Polaris Global: Documentary producer or MLM company?
Following the departure of Brent Payne from Liberty League International early last year Shane Krider began a transformation of the company.
Amongst the changes introduced over the next six to twelve months, two major transitions stood out above the rest. The first obviously Liberty League’s restructure and transformation into Polaris Media Group (now Polaris Global), and the direction of funding seemingly random documentaries.
With two documentaries already released and two more on the way before the end of 2010, I can’t be the only one scratching my head wondering just how much of a detraction from the core business of Polaris Global each production is.
Recently Polaris Global won a Telly Award for its Beyond Evolution series and one of the documentaries they’ve funded, Unbeaten.
The Telly Awards have no pre-selection criteria and are judged by previous years winners. Around 10% of entrees win a Silver Telly and a further 18-25% win a bronze; this means that on average 28-35% of entries (or roughly one in three) of the Telly awards win.
Nonetheless an award is still an award and Polaris Global associates have been heavily promoting the company’s achievement. From a business perspective, the release of ‘charity underdog’ style documentaries puzzles me.
Of their documentaries, Polaris Global state that
These documentaries explore different aspects of the human spirit.
As a library of work, these projects gain awareness for and create a situation whereby average people who want to make a difference can contribute and know that they are making a positive change in the world.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t get the angle they are pushing with the documentaries. It’s not that I don’t understand the positive message Polaris Global associates can use in their marketing efforts, it’s that is this really going to be effective as a business proposal?
The bottom line of any network marketing or MLM company is that prospects are looking to make money.
‘Hi there, I’m after some more information on the company?’
‘Why sure. Let me tell you about these great documentaries we fund.’
‘Uh… can I make any money off the documentaries?’
‘Well no. But by joining Polaris Global you’ll belong to a company that makes feel good movies.’
‘How does that help my business?’
‘…I dunno. Maybe you can use the documentaries in your call with your own future prospects.’
You can see where I’m going here. The documentaries for the most part will have nothing to do with the day to day running of a Polaris Global associate’s business beyond being extra marketing weight on a call.
This in itself isn’t a bad thing but whilst I’m not in the film industry, I know they aren’t cheap to make. Having said that I’m not sure what Polaris funding share is in the documentaries they help produce. Whatever the portion though it’s obviously enough for them to get their logo on the promotional materials for the documentaries.
If I was a new prospect I probably couldn’t help but wonder why I was being marketed on documentaries that are not related in any way (other then faux positivism) to Polaris Global’s direct line of products.
If I was an existing Polaris Global associate, surely I’d be questioning whether or not the money spent funding these feel good ventures could be better spent on the business itself. Whether it be training, marketing or product research and development.
Charity work, or ‘giving back’ is undoubtedly a growing trend in network marketing and MLM companies. Currently Polaris Global have committed to producing (or funding I’m not sure) at least one documentary per quarter. This is by no means a small effort, either financially or from a production front.
I’m all for responsible companies and charity but I can’t shake the feeling that producing documentaries that potentially detract from the core business of your company might be taking it a step too far. Especially on the one documentary per quarter schedule Polaris Global have set themselves.
What do you think?