Beachbody, whose formal name is Product Partners, LLC, is a network marketing company out of Santa Monica, CA, that specializes in fitness products ranging from workout DVDs to fitness gear and weight-loss and muscle-building supplements.
The signature Beachbody product is P90X, a total program of workouts, detailed nutrition and fitness plans, supplements, online support, and fitness information developed by Tony Horton, a famous fitness guru known for working with celebrities and for his frequent appearances in TV infomercials. This extreme program promises radical results to people who stick with the plan for just 90 days.
Beachbody doesn’t just offer extreme workouts, although those products are heavily featured on the main page of the company’s website. There are also programs for slimming down as well as programs that incorporate Yoga and dance moves to create fun workouts.
The company also offers an online support community, Team Beachbody, to help customers stay committed and motivated to achieve their health and fitness goals. Membership in Team Beachbody includes a discount on Beachbody products, personalized meal plans, and entry in a contest that awards one member $1,000 each day. Team Beachbody was founded in 2007 by Beachbody co-founder Carl Daikeler.
Vision, Mission, and Goals
While the Beachbody corporate website does not list specific mission or values statements, the site does say that the company is operated according to 4 core values:
1. Commit and deliver on your promises.
2. Treat people with respect and be courageously forthright.
3. Take initiative to improve everything.
4. Work with passion, enthusiasm, and common sense.
Beachbody distributors aren’t just distributors—they’re called Coaches. And according to the company information and their website, the Coaches are expected to fill that role, if only online, by encouraging customers to keep going with their fitness goals.
In addition to selling products, Coaches check in with customers to see how they’re doing and encourage them to sign up for Team Beachbody, which provides additional materials to help them get the most out of their personal health and fitness regimens.
Coaches are also required to share their before-and-after stories as well as photos of themselves as they work with and benefit from Beachbody products.
The company is currently managed by its co-founders, Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, with Laura Ross acting as Vice President of Development.
Daikeler brings 23 years of direct marketing experience to his role at Beachbody, with experience “in every aspect of the direct response business, from creating products to advertising, media buying, operations, international distribution, and general management,” according to the company website.
In 2007, Daikeler founded Team Beachbody with the goal of making the online service “the largest community of health- and ﬁtness–related peer support in the world,” again according to the company website.
Beachbody was co-founded by Jon Congdon in 1998. Or, more accurately, Daikeler founded Beachbody and Congdon founded Product Partners.
According to the business-rating site Hoover’s, Beachbody earned $19.6 million in sales in 2009. This figure represents a significant drop from the $139 million in sales the company racked up in 2006, the year Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Beachbody 69th in its Hot 500 list of fastest-growing companies.
Congdon brings a variety of experience to the company, having worked for Proctor & Gamble and taught science for more than 3 years in California. Daikeler and Congdon met when they both worked for infomercial marketer Guthy-Renker.
Daikeler and Congdon were ﬁnalists for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005. In addition to overseeing Product Partners’ Breakthrough in Beauty division, Congdon takes an active role in Beachbody, even going so far as to be a test-group participant for the company’s Power90 and P90X products.
Anyone who visits the Beachbody website’s home page will come away with the idea that the company is about extreme workouts and extreme workouts only. With Tony Horton’s P90X program, a program called Insanity, and all of the photos of the 6-pack abs on the page, a person would certainly be justified in forming that opinion.
However, a further look reveals that Beachbody covers lots of different fitness goals. There are hints of this even on the company’s home page, with a 6-week slimming program and the Brazil Butt Lift program mixed in with the more hard-core offerings.
Just 1 or 2 clicks off the main page, though, and the depth of Beachbody’s product lines becomes more apparent. The company has a workout to help manage diabetes (developed with the American Diabetes Association), a program to help pregnant women stay in shape, and a program for kids. There are programs that incorporate Yoga and programs that use dance.
