Team BeachBody Review: Reconizable but lack of retail focus
In 2007 Team BeachBody was launched, and has since served as the network marketing arm of the business.
The company operates out of the US state of California and is headed up by co-founders Carl Daikeler (CEO) and Jon Congdon (President).
Daikeler (right) has a history in marketing, with Team Beach Body appearing to be his first MLM venture.
As per Daikeler’s Team BeachBody corporate bio,
Having worked for every major infomercial marketer, including beauty juggernaut Guthy-Renker, Carl has 23 years of extensive product marketing experience.
Carl has worked in every aspect of the direct response business, from creating products to advertising, media buying, operations, international distribution, and general management.
His first foray into fitness product development was as co-founder of TelAmerica Media, where he created 8-Minute Abs.
In 1998, he assembled 20 angel investors to launch Product Partners and the Beachbody brand, which in 10 years has legitimized fitness products sold on TV and the Internet, and developed hundreds of thousands of fans.
In 2007 Carl launched Team Beachbody, the first multi-level marketing (MLM) business focused on a holistic approach to fitness and weight loss.
Congdon also has a marketing background, with his bio revealing that he met Daikeler whilst working at Guthy-Renker.
Read on for a full review of the Team BeachBody MLM business opportunity.
The Team BeachBody Product Line
Team BeachBody market a range of fitness program, nutrition and supplements and beauty and skin health products.
- P90 – “your gateway to getting fit regardless of your age or fitness level” ($79.90)
- P90X3 – “get ripped in 30 minutes a day” ($119.85)
- Focus T25 – “get an hour’s results in 25 minutes a day!” ($119.85)
- Insanity – “the hardest workout program ever put on DVD”
There are additional fitness courses and videos available on the BeachBody website, priced between $39.90 to $165.85.
Various fitness equipment bundled with some of the courses seems to dictate the price of products.
Nutrition and Supplements
- Shakeology – meal replacement shake ($129.95)
- 3 Day Refresh – “3-day program of specially formulated shakes, easy-to-prepare clean meals, and healthy snacks” ($59.95 to $160)
- various BeachBody branded supplements – base shake ($59.95), fuel shot ($49.95), M.A.X. creatine ($29.95) and Super Suma ($29.95)
- pre-workout formulas – Energy and Endurance ($29.95) and Slimming ($29.95)
- Cordastra – “strengthen your immune system and increase your energy and stamina” ($29.95)
- Performance Formula Results and Recovery Formula – “our potent blend of proven ingredients increases your energy, aids in fat loss, and helps you work out harder and recover faster” ($24.95)
- Activit Multivitamins – “top-quality vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants” ($29.95)
- Core Cal-Mag – calcium-magnesium supplement ($17.95)
- Core Omega-3 – premium fish-oil supplement ($21.95)
- Joint Support Super Formula – ” high-quality formula designed to protect your joints and connective tissue” ($22.95)
- Whey Protein Powder – “low-fat and great-tasting supplement” ($39.95)
- Meal Replacement Shake – “This creamy, delicious, low-calorie shake is a meal in itself!” (“Warning: Although highly nutritious, Beachbody’s Meal Replacement Shake does not meet all of your daily dietary needs”) ($39.95)
Beauty and Skin Health
- Derm Exclusive Kits “from $39.95” – “with Derm Exclusive, you can watch as your wrinkles disappear in minutes”
The Team BeachBody Compensation Plan
The Team BeachBody compensation plan revolves around the sale of BeachBody products and Team BeachBody membership subscriptions.
Commissions are paid out upfront (retail and bonuses), as well as residually via a binary compensation structure.
At the top-end of the plan, Team BeachBody affiliates are able to qualify for shares in four bonus pools.
