Young Living: In-depth Analysis of an Essential Oils Giant


Young Living is one of the world’s most successful network marketing companies.

In 2021, the company was ranked in 7th place in the DSN Global 100 list based on revenues of $2.2B in 2020. It also ranks among the top players in the essential oils industry globally.

We prepared this in-depth analysis to figure out how Young Living achieved such success.



Section 1 – The Company

Young Living Logo

This section focuses on the company, its values, market, performance, history, and more.

What is Young Living?

Young Living Essential Oils, LC is a multi-level marketing company based in Lehi, Utah, that Donald Gary Young founded in 1993.

The company produces and sells essential oils and essential oil-infused, plant-based products. It markets its products as the best and most authentic essential oils in the world.

Market and performance

Young Living is a major player in the global essential oils market, alongside other well-known companies such as Givaudan SA, Symrise, The Lebermuth Company Inc., DuPont, Cargill Inc, and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. This is based on Reportlinker.com’s Essential Oils Global Market Report 2022.

Young Living reports that they have generated more than $1 billion in sales annually since 2015. And the last revenue report by Direct Selling News shows that Young Living (YL) made $2.2B in 2020.

This massive company has 3,300+ global employees and multiple distribution centers shipping to more than 150 countries.

History

Donald Gary Young and his wife, Mary Young, founded Young Living in 1993.

Gary was passionate and committed to producing pure and high-quality essential oils, while Mary came with extensive experience in the direct-selling industry.

YL began as a small organic herb farm with a distillation operation. In 1994, YL developed more farmland in Utah and Idaho, cultivating herbs like lavender, melissa, peppermint, and clary sage.

In 2000, Gary Young opened the Young Life Research Clinic in Springville, Utah, but later closed it after a lawsuit in 2005. Then, in 2008, COO David Stirling was fired and founded the rival company doTerra.

Later, Young Living opened the first modern commercial distillery to extract Sacred Frankincense essential oil in 2010.

In 2014, the company’s Highland Flats distillery would become the first automated, computerized, large-capacity, steam distilling facility for essential oils worldwide.

Who founded Young Living?

Donald Gary Young founded the company with his third wife, Mary Young.

Gray was regarded as the father of the modern-day essential oils movement. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2018 at the age of 69.

Who is the CEO of Young Living?

Mary Young, the YL co-founder, is the current Chief Executive Officer.

Other top executives include:

  • Ben Riley, President
  • Prasad Gankanda, Chief Sales and Operations Officer
  • Kelly Case, Chief of Staff

Who is the owner of Young Living?

YL is a family-owned company founded and run by the Youngs (D. Gary Young and Mary Young).

Where is the Young Living headquarters?

YL’s global headquarters is in Lehi, Utah, at 1538 W. Sandalwood Dr., Lehi, UT 84043.

The company also has 26 global offices spanning five continents. The offices are in Australia, Ecuador, Europe, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Company vision and mission

In line with Gary Youngs’ original vision of a steadfast commitment to essential oil purity, Young Living’s bold vision is to bring essential oils to every home in the world.

That’s guided by a mission to empower abundance, wellness, and purpose for communities around the world.

The company also has a charitable foundation, the D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation. YL states that the foundation has impacted 170+ charities and causes and 250,000+ individual lives.

Section 2 – Business Model

Amway business model

In this section, you’ll learn about Young Living’s business model. We explore the company’s profit mechanisms and the business opportunity for individuals.

How does Young Living market its services?

YL markets its products through multilevel marketing, whereby independent distributors (Young Living Brand Partners) earn sales commissions from selling Young Living’s products and recruiting new Brand Partners.

Young Living compensation model explained (video)

Young Living clearly describes its multilevel marketing program, unlike many other MLM companies whose compensation models aren’t publicly accessible.

Here’s a video from the YL YouTube channel describing the MLM structure:

Young Living’s sales compensation plan has a three-level system for Brand Partner growth.

Take note of the following terms in this compensation model:

  • Leg: A new Brand Partner becomes a new leg under a sponsor.
  • Customer Volume (CV): This includes your personal purchases (PV) and/ or your frontline (sponsored) customers.
  • Personal Group Volume (PGV): The PV outside your qualifying legs and legs ranked as Silver or higher.
  • Organization Group Volume (OGV): Monthly volume within your organization.
  • Leg OGV: Volume in individual legs.
  • Unilevel Commission: A percentage paid on the first five levels of an organization.