Beachbody’s prices come down significantly when one clicks off the main page, too. While the P90X program will set you back $119.95 plus shipping and handling, other programs cost as little as $19.95.
In addition to workout programs on DVD, Beachbody also offers a full line of nutritional supplements and shakes designed to help burn fat, increase muscle, and improve nutrition. The line includes everything from meal-replacement shakes to multivitamins and calcium-magnesium supplements to support healthy bones.
Beachbody offers the majority of these products at prices similar to what you can find at any health-food store, with prices ranging from $17.95 to an admittedly unusually expensive $119.95 for the company’s Shakeology protein shake.
Finally, Beachbody offers a line of workout gear ranging from weights and heart monitors to Yoga mats, and they also offer the kind of exercise wear that’s usually available in any of the larger gyms.
Becoming a Coach will set you back $39.95 plus $14.95 a month for access to your own customizable Beachbody website. The company also encourages Coaches to purchase the Beachbody Showcase Fitness pack for $199.99 and to join the Beachbody Club for $38.87 quarterly.
That’s what Coaches invest. But how do they make money?
Beachbody’s compensation plan is quite complex and is spelled out in a 14-page document complete with glossary.
On one hand, this is a good thing in that the company is very complete and thorough about making sure prospective Coaches understand the terms of the Beachbody contract before they sign (the compensation plan makes up the last section of the 44-page Policies and Procedures manual).
On the other hand, the compensation plan itself is sufficiently complex that it may well turn some prospective Coaches off.
Basically, Beachbody Coaches can earn money in 8 different ways, ranging from retail commissions to commissions that are paid based on the performance of the Coaches they recruited for their downline. The retail commissions are pretty straightforward: 25% of retail sales of product and 15% on the sales to customers whom Coaches have enrolled in the Beachbody Club.
Coaches also receive 50% of the monthly dues of anyone they personally enroll in the Beachbody Club.
There are additional bonuses for purchases made by Coaches you recruit and on the “Team Volume” points earned by the right and left legs of your downline.
However, once a Coach starts ascending in the ranks, the compensation plan becomes more complicated. Please see the article about Beachbody’s compensation plan in the Beachbody section of MLM Files for more information.
Beachbody, under the name Product Partners, LLC, has been an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau since 2000 and has been given a rating of A by the BBB. The BBB noted a total of 740 complaint against Beachbody in the last 36 months, all of which had been resolved.
And while Beachbody doesn’t make this information readily available on its website, the Direct Selling Association has confirmed that the company is a member.
The only evidence of the company’s involvement in any litigation is a press release from August 2009 describing a suit that Beachbody filed against Costco for copyright infringement on some of Beachbody’s most popular products.
While extreme workouts certainly have their place, a company that sold only these kinds of programs would have very limited appeal.
Fortunately, Beachbody is not such a company. While Beachbody does stress the extreme workout side of things, the company also offers a complete range of programs, supplements, and gear to benefit everyone from diabetics and pre-diabetics to pregnant women to those who just want to lose some weight and get in better shape.
In other words, Beachbody offers something for everyone who is trying to beat back his or her personal contribution to America’s obesity epidemic.
With a wide range of prices, Beachbody also offers something for almost any budget. This fact coupled with the variety of Beachbody products will make it easier for prospective Coaches to target their own personal market niche.
In addition, the company is more flexible than many when it comes to allowing Coaches to both customize their company websites and creating sites of their own to link to their company sites. This creates an even larger prospective market for Beachbody Coaches who make good use of the tools provided by Internet marketing.
Finally, the company itself spends millions on TV and Web advertising and funnels warm leads to its higher-performing Coaches. That is a tangible sign of the support that Beachbody provides its sales force.
True, being a Beachbody Coach is almost as much of a lifestyle choice as it is a business choice. But for people who want to give themselves an even better incentive to get and stay fit—or for people who want to combine their existing passion for health and fitness with a business opportunity—Beachbody seems to be a perfect fit.