I can still remember the first time I touched pjur’s signature silicone lubricant. It was unlike anything I’d ever felt before in the condom aisle of a drugstore. It didn’t feel natural at all — it felt better than natural.
While working the counter at a small-town adult boutique, my manager was apt to educate her staff on the finer points of selling and merchandising lubes. There was a simple reason she reserved the top, eye-level shelf for all of the pjur products. After a few minutes of rubbing my fingers together — still slick and not at all sticky — I knew exactly what personal moisturizers I’d be pushing the next time someone wandered over to the lube wall.
The feedback [we get from pjur consumers] just gives us back everything we put in this brand each and every day.
Over two decades since opening up shop — and more than 10 years from my last day on the job as a retail clerk — pjur is still holding the bar somewhere high up in the stars for lubricant standards. I chatted with founder and CEO Alexander Geibel to find out what it takes to craft pjur's selection of lube.
XBIZ: What inspired you to start a luxury lube company?
Giebel: I had the idea about developing a personal lubricant based on silicone about 25 years ago. Condoms were always sold with silicone-based lubricant on it, but there wasn’t one silicone lubricant on the market that came in a single bottle, although this formula has some big advantages in comparison to the water-based one. Silicone is not absorbed by the skin and so can lead to much longer fun. The idea was born and we developed and sold the first silicone-based personal lubricant to the worldwide adult market. My vision was to create products for everybody’s sexual wellbeing with pure, high-quality ingredients, which is why we chose the name “pjur” (pronounced: pure). It is directly connected to the word purity.
XBIZ: How did pjur get its start and what did you sell upon launching?
Giebel: In the beginning, we had one lube, which we marketed in Europe first, and then — very quickly — in the U.S. and Australia too. It was the famous Original, the first silicone-based personal lubricant that had been marketed on a global level. This innovation reached millions of people around the world. Until now, pjur Original still is our top seller worldwide.
XBIZ: What were some unique hurdles pjur had to overcome in running a specialty lube business?
Giebel: Our products are medical devices, as they are used inside the body. Medical devices are separated into different classes around the world, which need to fulfill a lot of requirements and regulations. This is the huge difference to other companies in our business. So, the hurdles we have to jump, like the tons of certificates and registrations, are good ones in the end, as they exist to make lives safer. With our products, every dealer and every wholesaler can be sure that all needed certifications exist.
XBIZ: How does pjur position itself in marketing and branding for consumers?
Giebel: Our priority is and has always been high quality. This is what our brand stands for and what our products are. Our yellow dot stands for uncompromising quality and everybody just need to look for the yellow dot in a shop to know where to get good quality products. Our marketing materials and our global and unique CI also shows that this is the most important point for us. During the past years, we recognized that quality is something nearly everybody looks for.
XBIZ: The industry already knows pjur’s emphasis on sex and product education for wholesale customers, but does pjur also offer sex education for consumers?
Giebel: Yes, this is a very important subject for us. There are many people — even in the western world — who know very little about their own body and their sexual preferences. With our blog on pjurLove.com we try to encourage people in making new experiences with themselves or their partners. Apart from that, there are a couple of sex experts and nurses who recommend pjur personal lubricants during their work. We also support a charity project in Laos from CARE, which aims for sex education and maternal health in rural areas in this poor country.
XBIZ: What are some memorable comments or stories you’ve heard from consumers about how your products have positively impacted their lives?
Giebel: Great question! We often receive feedback from customers that tell us how great our products are. But the most touching ones are always from people who had big discomforts before. There was an Australian woman for example, who wrote us an email explaining that after radiation therapy her mucous membrane got so dry she wasn’t even able to walk without pain. She said that our pjur med Premium glide really changed her life as she now was able to enjoy sports and having sex with her partner again. The feedback just gives us back everything we put in this brand each and every day.
XBIZ: How has pjur changed over the years? What are you offering now that’s a big leap from where you began?
Giebel: Over the years, we’ve become more and more professional. We have a huge quality department in Luxembourg, which ensures that all requirements by the FDA, TGA or the European Health Authorities are followed. At the beginning we sold one personal lubricant. Right now, we market more than 60 products in over 70 countries of the world. This means that we have a product for every consumer and every need. Of course, our small team from the beginning also grew up to a global pjur team with offices in Luxembourg, the U.S. and exclusive partners all over the world.
XBIZ: What’s keeping the pjur team on their toes for the remainder of 2018?
Giebel: We have many shows and house fairs to come in the U.S. in the remainder of 2018 where we will present our new global “pjur gives you more” campaign. It is a long-term campaign containing co-ops, product trainings, POS materials, etc. One thing, which will also be part of the trainings is the new product line pjur SPA — which made a big splash at July’s ANME because of its innovative and brand-new formula: a clear massage lotion without any oil or fat, but with slight odors. People should just try it out and contact our U.S. Sales Manager John Marinello for product trainings.