The Dutch company Your Levels BV is a newcomer to the adult industry, and the lubricant collection Shine! marks their first step in this market, with many more to follow. In our EAN interview, Erik Schieffer, CEO of Your Levels BV, talks about the strategy and the philosophy that guide the young brand.
Please give us some information about yourself and your company. What was your motivation to launch the brand? Erik Schieffer: Let me introduce our brand ‘Level’. Level is a young company that develops intimate lifestyle products of high quality with lots of enthusiasm in order to offer you the best and most intense and intimate experience. Recently, we launched Shine!, our collection of lubricants.
We believe that the market of intimate lifestyle products should be approached in a different way. Many brands launch a range of lubricants or condoms without thinking of the full experience. With ‘Level’, we want to offer intimate lifestyle products of high quality that provide the best and most intense intimate experience. Our products have a luxurious look, which fits perfectly with this philosophy.
Intimacy with a cheap feel is not a good fit in our opinion. But while our intimate lifestyle products have a luxurious look, we prove that the price does not have to be high!
What does your brand bring to the market? What is the philosophy behind Level?
We believe that all Level products should be luxurious and also show this. Aside from the fact that the products are very reliable and of top quality, they also need to be user-friendly and they need to offer something that will give you just a little extra.
For instance, the Level Lubricant bottles are very sturdy, they do not leak, and they allow you to use the perfect dosage so you won’t ever have to use more than needed, and there’s no spilling, either. The shining letters on the dark bottles provide a nice finishing touch when it comes to their look.
How long did it take to develop the brand? What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome?
The brand wasn’t developed in a short period. It was only after many months of brainstorming that we kicked off Level. After that, it took several months more to design everything, to test it all, refine it, and so on… Now, we are proud to introduce the result of this hard work, our amazing products. Our biggest challenge is always to make as few concessions as possible. Our products must represent our vision, but they also have to be affordable for consumers.
Was the development of Level influenced by specific trends such as sexual wellness and sexual health?
Of course it’s influenced by trends such as sexual wellness and sexual health. The products should be attractive. They should invite to consumer to use them, promote sexual health, they must be safe to use, and they should also be a beneficial addition to your love life. In the future, we will continue to look at such trends. Customers tell us what they want. In addition, we will also develop products for which we anticipate future demand.
What can you tell us about your product range? Which products are part of the brand, and what are their most striking qualities?
Recently, we released our collection of lubricants. The collection is called Shine. Let your love life shine! With different types of lubricants, it offers something for everyone: from silicone-based to water-based lubricants, from lubricants to postpone his orgasm to caring lubricants for her. Later this year, in Q2, we will launch our collection of condoms. This collection is named ‘Private Pleasure’.
We will start with standard condoms (named Level Popular Condoms), ultra-thin condoms (named Level Delicate Condoms) and condoms designed to postpone the male orgasm (named Level Performance Condoms). By the way: all lubricant bottles and all condom packagings are mailbox-proof! This is ideal for etail as it will save on shipping costs!
Can you give us some information about the pricing of the Level products?
All lubricant bottles (100ml) have a MSRP of €14,99. That’s an accessible retail price for a high-quality lubricant. The margins for the retailers will be good. The condoms will be available in packs of 5, 10, and 24 condoms, and will have a suggested retail price of € 4.99, € 8.99, and € 17.99 respectively. Also offering a very good margin for retailers.
Who is target audience you are going after? And what does a product need to satisfy this audience?
Our target group are people who want to bring their love life to the next level with products that fall into the segment of intimate lifestyle products. Think of our current line of lubricants and our range of condoms that will launch shortly. In the future, we want to expand the Level range with other products, such as sex toys that fit this target group.
“Our target group are people who want to bring their love life to the next level.”
There is no dearth of lubricants and condoms in the market. What makes you confident that you can hold your own in this highly contested marketplace?
In this segment, everything looks pretty much the same. Everybody does the same thing and there is not much innovation. Level looks different and we approach the consumers in a different way. We tell them a story, offer them an experience, and all this with high quality products. If people have a problem because their love life has become a routine, we offer a solution. Level products offer the best and most intense intimate experience. Also, we offer a favourable margin for wholesale, retail, and etail. Which also makes these products attractive for the trade.
Which channels of distributions do you use to market your products?
We want to sell our products in online and offline shops. At the moment, there are already some online stores who sell Level products. We plan to quickly expand our network of trade partners over the course of the year.
Are there plans to offer your brand through wholesalers and distributors?
Yes, we want wholesalers to deliver our products to retail and etail. If European wholesalers would like to include Level in their range, they can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We are open to all possibilities. This year, our focus will be on Europe. But if retail and etail shops don’t have any wholesale partners who offer Level in their country, they can always contact us!
What qualities are you looking for in potential trade and distribution partners?
Prospective partners should have confidence in our brand and in our products. They have to believe in it, just like we do. Of course, it is great when they have a large customer base that is open to sell Level products. One on one contact with fixed contacts is an added value because this way, we can act quickly, setting up joint promotions and whatever else comes up.
How does Level support its retail partners? Are there POS materials, product training sessions and the like?
If requested, we can deliver online promo materials for all selling partners, both (r)etail and wholesalers. Depending on the wholesaler or retailer’s plans, we can always develop customised POS materials. Product training sessions are a possibility if there is any request. We want to support our sales partners in any way possible and with full dedication.
What is more important: the product itself or the channel of distribution?
I think that one cannot exist without the other. Of course, the product is very important. If it is not a good product, it will not sell well, and certainly not create repeat orders. But without a channel of distribution, we can’t sell the products in a large area.
What’s next for Level? What are your plans for the future?
Next up is the launch of our new collection of condoms! For this year, that will be the only all-new collection. But we are already creating our roadmap for next year, with plans to release several new products. At this moment, I cannot tell anything about that but I promise, you will get the scoop as soon as I can tell you about.
So far, the Level product line includes lubricants and condoms. Do you intend to add products from other categories to your brand at some point?
Yes, we have many plans for the future to expand our range of products. It’s not on our roadmap for 2017, but definitely for 2018. Of course, these products will fit our current range. There are currently many plans for lots of new products. But one criterion applies to any new product: It must be well thought out and it has to fit into the vision of Level. We will only launch new products if we can stand behind them 100%.