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demonstrations in a centralized place. Retail staffers often represent a consumer’s first touch point with our brand; so it’s critical they have a full understanding of our brand’s history and key differentiators and, more importantly, the features and benefits of our pleasure products.” Angela Lieben, marketing and public relations manager for Liberator/OneUp Innovations, said that marketing that focuses on sex education and sexual wellness will be a valuable tool for the Atlanta-based company this year. “When it comes to selling sexual wellness, knowledge is power,” Lieben told XBIZ. “As the trend in sex education continues rising, the competition between resellers grows. It’s important for manufacturers to reach out to not only customers, but the resellers with engaging material. For 2017, we plan on expanding our reach by providing web-based presentations and videos. We also have plans for developing bi- distributors a comprehensive monthly newsletters for resellers B2B website, B2BDocJohnson. with educational articles that can com, and sell sheets with be passed onto the customer or specific talking points, catalogs can be used as training material and supplements that can be for their sales staff. Workshops easily downloaded, as well as are a valuable resource for editorial placements and press specialty boutiques too. We releases. Editorial placements in would love to initiate educational the mainstream media have also programs by collaborating with become a major boon to in-store boutiques. Connecting with their sales — especially in today’s in-house experts and having them climate, where customers are present workshops discussing more and more frequently going the versatility of Liberator products is a great way to expand sexual wellness education. We want retail staff to feel passionate about Liberator, and the best way to do that is by creating content and material they can relate and connect to.” Elaine Sosna, head of marketing for Lovehoney, cited social media as an effective way for the U.K.-based pleasure products manufacturer to reach retailers and consumers. “Social channels PRESIDENT, JIMMYJANE allow us to get across the fun nature of our brand,” Sosna told XBIZ. “We push online to research a product or figure out what they might promotions but complement this be interested in, then heading with relevant content, quizzes to a brick-and-mortar store to and polls that get our audience complete their purchase.” engaging more with us — which helps us to build our brand’s Braverman continued, “In- store trainings and events are personality….. We are market particularly important to Doc leaders and award winners in Johnson, as they not only support licensed pleasure products, the partnership we share with our including the Fifty Shades of Grey accounts, but they also allow for one-on-one conversations and SEE SUCCESS, PAGE 116 Success IN SYNC WITH Pleasure Product Manufacturers Look to Distributors, Retailers to Help Promote Their Brands in 2017 BY ALEX HENDERSON T he pleasure products industry, at its best, is a well-oiled machine consist- ing of manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Distributors make sure that products get from Point A to Point B, while retailers sell them to consumers. But pleasure products begin with manufacturers; without manufacturers like Doc Johnson, Lovehoney and Fun Factory, there would be no pleasure products to sell. From in-store promotions to retail edu- cation, manufacturers are finding many ways to market their pleasure products in early 2017 — and distributors and retailers, both online and brick and mortar, are helping them do it. Robert Rheaume, president of Jimmyjane, emphasized that when retailers and distributors are successful, Jimmyjane is successful. “We look at our relationships with retailers and distributors as a partnership,” Rheaume told XBIZ. “We are constantly looking at our customers’ unique needs to help understand how we can best adapt to grow our business together. For us, the feedback loop is paramount for success. We want to understand what is working, who their customer is and what we can do to help drive their business.” In-store promotions, Rheaume said, will be a high priority for Jimmyjane in 2017. “It is very important for us to participate in in-store events and trainings as much as possible,” Rheaume asserted. “We have an education team who is solely focused on visiting stores to help train store staff. This is extremely important to us. As a premium brand, it is important we give stores the information and tools to communicate the value and unique features of our products to shelf talkers and POS materials to drive conversion in-store. Point-of-sale materials are very important for us; they can communicate unique features of the brands for customers who may be hesitant to speak to a representative. If we are running a special promotion or have a large partnership underway, we will create customized marketing materials.” Chad Braverman, COO of Doc “We are constantly looking at our customers’ unique needs to help understand how we can best adapt to grow our business together.” — ROBERT RHEAUME our products. Our trainings also provide a lot of feedback to us as a brand. Retailers and store staff are constantly interfacing with customers, and the feedback they provide gives us an understanding of responses to our products and the market.” Rheaume added, “We create a number of different marketing materials, from items that help inform and educate the staff on 56 XBIZ PREMIERE FEBRUARY 2017 Johnson, observed that in 2017, sex toys are being promoted in both mainstream and adult outlets. “Doc Johnson supports retailers and distributors through a variety of channels, including in-person trainings and in-store events, and external touch points such as trade shows and trade marketing,” Braverman told XBIZ. “We also provide retailers and