Standard Innovation Corporation CEO Danny Osadca sat down with XBIZ during the International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas to discuss the company’s relationships with channel partners, future plans, as well as its current litigations with LELO.
What are Standard Innovation’s goals when attending a regional show such as ILS?
It’s disappointing that [LELO] chose to go that route but we will defend ourselves and protect all of our distributors and retailers. —Danny Osadca CEO, We-Vibe.
At ILS or any other show, our goal is to meet with channel partners to get their insight. We meet with distributors to discuss feedback from retailers. Standard Innovation is geared toward learning, getting feedback and incorporating it into future product designs and marketing efforts. We place a great importance on our relationships with channel partners that also include direct accounts with retailers. We are always here to learn.
How many channel partners does Standard Innovation have? Are they global?
We sell in 50 countries around the world — from Australia to Asia, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the U.S. The fact that we’re in 50 countries is amazing to me, and I’m in awe of the number of people that ask for We-Vibe. I, myself, have traveled 250,000 miles meeting with distributors and retailers. We rely on distributors around the world to help us learn from them how to best customize our sales approach.
How do face-to-face meetings at events such as ILS serve your channel partners?
For me it helps a lot. In the two years that I’ve been with Standard Innovation, I’ve gotten to know our retailers and distributors and the face-to-face meetings help to better understand the nuances of our international partners. There are a lot of nuances that get lost in translation otherwise. We’ve made it our mission to establish good relationships and have everyone get to know our team. We’re a small team but we’re all very active in developing relationships. We want to be known as the best manufacturer to work with — one that meets commitments offering the greatest product and support.
A recent Huffington Post article mentioned We-Vibe being in talks with a major U.S. drugstore chain for distribution. Does Standard Innovation have its sight set on the mainstream retail market?
We are currently in two large drugstore chains in Canada — Rexall and London Drugs — and are currently working on a third. We’re also in discussion with several large chains in the U.S., and are confident that we’ll get that placement in 2013. Clearly, the drugstore market sees that our sexual wellness focus complements their business.
Can you comment on Standard Innovation’s patent litigations?
The lawsuit is based on a pioneering patent — meaning it was invented by us. Bruce Murison made a tough decision to buy that patent. We’ve assessed the situation and made a decision to protect it. It was a revolutionary patent. The U.S. International Trade Commission could’ve rejected our application but they did not. [UPDATE: On June 17, the ITC ruled in favor of Standard Innovation, issuing a general exclusion and cease and desist order against all infringing Lelo Inc. products. “The We-Vibe team is extremely pleased by the Commission’s ruling,” said Danny Osadca, CEO, Standard Innovation. “We can now get back to what We-Vibe does best, inventing and bringing to market premium, body-safe sexual health products. Thank you to our loyal partners. We greatly appreciate the support you have given us throughout this case. We are also sincerely grateful to the ITC for allowing us to engage in this process.”]
We believe that the suit LELO most recently brought forth is a retaliatory move. They’ve taken an aggressive approach sending cease and desist letters to our channel partners. It’s disappointing that they chose to go that route but we will defend ourselves and protect all of our distributors and retailers.
The message I’ve gotten from the industry regarding this situation is that they support us and accept that we will vigorously defend our brand.
In the meantime, we have thrilling new products coming out this year. We’re also celebrating our five-year anniversary this year. Actually, five years ago at ILS is where Melody and Bruce Murison launched the We-Vibe.