XBIZ is pleased to present “Execs of 2018: The Year in Review” — a special showcase of the trends and strategies that drove success in 2018.
The industry's unsung heroes, account executives serve as the helpful face of a company and play a key role in any business’ success.
Each of the pleasure products account executives we spoke to is among the finalist nominees for the retail edition of the 2019 XBIZ Exec Awards. Representing a variety of the industry’s most respected brands, the Account Executive of the Year — Pleasure Products nominees share their take on the year’s biggest trends.
What trends were most valuable to business this year?
Account Executive, Screaming O
“I think we’re still seeing a consumer trend towards affordable quality. Additional bells and whistles that lack meaningful functionality do not bring value to today’s savvy buyers. More isn’t always better, especially when a toy is more expensive but less effective. We always strive to provide products that balance being affordable and accessible with the thoughtful design and quality our customers have come to enjoy. This is something that we continue to build upon with our Charged line of rechargeable vibrators; so, it’s been exciting to see it resonate well with our customer base.”
Brand Ambassador, COTR
“The most valuable trends I have seen this year: (1) the innovation of sexual technology has grown tremendously, allowing companies like COTR, Inc. to represent today’s consumer appeal for a higher, pleasurable experience. (2) Seeing the value of a woman-owned and operated business grow, creating a mark of empowering feminine youth and aspiring her to reach dreams, accomplish goals and show no fear.”
National Sales Manager, Paradise Marketing
“The trends I feel were most valuable to business this year are sexual health and wellness awareness. Not enough people are educated on health and wellness; therefore, proper training of staff is extremely important. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. Tight inventory control is also important; it is important for distributors and stores to select a variety of quality products over quantity in each category. We are here to service the customer; that is why education on the products and having a good variety of products on hand will enable you to reach more demographics and genres of people.”
International Account Executive, CalExotics
“One of the most valuable trends has been the emergence of the mobile-based Gen-Z consumer. Before they buy a product, they will first research price and reviews. Connecting with customers via social media, live videos and beautiful images has been valuable in getting these consumers excited about our products. But we can’t forget about the in-person interaction that they look for when entering a store to validate their research. Overall, it’s important to keep customers engaged and win their trust. At CalExotics, we pride ourselves on delivering quality and value that excites any customer.”
Operations and Sales Executive, Shots America
“I believe this year, more than others, customers were/are looking for something innovative and completely different than the average item. With the technology and advances that we have today, customers are always expecting the next big hit. I have to give kudos to our product development team, as they’ve been working nonstop on new ideas to make this happen and the new releases this year surpassed our expectations. Great packaging, amazing pricing and excellent customer service — that’s the key to our success.”
Senior Sales and Merchandising, Pipedream Products
“The trends I found to be most valuable to business this year vary in different aspects. From the product point-of-view, I found that customers are becoming more educated and conservative in their buys. Meaning, they are buying the best of the best and really narrowing down the assortment being carried. This makes sense, as Pipedream is doing the same. We are releasing less items per year, offering better quality product — product that is different and innovative. The industry is constantly evolving, and so are we. You have to adapt with change and continue to be the leader. We are constantly thinking outside of the box and want to offer our customers a different experience. We also want to make it easy for the customer by developing items that are going to sell, not sit on the shelf. We want to assist our customers with the best customer service, amazing products, and an overall experience that they can’t get anywhere else. We set our own trends and want to be the best partner we can be.”