Team BeachBody Affiliate Membership Ranks
There are fourteen affiliate membership ranks within the Team BeachBody compensation plan. Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Coach – sign up as a Team BeachBody affiliate and maintain at least 50 PV a month to qualify for commissions
- Emerald – generate at least 50 PV a month and recruit and maintain at least two affiliates (one in each side of the binary)
- Ruby – generate at least 75 PV a month and recruit and maintain at least four affiliates (two must Emerald or higher ranked (one on either side of the binary), with the remaining two affiliates split one on either side of the binary)
- Diamond – generate at least 100 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least eight affiliates (two must be Emerald or higher ranked (one on either side of the binary), with the remaining six affiliates split three on either side of the binary)
- 1 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit at least one Diamond ranked affiliate and a total personally recruited downline of at least ten affiliates
- 2 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least one Diamond ranked affiliate on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of twelve affiliates
- 3 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least one Diamond ranked affiliate on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of fourteen affiliates (three of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
- 4 Star Diamond -maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least one Diamond ranked affiliate on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of sixteen affiliates (four of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
- 5 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least two Diamond ranked affiliates on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of twenty affiliates (five of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
- 6 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least two Diamond ranked affiliates on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of twenty-one affiliates (six of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
- 7 Star Diamond -maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least two Diamond ranked affiliates on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of twenty-two affiliates (seven of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
- 8 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least two Diamond ranked affiliates on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of twenty-three affiliates (eight of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
- 9 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least two Diamond ranked affiliates on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of twenty-four affiliates (nine of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
- 10 Star Diamond – maintain at least 250 PV a month, recruit and maintain at least five Diamond ranked affiliates on either side of the binary and a total personally recruited downline of twenty-five affiliates (ten of which must be Diamond or higher ranked)
Note that “PV” stands for Personal Volume, and is sales volume generated either by a Teach BeachBody affiliate’s own purchases or those of their retail customers.
Retail commissions are paid out on the sale of BeachBody products to retail customers.
The commission paid out is 25% of the price paid for the product.
A 50% commission is also paid out on subscription sales of Team BeachBody membership ($2.99 a week, billed $38.87 quarterly in advance).
Note that Team BeachBody membership is not affiliate membership, but rather a community within the BeachBody customer-base.
Finally, any Challenge Packs sold to retail customers attract the following once-off bonuses:
- Challenge Pack $140 – $40
- Challenge Pack $160 – $50
- Challenge Pack $180 – $60
- Challenge Pack $205 – $70
- Challenge Pack $220 – $80
- Challenge Pack $245 – $80
- Challenge Pack $305 – $105
If a Teach BeachBody affiliate recruits a new affiliate who joins by purchasing a Challenge Pack, they are paid a commission.
Challenge packs are available for those who are signing up to be new coaches.
When you enroll a new Coach with a Challenge Pack, you’ll earn what we’re now calling a Challenge Pack Bonus.
How much of a commission is paid out depends on how much a newly recruited affiliate spends on their pack:
- Challenge Pack $140 – $40
- Challenge Pack $160 – $50
- Challenge Pack $180 – $60
- Challenge Pack $205 – $70
- Challenge Pack $220 – $80
- Challenge Pack $245 – $80
- Challenge Pack $305 – $105
Shakeology Autoship Commission
If a newly recruited Team BeachBody affiliate purchases a Shakeology Home Direct Starter Pack (autoship), the affiliate who recruited them is paid a $20 bonus.
As per the Team BeachBody website,
With Shakeology Home Direct, you’ll receive this item every 30 days, shipped directly to your door and billed to the credit card you use today in the amount of $119.95 a month.
Note that a Shakeology Home Direct autoship is triggered upon an affiliate purchase of a Challenge Pack (see recruitment commissions above).
As an additional bonus, if a Team BeachBody affiliate generates five Fast Start Bonus in any consecutive 5-week period, they are paid an additional $100 bonus.
Residual Binary Commissions
Residual commissions in Team BeachBody are paid out via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, with two legs directly under them:
These two legs form the start of two teams, left and right – and represent recruited affiliates in a downline (recruited either directly or indirectly).
Sales volume is tracked on both sides of the binary, with commissions paid out using a 2:1 ratio. That is, 200 points of sales volume on one side of the binary matched with 100 points of sales volume on the other.
