How many times have you been told that you must wear Mary Kay “from head to toe”? I remember feeling disloyal if I used any products were a brand other than Mary Kay, even if those products worked better for me.
I believed it was necessary to be a walking billboard for the products I was peddling and that meant that I had to wear exclusively Mary Kay. Imagine the horror if someone who knew I sold Mary Kay asked about my shade of lipstick and I had to say that it was a Clinique product? Oh, the horrors!
It seems Amway pushed a similar philosophy: to use all Amway products even if they were more expensive, of inferior quality, or less preferred by the distributor. From Eric Scheibeler’s book Merchants of Deception:
Over and over again, the distributors heard, “99% loyalty is 100% disloyalty.” We had to use all of our own products. Products purchased outside of Amway were referred to as “negative” products. We were told that distributors would even look in the closets in our bathroom when they were over for meetings. We certainly could not afford to have them find a negative product and think that we did not believe in The Business. There were even little, orange, “hazardous material,” negative, product stickers that you could order that had a skull and cross bones across them and said something like, “this product may be hazardous to your PV.”
One prominent Florida Diamond talked about having negative PV raids on the homes of his downline distributors. It sounded like it was done in fun,but they would actually run through the distributors’ houses, either labeling or collecting all non-Amway products. This was serious. We purchased the products from “OUR” business, and consequently, they were going to lead to our financial freedom. Products like Tide were not going to pay for our kids’ college education. Brand loyalty was essential for success.
Products like the vitamins and dog food seemed outrageously expensive. However, we could not afford 99% loyalty. We were taught that the key to this entire business was duplication. Our group of distributors would duplicate what we did or did not do. We were also advised that our downline distributors would duplicate what we did wrong more often than all the things that we did right. There certainly would be no negative products found in our home. It would be financial suicide to do anything other than use all our own products. It would also show tremendous disrespect to your upline (who was working for you) if they saw negative products in your home.