Toying With the Future
In looking to the future, many adult novelty manufacturers foresee a growing marketplace that extends beyond adult retail. In 2010, several companies took significant steps toward producing pleasure items that appeal to a greater demographic and are now looking to the New Year to focus on further expansion.
Luxury brand LELO is aiming to be recognized as a lifestyle brand that captures the feeling of sensuality through products that encompass a range of categories.
“We are branching off into other markets besides the adult products — including cosmetics, massage oils and lounge wear,” LELO’s Jill Beaverson said. “We hope to establish a presence based on success with the pleasure objects.”
LELO made major headway this year with its products selling at Fred Segal’s RonRobinson boutique in Los Angeles. “Eventually we hope to establish LELObranded shops in all of the major U.S. cities — Chicago, New York, Los Angeles — and beyond,” Beaverson said.
Paradise Marketing CEO Dennis Paradise predicts that the adult business will experience a big push in 2011 as a result of some very big consumer product companies entering the toy market with massive consumer-oriented advertising and promotion.
“I believe that it will be of a magnitude that it will substantially increase the number of people who buy toys and the amount of money that people are willing to pay for sex toys,” Paradise said. “And I think both of those increases are significant, positive bumps that are coming for the adult business.”
The massive consumer product companies that Paradise expects to step into the adult toy business are those that excel in sales, marketing and packaging.
“Their participation alone will help legitimize the industry and increase the number of people buying sex toys by very large numbers,” Paradise said. “The number of sex toy users across the board will rise and the amount of money spent within the adult space to promote and market these products within the category will increase exponentially.”
BMS Enterprises PR and media representative, Amanda Chen, said that in 2011, BMS will continue to expand on its co-branding efforts.
“We have a ‘Powered by PowerBullet’ logo we plan to put on the packaging of all products that contain our technology,” Chen said. “We’ve had ad campaigns showing a plane or a lawn mower being ‘Powered by PowerBullet.’ Basically, we’re trying to show the world that we are manufacturing super-charged vibrators.”
The company most recently shared its technology with CalExotics for the release of its new luxury collection called Vanity by Jopen.
“Green” manufacturing and organic products, which have substantially dominated several — if not all — consumer markets, will continue as a prevailing trend in adult products, according to Sliquid CEO Dean Elliott.
“Sliquid will continue working toward its goal of sustainability and green business practices while working directly with its chemist team to discover and use more plant-derived and natural alternatives to synthetic and chemical additives,” he said. “2011 will be a year of organic evolution as more companies realize the benefit and necessity of ‘going green’ in both their manufacturing and development processes. Sliquid is proud to already have set the standard.”
Synergy Erotic CEO Bob Wolf said packaging will play a key role in his company’s efforts to increase its market penetration in the U.S.
“Our new look will allow distributors to offer our products to retailers as a unified ‘package’ rather than individual pieces, thus giving distributors the opportunity for more sizeable orders,” Wolf said. “The new look will then allow the retailers to market Synergy products in a consolidated display, with a sharp, bold look attracting customers in a way our individual packaging theme has not.”
In spite of the economy, Wolf said Synergy Erotic invested heavily in a new internal structure. With a new state-of-the-art software program in place, Wolf said Synergy Erotic is prepped for a better economy.
“Our belief is when the economy rights itself and business increases, Synergy Erotic will be well-armed to make the best use of this dynamic new tool,” he said. “This new software has also allowed us to streamline our operation and keep a tighter rein on inventory, and therefore costs.
“Also expect to see some strategic partnerships both national and abroad to further spread our brand, message and product quality throughout the entire adult market.”
Similarly, Baci Lingerie COO Robert Rosen said that the company’s plans for the upcoming year also include exclusive partnership agreements to grow the company’s brand of “affordable luxury.”
Baci Lingerie also will debut its new Black Label Collection next year, beginning in January during the Salon International de la Lingerie show.
“We feel that the Black Label Collection will create an entirely new category of lingerie that the world has never seen before and ultimately change the industry forever,” Rosen said.
According to Rosen, the future of lingerie points to high-end designs offered at low prices — and Baci Lingerie is consistently resourcing and determining how to best accomplish best quality lingerie “for the lowest price in the world.”
Dan Gasper, commercial manager for JeJoue, said that the high-end sex toy manufacturer will continue its focus in 2011 to offer the high-quality retailer support in form of staff product training, innovative and bespoke marketing activity, luxurious range displays and intelligent point-of-sale techniques and tools. Gasper said that an additional staff member was recently appointed to focus solely on retail staff education.
“Je Joue believes that the staff member who speaks to a customer on his or her first-ever visit to a sex toy store is the most important person in the industry,” Gasper said. “We want to empower the hard-working sex-positive retail teams of North America and make sure we give them everything they need to help spread the message that the sex toy world is undergoing a huge change, that luxury brands create and offer innovative and lush products to replace the stereotypical, embarrassing and poor-quality novelties of yesterday.
“Small and focused companies like Je Joue are leading the way with this industry evolution, and with every new product, educational marketing campaign, and friendly face on the retail end, the public consumers also will experience a stellar 2011 — and beyond!”