As I write this, Bonvera is still in pre-launch. I’ve been following this company since I heard about it, because it is the first network marketing company that I’ve actually gotten excited about in years. I’ve already outlined what is different about Bonvera on my other blog, and why I think Bonvera is a good opportunity here on this blog so here, I want to talk about what I think Bonvera needs to be a truly excellent company.
Here are a few things they have going for them already:
- Comp plan that rewards people who do the work
- Brand-name products that people are already familiar with
- Leaders who have been in the industry for awhile
- A distributor driven board to help make sure the company doesn’t mess it up or get too greedy
But even though all that is going for them, there are a few things that I think are going to be required for Bonvera to become the company that it could be.
1) Free Shipping
While there are definitely some products on Bonvera that are more competitive with Amazon, they aren’t all that way. And when shipping is factored in, the competitive advantage on some product prices disappears entirely.
Customers are used to getting free shipping on items over $X ($35 at Amazon, $49 at Walmart, etc.). I think Bonvera needs to incorporate a free shipping model if they want to get beyond their distributors and make it a common sense decision for the masses.
2) Unwind Bonvera and Extroda
In my opinion, Bonvera is off to a great start already. I think the Extroda “system” actually damages the Bonvera name because it makes it look like a network marketing company. I’ve explained my experience with Extroda and other past systems elsewhere, so I won’t rehash it all here.
Suffice it to say, that this opportunity is good enough to not be overhyped by Extroda. People have the opportunity to buy products they’re buying anyway and teach others to do the same. It’s that simple. So while I understand the need for some basic training on the right way to approach people about the opportunity or teach them how the comp plan works, $50/mo. is a ridiculous fee for sub-par motivational talks and very basic training.
I know the Extroda system is “optional” but it’s always pitched as necessary if one wants to build a big business. If the leaders are adamant about keeping the so-called “system” then it should actually offer value to the people on the system rather than 1) forcing everyone into the same mold and 2) encouraging distributors against being creative. That’s just stupid.
3) Make Bonvera “Good Enough” for “Smart Shoppers”
Let’s face it. Network marketing companies generally don’t actually expect many customers to buy products. There is a law of some sort in place that requires that X number of revenue come from customers (or something like that), but most of the focus is on selling to people who are distributors of newtorking companies.
Bonvera could change that…
Imagine a company where you didn’t have to convince anyone to get in at all because it actually was a great opportunity. If Bonvera’s products stay competitive enough so that users will sign up as “Smart Shoppers” just because it actually is the “smart” thing to do, then they have the ability to so far outpace other networking companies that it’ll be ridiculous!
Let’s get rid of this, “we’re not a discount club or website” stuff (which I heard at an Extroda meeting), and ask why shouldn’t it be?!? Riddle me this… are there more people looking to save money on groceries or are there more people looking for a home based business?
Google tells us that approximately HALF A MILLION people who do searches for coupons on a monthly basis whereas there about < 50,000 that look for keyword terms related to home based businesses.
Simply put, I’d love to see Bonvera make this opportunity make sense for shoppers which will also make the business easier for Associates.
4) More Products and Less Energy Drinks… or maybe a Caffeine Free Drink?
I know that Bonvera is working on having many, many more products available. However, at the moment, their 1 private label brand is Phyzix Energy The bars taste great and the energy drinks are actually surprisingly delicious as well.
However…….. Right now, a good chunk of the products in the store are energy drinks. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that except for that the incentive is bent towards Associates buying (and therefore likely consuming) a fair amount of energy drinks. The new BVR Packs, for example have 24 or 48 energy drinks in them (or 96 if you get the “Family Pack”). For me as a single guy, I would need to consume at least 1 energy drink per day if I went with Phyzix Energy Drinks (more if I opted for Bawls or Redline).
While I know that these are a much-healthier alternative to popular energy drinks, I just think that there is wisdom in NOT encouraging Associates to load up on caffeine, even if it is naturally occuring, non-synthetic caffeine. Remember, “everything in moderation.”
I’m sure this will be a moot point as they get more products, but again, coming from a history where a very similar product line was promoted, I have seen distributors encouraged to down 2 or more energy drinks per day where in reality, some distributors drank much more than that.
Perhaps the best thing Bonvera / Phyzix could do would be to have a non-caffeinated energy drink that is full of vitamins and nutrients so that Associates could reasonably consume more than 1 per day without adding additional caffeine to their diet.
So again, I know the company is in Pre-Launch, so I can’t expect them to be firing on all cylinders yet, but these are the three things I’m hoping to see. If the company get figure out a free shipping model and product pricing that makes sense to shoppers, and if they don’t over-pitch the company with Extroda, then maybe… just maybe… this company could be something special.