opinion

Product Packaging With A Purpose

Ariana Rodriguez

Essential to the marketing of adult goods, product packaging is prudently developed by manufacturers to target various demographics with a range of themes, concepts and personalities that will make an impact on retailers’ shelves.

“Retailers are taken into consideration for packaging every bit as much, if not more than the consumer who buys the product,” Pipedream CEO Nick Orlandino said. “With the glut of product saturating the market, real estate space on store walls is more valuable than ever. So we design our packaging to be as spacesaving and retailer-friendly as possible. Many items can be merchandised on a slat wall as well as stocked on a flat shelf in a store to give the retailer the option. We also offer more merchandising and plan-o-gram support on how to properly display packaging together in your store.”

Retailers are taken into consideration for packaging every bit as much, if not more than the consumer who buys the product. - Nick Orlandino, CEO Pipedream

Lavi Yedid, managing director of NS Novelties, said that packaging’s resilience is particularly important considering the handling and interaction with products at the store level.

“Placing the window in the back of the box makes the seller’s job so much easier,” Yedid said. “We make our high-end product boxes easy to open so one can view the product without damaging the overall packaging. This makes it particularly suitable for sales to the next customer.

“We opted to stay away from clam shells and plastic boxes, using a unique printed paper box which still includes a back window so the consumer can view the actual item,” he said. “We took it a step further with our glass collection placing two windows — one on each side of the box — so the vibrancy and clarity of the glass products can be appreciated by the buyer before they’re even removed from the box.”

According to Yedid, NS Novelties’ range of more than 100 items can be divided into five categories: “high-end, white box products, Renegade, Crystal glass and fun boxes with color splash,” with the intention for retailers to create displays.

“Each group features 20-30 pieces each of similar packaging which once assembled on the wall, provides a visually appealing display instantly,” Yedid said.

For shoppers, Yedid said NS Novelties features detailed product information in a simplified format on its packaging.

“We start with placing the product image right on the front of the box in the actual size and color found inside,” he said. “Then we place a colored stripe on the bottom of the package that denotes the material used. For example, all our TPE/TPR/jelly products have a light blue stripe with the word ‘Jelly’ right on the front. That eliminates the searching and guess work often required to find material descriptions for a particular item. At a quick glance one can locate all the Jelly products that are available under NS Novelties.”

CalExotics Director of Marketing Al Bloom says there is a science to determining how much information to feature on a product’s packaging.

“We always take into consideration the 10-second rule,” Bloom said. “Ten seconds is the average amount of time a shopper will spend looking at a package before deciding to buy. We strive to make sure they can get all the valuable information they need to make their purchasing decision quickly and effectively.”

CalExotics President and CEO Susan Colvin is considered an industry pioneer in part for her role in revolutionizing adult product packaging.

“It was almost 20 years ago when Susan started the company,” Bloom said. “Back then, sexy models and porn stars frequented toy packaging. Susan intuitively understood that in order to attract the right demographic, the packaging needed to be female-friendly. As a result, CalExotics introduced some of the market’s first packaging targeting women and couples.”

Pipedream’s Nick Orlandino agrees that packaging has evolved to be more neutral through the years — however sexy models are still effective marketing tools.

“If you look at the vibrators we made even five years ago, most featured a ‘porn star’ type on the packaging,” Orlandino said. “Today you see more and more vibrators and pleasure products without a sexy girl on the packaging. Our Le Reve packaging for instance, is going to appeal more to a woman or couple who is shy and reserved sexually, who would be turned off to the same vibrator packaged with a sexy woman on the box.

“There is still room for sexy girls on packaging of course,” Orlandino continued. “You see models on all of the items in our Fetish Fantasy Series and sub-brands. The model gives the customer a way to connect with the product inside. You want to be the model, you want to experience the same ecstasy and fantasy he or she is living out in the photos on the packaging. It tells the story of how to use what is inside the box, which is a definite must when you are selling to people who are new to BDSM.”

Pipedream recently began posting a series of entries on its company blog called “Who’s That Girl?” in response to consumers’ fascination with the models featured on its packaging.

“‘Who’s That Girl?’ was started to answer that very question from consumers who write to us about the models on our packaging,” Orlandino said. “When we get different guys asking about the same girl over and over, we post a blog with additional information about the model, where to follow online if available, and try to provide a little photo gallery with racier images we can get away with on our blog, but aren’t social media site safe. It’s by far the most visited series on our blog!”

JOPEN Brand Manager Robin Stewart says packaging is the most visible, omnipresent brand ambassador and is designed to present a message — while luxury is the focus for the company’s Vanity Collection, JOPEN’s Intensity takes an educational approach.

“With its signature ‘V’ — in the vibrant Vanity-fuchsia color — juxtaposed against a crisp, white, box, the packaging for Vanity commands attention,” Stewart said. “The box is minimalistic, soft to the touch, and ribbed with a slight texture. For storage we include a printed travel bag with each Vanity item.

“Being a truly unique and revolutionary product, Intensity’s packaging is both stylish and informative. The colorful box sleeve contains product info and selling features to help inform and educate the would-be buyer in several different languages. Inside the sleeve the dark purple interior box makes for discreet storage. The interior foam lining cradles Intensity to keep it safe during shipping.”

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