Over the course of the past few years, South Korean company ZINI has made a name for itself in the West as a producer of fun, innovative sex toys. The company also sells condoms and lubricants, but the latest addition to their product range is another collection of sex toys, the new dib BANG BANG masturbators. EAN had the opportunity to talk with ZINI CEO June Lee about the new products and about the company’s strategy for the future.
Zini is a brand from South Korea. Compared to your home country, do you see different developments in Europe?
June Lee: During the development phase, we thought a lot about the products’ usability for non-Asian customers such as Europeans. In fact, one might ask whether or not it is right to classify differences between the physical attributes of Asians and non-Asians. There are numerical values obtained through various researches, but they have not been scientifically proven yet.
Let’s take the example of size. There are lots of deviations, so we don’t think it is correct to say that Asian sizes are small and non-Asian sizes are big. Therefore, we develop our products considering various sizes, tastes, and physical attributes. We feel we should consider the physical attributes and tastes of various races rather than just differentiating between the physical attributes of Asians and non-Asians including Europeans.
You presented some new products during the eroFame show last October. Which new products did you present, and how has the industry responded to them?
At 2015 eroFame, we launched the new products of the “dib BANG BANG” line which are concept products stimulating the penis via rotation of the INNER CUP. Then, there’s our vibrator “BLOOM” with a double silicone structure, a very special texture you can clearly feel; “ECLIPSE” for women’s Kegel exercises; the electrically powered prostate massager “JOYNUS” for men; and a women’s breast massager, “MOONRISE”.
The visitors responded particularly enthusiastic to the new “dib BANG BANG” products. Various motions have been added, including rotation with a piston, which is an improvement over the existing, simple rotation. There was also lots of interest in our new wireless breast massager “MOONRISE”.
The masturbator “dib BANG BANG”
Is there a product in the ZINI range that is doing particularly well at the moment?
Since we launched ZINI brand, the world’s first loop vibrator “ROAE” has steadily gained popularity and is now our best-selling product. The new multi-purpose vibrator “DONUT” is also getting a lot of attention, and the men’s prostate line “JANUS” that was presented in EAN (August 2014 Issue) is steadily gaining popularity as well.
At present, women’s vibrators have the highest market share in the adult product market. A lot of brands and products have been launched in this segment, so there is a lot of competition in the market. At the same time, the sales of ZINI’s men’s line “dib BANG BANG” are increasing.
You have presented a prototype of a device which could be described as a breast massager, named MOONRISE. Could you describe it to us in more detail?
ZINI’s “MOONRISE” is a wireless breast massager, a health & beauty care product which helps women gain confidence in their sex life, so it is much more than just a sex toy.
Considering women’s various body sizes, the product consists of a main body that is suitable for women’s various cup sizes and a wireless compact controller designed for stimulation.
The controller can operate the main body within a range of 2 meters. It has 7 different pulse modes and 7 different vibrational intensities per mode. The main body can be charged conveniently and efficiently through a USB charging cable.
Some of ZINIs products: the MOONRISE (left) and Eclipse (right)
What are the positive effects of using this product?
Various vibrational wavelengths help blood circulation so that women can make their breast lines healthier and more elastic. Besides, the product is designed to ease the pain in women’s chest that can be caused by menstrual syndrome.
Another product you promoted was dib, an automated masturbator. At first glance, it seems quite big. Which features are under its hood that justify this size?
The three new dib BANG BANG products (301/501/701) introduced at eroFame are equipped with various functions suitable for individual concepts. In the case of “dib BANG BANG 301”, the INNER CUP of this product rotates and moves like a piston at the same time (it moves up and down automatically).
In the case of “dib BANG BANG 501”, the internal cup moves up and down like a piston. In the case of “dib BANG BANG 701”, the INNER CUP of this product is equipped with three functions such as 1) simple rotation, 2) piston movement (moving up and down automatically), and 3) rotation and piston movement at the same time.
Each of these three products have 10 different pulse modes and 5 different vibrational intensities per pulse mode.
Therefore, you need space for the internal circuitry in order to the control various functions. In addition, you also need the necessary space for piston movements as the INNER CUP must move up and down automatically. That is why this product is a little bit bigger than other male sex toys.
However, you do not need to worry about the size and weight of the product because you don’t have to hold it when you use it. It has a suction holder at its bottom. (Of course, it has been proven that the suction plate at its bottom can carry the weight and size of the product.)
June Lee (left) at the welcoming reception of the AAE in HongKong last summer
Many companies are developing products in the field of teledildonics and app-controlled toys right now. What does ZINI offer in this regard and what are your plans for the future? Or is this a technological route that you don’t deem worth pursuing?
We know that there are many app-controled products equipped with Bluetooth features on the market. We plan to launch new versions of our existing product line equipped with a Bluetooth app function, rather than manufacturing the products equipped with such technologies as our main products.
We are interested in teledildonics technologies. Therefore, we are considering a collaboration with companies that are specialised in teledildonics and can deliver the necessary elements for the ZINI products, rather than developing such technologies by ourselves.
On your website, you present a lot of user product reviews. Are you actively encouraging your users to give feedback? How important are such reviews for your brand?
We started our business in 2003 by importing and selling adult products in Korea. Operating an online retail site and offline stores, we introduced and sold sex toys to the consumers directly through our own distribution channels.
The most important thing to us at that time was customer feedback for the products we were selling. We accumulated high-quality review data from customers we had recruited for free sex toys tests and candid review data was uploaded by actual users on our own online retail site.
Such data has been most helpful during the development of our ZINI products. Even today, we are still accumulating review data continuously to produce user-centred products. You could say that users’ comments are the foundation of all ZINI products.
Apart from sex toys, ZINI also offers a range of cosmetic products and condoms. Could you tell us more about these lines?
That’s right. In addition to the sex toy category, we have the sensual cosmetics line S-Solution and the ZINI Condom line which provides optimum safety.
S-Solution is developed and manufactured at a cosmetics factory in Korea. There are a variety of products, from general lubricants to high-quality products containing ingredients that bring excitement and help whitening the secret zone. During the second half of this year, we will also launch breast massaging oil that will make women’s breasts healthier and more beautiful.
ZINI Condoms are produced at our own condom factory in Korea. We have obtained all safety certificates needed for production. Besides, we have increased familiarity with cute and charming character packaging in which the features of each condom are reflected.
Eye catcher: The ZINI Condoms packaging
What kind of support do you offer to retailers to help them sell your products, e.g. POS materials, online banners etc.?
Basically, we produce and provide high-resolution images for each product and product introduction videos (You can download them after signing up for a membership on our website zini.com), and we update product catalogues quarterly for sharing.
Besides, we also produce and provide display tools for highlighting products and their concept images. We also try our best to tailor our marketing tools to our customers’ suggestions.
Do you work with distributors in Europe? Where can your products be bought here?
We distribute our products through official distributors in each country and do business with small-sized wholesalers and retailers directly. At present, customers can buy our products in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, France, Italia, Poland, England, and Czechia. If you are a small-sized distributor and cannot do business with us directly, you can buy our products from Eropartner (Interslash BV.) which is our official distributor in Europe.
For more detailed information on our distributors, please visit the ZINI website www.zini.com.