Based on those terms, here is the growth ranking structure for Brand Partners:

RANKQUALIFICATIONS
CVOGVLEG OGVPGV
Foundation Level
ASSOCIATE100
STAR100500
SENIOR STAR1002,000
EXECUTIVE1004,0002@1,000
Building Your Business Level
SILVER10010,0002 @ 4,0001,000
GOLD10035,0003 @ 6,0001,000
PLATINUM100100,0004 @ 8,0001,000
Developing Leaders Level
DIAMOND100250,0005 @ 15,0001,000
CROWN DIAMOND100750,0006 @ 20,0001,000
ROYAL CROWN DIAMOND1001,500,0006 @ 35,0001,000

And here is the commission structure for Brand Partners:

RANKUNILEVEL COMMISSION PERCENTAGES (LEVEL)GENERATION COMMISSION PERCENTAGES (GENERATION)
12345Personal2345678
Foundation Level
ASSOCIATE8%5%
STAR8%5%4%
SENIOR STAR8%5%4%4%
EXECUTIVE8%5%4%4%4%
Building Your Business Level
SILVER8%5%4%4%4%2.50%3%3%
GOLD8%5%4%4%4%2.50%3%3%3%
PLATINUM8%5%4%4%4%2.50%3%3%3%3%
Developing Leaders Level
DIAMOND8%5%4%4%4%2.50%3%3%3%3%3%
CROWN DIAMOND8%5%4%4%4%2.50%3%3%3%3%3%3%
ROYAL CROWN DIAMOND8%5%4%4%4%2.50%3%3%3%3%3%3%1%

How many Young Living Brand Partners are there?

YL reveals that the company got 1+ million new members in 2018, giving it 6 million members worldwide.

However, 89+% of these members only buy YL products without building a YL business. Therefore, the company likely has roughly 660,000 Brand Partners in the YL business.

How to make money on Young Living

YL Brand Partners can make money through the following methods:

  • buying and reselling YL’s products and services
  • earning commissions from personal and customer purchases
  • earning commissions from downlines after sponsoring new Brand Partners
  • getting rewards for purchases by customers and Brand Partners in your sales organization
  • a 50% Fast Start Bonus on new, personally enrolled Customers’ or Brand Partners’ orders in their first month
  • a 25% bonus (or 10% bonus to second-level enrollers) on new, personally enrolled Customers’ or Brand Partners’ orders in their 2nd and 3rd months
  • a Diamond Leadership Bonus to Diamond leaders (0.5% of monthly commissionable sales in shares)
  • the Generation Leadership Bonus (6.25% of all YL’s monthly commissionable sales, paid out in shares based on rank from Silver and above)

How much can you earn as a YL Brand Partner?

Young Living also provides a publicly accessible income disclosure on the YL website. It shows that the annual average income of all Brand Partners is $276.

Here is an excerpt from the U.S. Annual Income Disclosure Statement, published on July 2022.

RANKPERCENTAGE OF ALL BRAND PARTNERSANNUAL INCOMEMONTHS TO ACHIEVE THIS RANK
  AverageMedianAverageHighest
ASSOCIATE89.00%$3 $0 N/AN/A
STAR7.60%$275 $206 11190
SENIOR STAR2.10%$1,510 $1,278 18188
EXECUTIVE0.90%$3,671 $3,092 22187
SILVER0.30%$17,325 $13,007 27188
GOLD0.10%$54,531 $43,683 35170
PLATINUM<0.1%$135,693 $105,867 42170
DIAMOND<0.1%$374,999 $279,547 50169
CROWN DIAMOND<0.1%$596,591 $554,340 64151
ROYAL CROWN DIAMOND<0.1%$1,684,354 $1,469,339 52123
ALL BRAND PARTNERS100%$276 $0 N/AN/A

How to become a YL Brand Partner

To become a YL Brand Partner, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • submit a completed application form through the official Young Living website or by mail
  • purchase a Business Essentials Kit within 30 days of your application

How much does it cost to join Young Living?

