LELO’s new ENIGMA is a one-two punch of a product, offering both, clitoral and G spot stimulation. As Lucija Mlačak, LELO’s Global Brand Manager, explains in our EAN interview, ENIGMA was heavily influenced by the brand’s previous top-sellers, SONA and SORAYA. Like SONA, ENIGMA boasts sonic wave technology to create clitoral stimulation; and like SORAYA, it also massages the G spot.
LELO has presented a new product that combines sonic waves and vibration technology to stimulate the clitoris and the G spot at the same time. What inspired you to create a ‘combo product’?
Lucija Mlačak: Our customers crave innovation and new sensations, and that’s our biggest mission: to offer pleasure to those who seek it. Again and again. Not everyone has an active interest in pleasure products, and that’s fine, but for those who do have an interest, we are there for them. The team at LELO are the world’s authorities in pleasure, and we pride ourselves on our willingness to continue to learn all the time and keep listening to what our customers are saying so that we are always able to cater to their needs. Ever since our bestselling product SONA came out, we have noticed that customers love and crave the sensation that our clitoral massagers offer them. This was only reinforced when we introduced SILA earlier this year. These two have taught us that women crave a sensual build-up and a sustained pleasure resulting in an orgasm that leaves a tingly sensation even minutes later. Still, those same consumers at times prefer the stronger sensation and direct G spot stimulation embodied by yet another heavy hitter in our portfolio, SORAYA. So that got us thinking. What if we could combine the two so that our consumers have a chance to experience both at the same time if they feel like it? This is how we came up with our newest product. ENIGMA embodies the best technologies LELO has to offer in one single product: a dual-action sonic massager designed to titillate the entire clitoris, its visible and invisible parts – as well as the G-spot.
Can you tell us more about the development process of the new product? How difficult is it to combine the two aforementioned technologies in one product?
Lucija Mlačak: Being an agile brand focused on always bringing new things to the table, we can get from the creative spark that someone puts up on the whiteboard to a prototype in a matter of weeks. It’s a team effort. But it’s easy to get excited about new ideas and pursue them to their extremes. With experience, you learn to identify which design has potential and which one does not. LELO is a very fast-paced environment, with decisions being made all the time, and the workflow is carefully controlled so that we can see projects moving forward in real-time. When it comes to sexual wellness or products designed to enhance sexual pleasure, technology becomes essential – sometimes in unexpected ways. We invest a lot in the research and development of our pleasure products, which puts us in a unique position to understand where technology and sexual wellness overlap. That said, ideation, validation, prototyping and eventually, mass production can take months, even years. Following research and analysis regarding customer preferences, we move on to the phase of technical alignment and testing. The testing phase is the most important one, as we need to make sure the result is a pleasurable quality experience for our prospective customers. ENIGMA is a product that was put through rigorous testing to ensure that the final product was anatomically suitable for all women when it went into mass production.
Vibration technology has been used in sex toys forever, but sonic wave technology may still be new to some. What advantages does this technology offer in terms of stimulation?
Lucija Mlačak: For years, sex toys for women were designed by (mostly) men, and it showed. This is especially evident in the fact that vibration technology had long been the standard in the industry due to the fundamental lack of understanding of how female pleasure is achieved. A limiting factor in vibration stimulation is the fact that it solely stimulates the outer parts of organs involved in sexual stimulation. LELO has spent years researching and developing perfectly refined pleasure products that target the entire clitoris, and we’ve started using sonic waves in our all-time top-selling pleasure products SILA and SONA. Instead of using conventional vibration, they employ sonic waves that are transmitted directly into the clitoris and the complex inner structure of the clitoris. Where conventional vibrators stimulate only the surface of the clitoris, ENIGMA, SILA, and SONA provide pleasure to the larger internal parts, too. Bear in mind that the clitoris has 8000 nerve endings whose sole purpose is sexual pleasure, and while the tip of it is externally located in the vulva, the rest of it extends about 12 centimeters into the body. This is where the sonic wave technology thrives because it stimulates the entire clitoris – even the parts you don’t see – with an eager, fluttering sonic hum, making for a different kind of orgasm produced by the gentle deep-tissue massage of sonic waves.
In addition to sonic waves and vibration technology, what else does the new product have to offer? How much LELO is in the new product? How does it reflect your brand values?
Lucija Mlačak: LELO has always stood for innovation. Sometimes, this innovation is significant and causes seismic shifts, while at other times, seemingly smaller innovations provide equally big wins. Sexual attitudes are shifting all over the world, and personal pleasure is becoming more widely discussed and accepted. With that comes the need to cater to every aspect of human sexuality and explore new ideas and products. Now, more than ever, we tend to see sexuality as a spectrum. It is the idea that people’s sexual identities and orientations are complex and cannot be easily classified. ENIGMA undoubtedly caters to a wider segment of users with the specific dual stimulation, featuring clitoral sonic waves on the outside and gentle pulsations on the inside. We know that people enjoy a variety of stimulations, and it is our goal to provide our consumers with options so they can explore their bodies and desires themselves. I guess you could say that ENIGMA truly is the quintessential LELO product.
