The reserved Brit is a stereotype that has all but been debunked by last year’s friendly, colorful and exuberant Olympic Games, and of course by a certain trilogy of monochrome themed books that have made a modest impact on the world of erotic publishing. But you would be mistaken for believing 2012 was the genesis of Britain’s gregarious and adventurous blossoming.
For a decade the fun-loving and friendly team at Rocks-Off have been striving to put a smile on the faces of us Brits as Ian Marshall, one of the founder directors, explained to us.
The enormous success of Rock-Chick really led the way to our range of boy’s toys as surprisingly we were finding that the fan base consisted of both female and male users.
Marshall: “Rocks-off was founded 10 years ago and was the brain child of Gary Elliott, Sandra Elliott and myself. Our launch on to the market began with the ground-breaking Rock-Chick, but this was only achieved after many months of planning, much investment and research into the industry as to what was available in terms of functionality, design and feel, in other words — our products really had to reach the standards that we were saying they would and Rock-Chick was innovative on all of these levels.
We wanted our products to be powerful, bold, aesthetically pleasing and above all, be like no other on the market at that time. We then launched our RO-80 bullet which now boasts sales of over 5 million units worldwide and climbing! The extra buzz with our toys is that most of them are actually 2 toys in one as once you remove the body safe silicone sleeve you have the bullet for targeted stimulation.”
XBIZ: Rocks-Off has steadily expanded and developed its range since its original offering, what has driven that expansion?
“The enormous success of Rock-Chick really led the way to our range of boy’s toys as surprisingly we were finding that the fan base consisted of both female and male users as guys were using Rock-Chick as prostate and perineum massagers and were experiencing the most fantastic results so it made perfect sense to develop this further and now we have over 47 products, providing 95 lines. Rocks-Off is now the largest manufacturer in the U.K. and we supply to major distributors and wholesalers on all continents and are now one of the largest European suppliers for own brand and branded products. All of our products are developed in-house with a team of designers, engineers and developers who are working constantly to add to the range but also to look at how we can improve on what we have and I have to say that we have some very exciting products that are currently in development that we can’t wait to roll out to the market and our consumers.”
Your original products are still part of the Rocks-Off catalog, how do you ensure the continued success of a product over a decade?
“The success of the [RO-80mm] bullet just goes on and on and now we’ve ramped it up further with our new seven setting version that is available in a range of seven printed and color change options. Inspired by our success in the bullet market we have also launched a new boutique bullet range with the beautifully feminine Ro-Lux and Ro-Mona which were launched at ANME in January this year along with another five products so just when you think a good thing just can’t get better, it actually does!
Our Boy range continues to be a great success and is now an iconic range within the prostate toy market. We have some new prostate designs in progress that will launch throughout the year, as you would expect from Rocks-Off they are unique functional designs.”
So, alongside the new pleasure products you are constantly developing existing designs like the newer, refined Rock-Chick that appeared a few years ago?
“Rock-Chick is the most enduring of the product range, it was our original product and at the time the design was ground-breaking. You can expect to see a new version of Rock-Chick launched this year.
“However the RO-80mm bullet, Rock-Chick and the Boys are victims of their own success and are now the most plagiarized products within the adult toy market. Some say we should take this as a compliment but we don’t! We have a large budget to fight IP infringements and have recently employed our own in-house attorney Surjit Okram to take care of all our IP matters.”
Is the U.S. market substantially different from that in the U.K. and Europe, have your range of products been well received?
“We have been trading within the North American market for seven years now and have good relationships with all of the large distribution houses and wholesalers across the board. The U.K./European markets are treated with the same level of service. We see our customers as part of the RO family and it’s important that we maintain a good working relationship with them while making sure that our products maintain our expected level of excellence in terms of both quality and functionality. ANME is a fantastic show for us and this year the uptake and interest in the new products was exceptional!”
What sort of support do you give to retailers in the shape of POS displays, advertising and online?
“We believe that once you’re a customer of RO it’s part of our ethos to give you as much assistance as you need, so everything from hi-res imagery, banners, posters, display and POS is all part of the service, we will even theme and design store windows for promotions. We are also planning a number of new incentives for our distributors along with educational support for our product range.”
Who should prospective distributors, retailers etc. contact for product information and sales support?
“We have a full team of advisors and sales executives here and everyone from board members through to our admin people are happy to work with our customers to achieve what they need. We’ve recently taken on a new international sales director, Andrea Duffy, who will be assisted by Leigh Dedhar (sales manager) and Louise White (customer care account executive) to further add to the service.”
What can you tell us about Rocks-Off’s plans for the next 12 months?
“It’s certainly exciting times at Rocks-Off as well as having a raft of new products due for release, there’s also some changes to our existing range that will make everyone want them all over again.”