Leftover volume is carried over and put towards an affiliate’s next cycle.
Every 5000 cycles a “master flush” occurs. This flushes all but 5000 points of volume in an affiliate’s stronger leg, with this 5000 points and whatever is available in their weaker leg carrying over.
All excess volume beyond the 5000 points in the stronger leg is permanently flushed.
Commissions on binary cycles are paid out according to a Team BeachBody affiliate’s membership rank as follows:
- Emerald – $14 per cycle
- Ruby – $16 per cycle
- Diamond and Star Diamond – $18 per cycle
All TeamBeachBody affiliates capped at cycling 96 times in any given day, with additional weekly earning caps tied to an affiliate’s membership rank:
- Coach – no binary commissions
- Emerald – $250
- Ruby – $1000
- Diamond – $2000
- 1 Star Diamond – $3000
- 2 Star Diamond – $4000
- 3 Star Diamond – $5000
- 4 Star Diamond – $6000
- 5 Star Diamond – $7000
- 6 Star Diamond – $8000
- 7 Star Diamond – $9000
- 8 Star Diamond – $10,000
- 9 Star Diamond – $11,000
- 10 Star Diamond – $12,000
Note that these amounts may be reduced if commissions payable through the binary exceed Team BeachBody’s allocated 35% of commissionable volume company-wide.
Finally, a matching bonus is available on binary commissions paid out to personally recruited affiliates.
Ruby ranked affiliates earn a 5% matching bonus and Diamond and Star Diamond affiliates earn 10%.
Star Diamond Leadership Bonus
Team BeachBody set aside 2 percent of commissionable sales volume company-wide, and splits it between four Star Diamond Leadership Bonus pools.
Each pool makes up a half percent of the 2 percent total set aside, with shares in the pools allocated as follows:
- Pool 1 – one share for 2 Star Diamond or higher ranked affiliates
- Pool 2 – one share for 5 Star Diamond or higher ranked affiliates
- Pool 3 – one share for 10 Star Diamond or higher ranked affiliates
- Pool 4 – one share for 15 Star Diamond or higher ranked affiliates
In addition to being promoted to the applicable rank for each pool, in order to qualify for shares in the above pools Team BeachBody affiliates
must also be in attendance at the annual Beachbody Coach Summit (held in June) and at the Beachbody Success Club Leadership Conference (held in the fall). Each of the Summit and Leadership conference have specific requirements and eligibility criteria set forth below and as may be updated in each conference’s then-current specific rules.
Coaches who are enrolled in another network marketing opportunity or who have any member of their immediate household enrolled in another network marketing opportunity will not be eligible to earn the Star Diamond Leadership Bonus.
How Team BeachBody police this policy is not clarified in their official compensation plan documents.
Additional Bonus Centers
Once a Team BeachBody affiliate qualifies at the 2 Star Diamond rank, they have the option of opening up a new affiliate position in their existing downline (directly under their first position).
If this second position also qualifies as a 2 Star Diamond, an additional affiliate position can then be opened up anywhere along the affiliate’s downline. Each Team BeachBody affiliate is permitted to open a maximum of 25 affiliate positions under any one account.
Note that any additional accounts opened must qualify for binary commissions via 100% retail sales order volume.
Joining Team BeachBody
Affiliate membership with Team BeachBody is $39.95 upfront and then $15.95 a month thereafter.
Note that the optional purchase of a Challenge Pack can raise the cost of basic Team BeachBody affiliate membership to as much as $305.
In analysis of TeaM BeachBody, there’s an important distinction to be made. The older infomercial side of the business should not be confused with the MLM side of the business.
The two are entirely separate entities, with this review focusing solely on the network marketing division of BeachBody.
Any claims made in relation to Team BeachBody using statistical data relating to their infomercial business activities should be taken with a huge grain of salt, or preferably discarded altogether.
With that out the way, if there’s one thing BeachBody does right its product branding. Presumably attributable to their infomercial marketing background, both the BeachBody and Team BeachBody websites push the company’s fitness programs and nutritional supplements front and center.
