Home > Features > Marketing BDSM • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

FEATURE

Marketing BDSM

Marketing BDSM

July 24, 2008
Text size: 
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
  40.56%
Yes, but in a few years
  37.06%
No
  22.38%
Out of 143 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.

" Packaging and marketing BDSM products to women and couples is a challenge. "

I don't know about you, but one of the first fantasies I had when I thought of pushing the edge of my sexual comfort zone had to do with silk scarves restraining my partner. Last time I checked, that is borderline bondage. Many people would never admit they are into bondage, because society has programmed us to think bondage=pain=dirty. It's important for people to understand that bondage does not necessarily involve pain. Bondage tests your trust with your partner, and it can increase intimacy and romance. Add a blindfold to the mix and your other senses take over, especially the sense of touch — who would say no to that?

Girls love sharing their sexual experiences, dreams and desires over a glass of wine with the gals. Over the years, I have had lots of these delicious conversations with my girlfriends. Not being a guy, I can't say for sure, but I have heard of similar locker room discussions of conquests and whatnot. Gradually, bondage is creeping its way into these conversations, because bondage is sexy.

For people who are just beginning to branch out sexually, tasteful packaging is the best way to attract those customers. Spartacus' recent total packaging overhaul is helping consumers, especially women, to visualize themselves using our products. We do this by making our packaging bright and educational, and by adding teaser text to tickle their hidden desires. When you get right down to it, our packaging is seductive but respectful — exactly the thing most women want — a little naughty, but still tasteful. Most women love to shop, and what partner would turn down an adventurous night of trying new things in bed?

More and more women feel comfortable enough to come into boutiques to explore the options available to help them achieve enhanced sexual relations. In our shop in Portland, Ore., we see women shopping in groups during an evening out, couples on a date together, and guys sent on a mission to restock a bedside item. Good packaging can make products approachable to all consumers, and it is an opportunity for all manufacturers, big and small. You might think packaging elements that appeal to the soccer mom in the suburb would be a total turnoff to a gay man in San Francisco. This kind of thinking has led companies to focus whole product lines on one demographic to try to cash in on that specific market. At Spartacus, our ultimate goal is to have packaging so eye catching it will stop anyone, appeal to them, and make them want to touch it, no matter their gender, relationship status or culture.

How do we do that, you ask? I think most manufacturers would agree that it is a challenge, even with the best graphic staff and photography. We like to use bright color combinations to help catch the customer's eye, but even this is an art form. Having an art staff that is in touch with current design trends is a key to our success.

"Marketing to anyone" is really just a fancy name for educating your audience. Yeah, we could get technical — and trust me, I have read a lot about marketing — but the bottom line is that everyone appreciates education. For us, that education is about the intimacy, romance and trust that BDSM creates. This comes through in our packaging photos and text and so much more. We always strive to appeal to everyone, from those just starting to play to the people who live BDSM as a lifestyle choice.

We love bondage beginners, because they are a very large group who can often be game for anything. You would be amazed at how many beginners start with one of our ball gags. We also find many people may start out with a beginners fabric set from another manufacturer, love it, and then come back for our line. We call that graduation day. We explain on our packaging what they might experience while using our products, which helps them feel more comfortable buying our products. As they get more into the experience, they may cross over to some of our fetish items.

People who live BDSM as a lifestyle love our lockable leather restraints, leather spreader bars, and other heavy-duty items. We chose a different look for these items, the Extreme Line, which is more edgy, but still tasteful and artistic. We even expanded this line because it was so well received. With the packaging for this line, our graphic artist used men, women and two men together. We really like how she tried to appeal to everyone, but kept the look consistent.

We have gotten such great feedback from CEOs, buyers and store clerks about how easy we make merchandising our products. Manufacturers can encourage a beautiful display by keeping the look of product categories consistent, using packages of similar shape and size, and keeping the color palette complementary. Whether they group our line together on our floor rack or split it out between different categories in their stores, the overall impression is eye catching and appealing to any shopper.

Packaging and marketing BDSM products to women and couples is a challenge. With our 21 years of experience, we know it is possible. We strive to be tasteful and respectful to all audiences to try to bring people together — one very healthy, satisfied customer at a time.


OPINIONS & VIEWS

Boundaries of Language in Advertising

The second of two parts on Peru. The first part appeared in XBIZ World’s August issue. “While planning our trip we worried about the obvious risks — altitude sickness, food and water.... More »

Witnessing a New Dawn in Adult?

Last month I was asked by XBIZ to provide a short blurb for a magazine feature that asked the question: “What will the paysite market look like five years from now?” What I said was, “I’m... More »

See Bigger Picture, Participate and Stand United

Anyone who’s worked in the adult industry in the past five years knows the challenges we’ve faced. Some people have even questioned staying in the business. After all, between cheap content,... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

eroFame

Oct 05 - Oct 07
Hannover, Germany

EXXXOTICA Edison

Nov 04 - Nov 06
Edison, New Jersey

2016 Inked Awards

Nov 05 - Nov 05
Edison, New Jersey

XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!