New YL Brand Partner’s must buy the Business Essentials Kit which costs $14.95 (retail price).

The kit includes:

  • a 90-day trial of MyYL, the official, personal website for YL Brand Partners
  • an online RISE 90-day planner
  • a RISE to Royal brochure, YL Insights card, and Silver Bound flyer (all guides for your YL business)

Section 3 – Products

Young Living essential oils

This section focuses on Young Living’s products and their unique value. We review the company’s production process and what makes it stand out.

What does Young Living sell?

Young Living’s portfolio of 600+ products includes:

  • 270+ essential oils and blends
  • 60+ Savvy Minerals makeup products
  • special personal care product lines for wellness, babies, kids, men, and pets
  • 25+ Thieves® home cleaning solutions
Young Living productsPin

What’s unique about Young Living’s products?

Young Living presents its brand as having a commitment to quality and purity in its products.

The company has developed a rigorous “Seed to Seal” process that involves:

  • carefully sourcing ingredients from corporate-owned, partner, and certified farms
  • using advanced testing techniques at independent laboratories
  • implementing an ongoing auditing and monitoring program to ensure compliance with regulations

Additionally, the company works with SCS Global, an environmental and sustainability certification leader, to develop its own Essential Oils Sourcing Standard.

Moreover, the company has a new Lacey Act Compliance Program to cover all individuals and organizations in the supply chain.

Where are Young Living’s products made?

YL has an essential oil distillery in North America (The Labbeemint Partner Distillery in White Swan, Washington, USA) and 23 corporate-owned and partner farms in every continent around the world.

Young Living’s production process

Young Living states that it produces high-quality, pure oils through its Seed to Seal® process.

The process is designed to preserve the integrity and potency of essential oils throughout the entire production process.

The company’s Scientific Advisory Council provides valuable insight into developing its pioneering essential oils and oil-infused products.

In addition, Young Living built and uses a large and technologically advanced essential oil distillery in North America.

Are Young Living’s products tested and certified?

Young Living has been working with SCS Global Services (SCS), a global expert in sustainability and environmental certification, responsible sourcing, standards development, and business solutions.

They aim to advance YL’s proprietary Seed to Seal program.

YL is also certified by EarthKosher as meeting kosher standards.

Lawsuits and independent reviews of Young Living

Young Living has been subject to several legal controversies.

In 2017, the company pleaded guilty to federal misdemeanor charges for illegally trafficking rosewood and spikenard oils in violation of the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act.

YL actually voluntarily disclosed its violations and cooperated with government investigators.

In 2020, the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) found that Young Living distributors were making unsubstantiated health claims to sell YL’s products. The DSSRC recommended that the company cease using such claims.

Additionally, in 2013, Young Living filed a suit against doTerra for stealing trade secrets. YL lost the case and had to pay $1.8 million in legal fees. And in 2005, YL’s Young Life Research Clinic in Springville, Utah, settled a lawsuit with a patient.

She claimed Vitamin C infusions at the clinic caused renal failure, almost killing her. YL later closed the Utah clinic.

On the positive side, the company was featured by Utah Valley Magazine in the awards for the #1 Best Company to Work For under the professional services category in 2020.

Plus, customers have given YL’s products a high rating on Amazon of 4.2 out of 5 stars from 7,462 reviews.

Section 4 – FAQs About Young Living

Amway FAQ

This section covers the most common questions about Young Living to give you a clearer perspective of the company.

Is Young Living a pyramid scheme?

Young Living reveals that 89.5% of its millions of members are Preferred Customers, meaning that they never enrolled someone else and only purchase products to enjoy member benefits. This indicates that a significant amount of the company’s income comes from product sales rather than Brand Partner recruitment, as would be expected from a pyramid scheme.

Is Young Living approved by the FDA?

Although Young Living Essential Oils, LC has FDA Filings of multiple products (mainly as OTC medication), the products were not FDA Approved as of 2022. The FDA doesn’t regulate herbal or essential oil-related products.

Are Young Living oils from China?

YL owns many farms worldwide, including China, to get specific oils from specific regions.

Sources

Author: Victor Nyorani

Victor Nyorani - Network Marketing Start

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