketing companies focus on specific population groups, and these groups are often the more vulnerable groups in society.
  • Headlines in the US suggest that there may be a changing attitude toward this type of marketing. Examples include "Move over Tupperware—home sales parties have gotten hipper and higher end" from the Washington Post, and "Recruits aren't your grandmother's Avon Ladies" from New York Business.
  • One of the main consumer concerns with multi-level marketing is the real money comes not from the sale of the product but the recruitment of salespeople.
  • It is possible that an increased presence of the "sharing economy" has contributed to a softening of consumer attitudes to multi-level marketing.

Participation in Multi-Level Marketing Companies

  • A US study found that most participants in multi-level marketing companies were, on average, 29 years of age and female with a college or bachelors degree.


  • Our initial research suggests there is limited information available on consumer attitudes to multi-level marketing. A lot of the available data is dated, ranging from 3-10 years old. None of the studies we located addressed consumer attitudes specific to generational groups.
  • There is data available on the relative success (or otherwise) of multi-level marketing approaches. There is also data available that addresses the most successful marketing approaches to specific generational groups. Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers are the generational groups that have the most available data.

Proposed next steps:

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