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TMCnet Reprint - From Tupperware to VoIP

By Rich Tehrani
March 03, 2005

Forget Tupperware parties baby, the future is VoIP parties. Remember the good old days where women (now I donít mean to be sexist but it really was almost all women, right?) would come together and buy Tupperware? Well now that Tupperware is commoditized Ė you can buy it cheap in any grocery store. Well not Tupperware perhaps but something similar. You get the idea.

I was reminded about Tupperware, Amway and a host of other network marketing business models when I saw that a major VoIP provider is working with a company called 5LINX to sell its services through 11,000 independent representatives around the country. Will it work? Probably. These referral oriented businesses do work. Not all the people in the world, read blogs and fantasize about winning the lottery so they can blow it all on A/V equipment and ever-more powerful computers. Some people actually rely on these sorts of parties to buy things.

Here is a salient excerpt discussing how the service will be branded from a recent release:

The Globalinx ( branded offering encompasses voice and video broadband phone services. The VoIP solution allows Internet users to enhance the functionality of their high speed connection with a telephone service that is affordable, as easy to use as a regular telephone, and bundled with many advanced features (e.g., voice mail, caller ID, call waiting, call waiting caller ID, call forwarding, hold, line-alternate, 3-way conferencing, web access to account controls, etc.) not included with traditional circuit-switched telephone services. The standalone VideoPhone is the industry's first exceptional quality, consumer priced videophone that uses a standard broadband internet connection to transmit high quality audio and crisp instant-on video communications.

VoIP in theory should be sold like any other telecom service and like any other product for that matter. What I mean is use every channel you can find to distribute your product. This is a great move on the providerís part. Will it work? That is to be decided but the bottom line is the deal probably cost little to no money to put together and there is likely only upside potential.

How does Vonage one-up this announcement? Simple. Girl-Scout branded VoIP service. You think I kid. Well maybe I do but why not? Imagine how popular the idea could become in an Atkins inspired age. Here is a nice marketing slogan for them to try. Watch your weight fall while you make that call!

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