What expectations and requirements does this target group have regarding new sex toys?
Lucija Mlačak: Millennials and Gen Z are all about empowerment. The same goes for their sex life. They are looking for fun, safety, and diversity and are not afraid to explore and get as much information as possible to enjoy all of this. Conversations about sex are standard, along with the use of toys. But, unlike generations that came before them who were made to fit into existing moulds, these generations are redefining the mould around their desires. Moreover, they have seen conventional sexual roles removed, and sex is seen as a personal brand. For us, it is important to be there for them every step of the way and offer products that are first and foremost safe, offer various sensations and experiences, and are of the highest quality. Of course, it does not hurt that they are aesthetically pleasing as well.
In your opinion, what are the factors that determine if a product thrives or bombs in today’s marketplace? Design? Functionality? Materials? Shape? Technology? Target audience & demand? Pricing?
Lucija Mlačak: Definitely all of the above. Products lie at the heart of our business, but in many cases, it is the communication that determines whether a business succeeds or fails. It is as much about what you are offering as it is about how it’s communicated to your selected target audience. And we at LELO pay a lot of attention to this. No product or campaign is launched without dedicating an enormous amount of attention to every little detail.
How is LELO supporting the launch of the new product? Are there POS materials for retailers?
Lucija Mlačak: LELO benefits from a relatively young team, all of whom know and live the brand all day, every day. This makes it easy to shape and guide the brand because internal communication comes easy. All the people who work on the customer touchpoints, like designers, marketers, and writers, understand the brand’s DNA implicitly. This keeps messaging consistent across the brand and eliminates the need for extensive brand training. That, in turn, translates to a consistent experience for the customer, and consistency breeds brand recognition and loyalty. We also have our heritage to rely on in our marketing. LELO practically invented the luxury pleasure sector single-handedly, and therefore, we can tell sensual stories in a way that no other brand can. Of course, as with any other established brand, there are guidelines and principles within which we operate, and they guide marketing and communication strategies. In the end, the process is very rapid and holistic. In the end, the entire LELO team fosters the relationship we have with our retailers, and they make sure retailers receive all the support needed for their marketing efforts – this includes everything from POS materials to tailor-made activities for their respective markets/channels.
Does LELO have some advice for retailers so they can achieve the biggest possible sales with the new product?
Lucija Mlačak: As I said earlier, alongside having a quality product, they must know their target audience. Every sales channel is different and governed by its specific rules, and their marketing efforts should be in line with those particular rules.
What else can the market expect from LELO this year?
Lucija Mlačak: We have started the year strong with the launch of our newest clitoral massager SILA and right now, we are in the throes of preparing for another major launch – the launch of ENIGMA. But we are not stopping there, and summer will see even more novelties added to our portfolio. LELO is preparing several new products, and we’re very excited to launch them. The prototypes have been tested, and we are now in the process of mass-production. With these products, we’ll try to reflect the revolution within the landscape of the sex toy industry, where products and product marketing are not focused on specific features and functionalities that help achieve a particular goal but take a more holistic approach to the story behind it. I cannot go into much detail right now, but stay tuned, and I promise you will be thrilled by what we have to offer.
What challenges does LELO expect to see within the market in the coming months, and how will you deal with them?
Lucija Mlačak: For the time being, things in the market continue in the same manner as they did in 2020. The pandemic is still wreaking havoc worldwide, and people are scared, anxious, insecure, and out of their element. What we at LELO offer them is a momentary break from the troubles of reality, and we’re proud of that. If there is any good that has come from these difficult circumstances, it’s the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and our partners. Similarly, sex and masturbation are giving us respite from the anxiety and uncertainty thrown up by the pandemic. They represent a reprieve from the concerns we have about our jobs, our incomes, our economy, and all the external factors that might be on our minds right now. It remains to be seen how the year 2021 will pan out, be we will surely adapt and keep offering people around the world the same support and comfort we did during the entire last year – we offer a “place” where concerns that are beyond our control cease to matter, if only momentarily. As far as new products are concerned, the near future will likely involve the same technologies present in many other industries. Digital and mobile technologies drive pleasure technology forward, offering couples greater connectivity and exciting new ways to express their sexualities. We at LELO are pioneers and are on the frontline of the march towards progress, showing the world that pleasure, technology, and luxury go hand in hand.