Kerri Middleton

“My direction is to spread the Nexus footprint further across the globe.”

The wait is over: In February, Nexus is going to launch the new products that were presented at last year’s eroFame and that were met with such great interest on the part of the trade members. EAN had the opportunity to speak with with Kerri Middleton, Nexus’ International Sales manager, and she told us about the strategy the British brand is going to pursue the upcoming months.

The new year has begun, but let’s take a moment to look back at 2017. Was it a good year for your company?
Kerri Middleton: Absolutely! 2017 was a great year for Nexus. We really focused on new product development and being able to show them at eroFame and witness people’s reactions was great! I had a lot of travelling last year too, visiting distributors and retailers to provide one on one training for our products. This has definitely had a positive effect on our sales for 2017 and I believe for them, being able to talk to manufacturers directly shows retailers that we do listen to their feedback and reflect their opinions in new designs and POS for stores.

You presented numerous new products and optimised versions of existing top-sellers last year. How did the trade and the consumers respond to your offering in 2017?
Amazingly well, launching Revo Slim was my favourite launch by far. It’s been a while since we’ve launched a new Revo model and offering a model that would appeal to an even bigger market has made it one of our fastest selling products in our history! I’ve also been working a lot with online forums to speak directly to the end users to hear their opinions on our products. Showing them the new model was nerve wracking to begin with as the Revo is such a cult product, but I couldn’t have wished for a better response. Unfortunately, this means I’ll be doing more YouTube videos, so you’ll be seeing more of my face!

Isn’t it getting harder and harder to hit the sweet spot when you launch new products? After all, the number of companies and producers in the prostate massager segment has increased quite a bit.
I think Nexus always looks to bring something new to our collection without leaving our strengths behind. Innovation is always key, however we believe if we stick to what we are known for the customers will support you. With Revo Slim we were looking to fulfil a new market, we want guys to know that prostate massage is for all and not to be frightened of it. Once you get them past that first hurdle they’re not going to look back, so taking away the immediate concerns of products looking intimidating was step one.

Now, let’s look ahead: What are your expectations as you tackle 2018?
My direction is definitely to spread the Nexus footprint even further across the globe. We’re working closer than ever with our distribution partners, attending more inhouse shows and offering more support with regards to training. We’ve got a heavy delivery of all our new products to start the year off to a flying start, so I’m definitely excited to see these in retail stores and online.

What can you tell us about your plans for the year? When will we get to see new products, and what will they be?
All the products we launched at eroFame are beginning to ship from February, then what I’m most excited to launch is our collaboration with Doxy. Our classic Nexus shapes are getting a power upgrade courtesy of the Doxy Number Three. Working closely with the Doxy team we have designed a beautiful collection of attachments to tick everyone’s boxes. The Revo shape and a silicone masturbator sleeve for the gents and the Cadence shape along with a fluttering clitoral vibe for the ladies. Offering a collaboration range between two British brands is something I’ve really been really passionate about. Having a great relationship with Will and Andrew has made this project so enjoyable, it would be great to see more companies working together within our industry.

Nexus already reached out beyond your traditional market years ago when you launched Nexus Femme. Will you expand into other new segments this year, or will you focus on your existing product lines?
We always have new ideas up our sleeves. Monique and I are always interested in what’s happening in the female market, however, we’re also very aware of our core customer base. We offer such a selection of unisex products with the new upgraded G-Play + G-Rider + Ridge Rider + models I think we still offer women an elaborate selection. The new product design list gets longer month by month – we’re always excited for what’s next!

Nexus Display
The new theft-protection displays for the Revo products have now entered the delivery stage

How confident are you that public interest in anal toys and prostate massagers will remain on the same level? Or is it even possible that demand for these products might increase compared to previous years?
Personally, I think it’s only going to increase. Anal and prostate stimulation is discussed now more than ever before and the rise of charities like Movember help to increase people’s knowledge. It’s amazing how many guys still don’t even know about the prostate, and once they do they’re looking to us for how they can reach this new level of orgasm. People are definitely becoming more and more open and happy to discuss their sexual interests, so I think the days of anal being niche are long gone!

What can the industry do to create more awareness and acceptance for these products and the themes that they are associated with (namely, prostate massages, anal sex, etc.)
I think emphasising how to practice safe sex when it comes to prostate and anal stimulation is paramount. Educating consumers why they should use products that are body-safe, why plenty of lubricant is needed and most importantly why they should take their time. Anal play is not something people should rush into blindly so offering advice of how to start is key, we provide retailers with leaflets their customers can take away which talk about how to safely enjoy prostate massage if they’re not comfortable to discuss it openly in the store.

Are there any plans to adjust the Nexus distribution strategy or are you happy with the way things are right now?
No plans to change it at all, of course we’re always looking at expanding across new territories but our distributors all do a wonderful job, so we will always support them as best we can.

Nexus is an international company. Will Brexit make it harder for you to pursue your global activities?
I think with anything Brexit related only time will tell, everything changes from one day to the next, so we will wait and see what Theresa May ‘believes’ to be right for us!

Will POS materials, product training, etc. remain a big priority for Nexus in 2018?
100% – POS has always been key for us, we’ve just started shipping our new spinning stands and new literature. Taking away the risk of theft of high price items is so important to the retailer, so hopefully the new stand will encourage more people to display Revo without the risk of them wondering out the door!