The affiliate side of the business is presented as an afterthought, so much so that I actually had to hunt around for the information I required to put this review together.
The websites do feel slightly dated presentation wise, but overall serve their purpose well.
On the compensation plan side of things, Team BeachBody does not fare so well.
BeachBody has an abundance of retailable programs and supplements, so I’m at a loss as to why there’s no retail requirements (other than in additional affiliate positions), or why sales volume plays no part in affiliate rank advancement.
Instead, Team BeachBody affiliates are required to recruit to progress and maintain monthly sales volume quotas.
Given the complete lack of retail focus other than the offering of retail commissions, and the fact that the Challenge kits are attached to monthly autoship plans, I believe that for the most part Team BeachBody affiliates, at least initially will be self-qualifying themselves each month via their own order.
Individually this isn’t a problem, but if the vast majority of affiliates are doing this in favour of attracting retail sales volume – then there’s a problem.
Autoship incentives (the Shakeology Home Direct commission), the recruitment commission paid out on affiliate purchases of Challenge Packs and the absence of retail quotas anywhere in the compensation plan, do not fill me with much confidence that significant retail activity is taking place.
It is noted that the Pack commissions are paid out the same on retail orders, but motivation wise Team BeachBody provides no incentive for affiliates to focus on retail. They are far better served simply recruiting new affiliates via a Challenge Pack purchase, making sure they stay on the monthly autoship.
Recruit enough affiliates and one can advance up the compensation plan, totally ignoring retail sales in the process.
Binary commissions capped according to affiliate ranks, which are primarily tied into recruitment, doesn’t help either.
PV requirements will eventually exceed a standard Shakeology monthly autoship order, at which point there’s nothing stopping an affiliate from putting in two orders for themselves.
In this sense the motivation behind affiliate purchases is called into question.
The retail requirements for additional positions are a step in the right direction, but why do they only apply to additional positions?
One other red-flag that stuck out like a sore thumb was this clause from the compensation plan:
Coaches who are enrolled in another network marketing opportunity or who have any member of their immediate household enrolled in another network marketing opportunity will not be eligible to earn the Star Diamond Leadership Bonus (as well as any of the other exclusive benefits listed in Section 3.9.2) such as being invited to participate in any Elite or Leadership events hosted by Beachbody).
It’s bad enough Team BeachBody demand their affiliates attend events to qualify for upper-tier bonus pool commissions, but they want to dictate how their affiliates operate in the MLM space beyond their involvement in Team BeachBody?
By all means focus on affiliate retention, but do it through providing value in your business opportunity. This nonsense of restricting affiliate commissions if they dare to engage another opportunity is not on.
And that little “DSA” logo at the bottom of every Team BeachBody page didn’t escape unnoticed. They approved Team BeachBody’s draconian affiliate restrictions? Cmon guys.
As a prospective Team BeachBody affiliate, I’d want to know the Challenge Pack figures of my potential upline over the last three months (six if you’re especially diligent).
Pay attention to how many packs were sold to affiliates and how many to retail customers. And if not enough Packs were sold to form a conclusion, weigh up how many standing autoship orders the potential upline has from affiliates versus retail customers.
Anything less than a rough 50/50 split on either account (Challenge Packs and autoship), indicates an affiliate-heavy opportunity. The compensation plan totally plays into this, so don’t be surprised to find this scenario to be the case.
That said, if statistically retail is significant, I have to say the marketing approach adopted by BeachBody had my intrigued. It might just be me looking to lose a few pounds after a particularly inactive summer (sweltering hot days and no nearby beach!), but I did think that some of BeachBody’s courses were pretty affordable.
Whether they work or not? Well one would only need to gauge the fitness level and physique of the affiliate you are buying from.
Perhaps not totally fair without consideration as to how long they’ve been with the company, but let’s face it – being a product of the product here is going to count for your target market.
Nobody is buying BeachBody courses and products from a tubby affiliate.