SCALA has taken the next step in their exclusive business partnership with CalExotics. To that end, they have hired Liliana Brenninkmeijer as the company’s CalExotics Brand Ambassador. Liliana, who has already been working in the industry for several years, took the time to tell us about her new responsibilities, the challenges that await her, and the goals she wants to achieve.
Before we talk about your involvement with SCALA, it would be great to hear about yourself first. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Liliana Brenninkmeijer: I am Liliana Brenninkmeijer: ambitious, energetic, determined, emphatic, and a social butterfly, ready for a new challenge at SCALA 2.0. I have a university degree in Psychology, specialising in consumer behaviour, and have been involved in the erotic industry for nearly 7 years. After work hours, you can often find me in my kitchen, as I love cooking, or at boxing lessons, as I also like to challenge myself physically. I have a very social personality and therefore spend most of my free time with friends and family. You’ll put a smile on my face when you take me out for dinner, to a cultural event, the cinema and concerts, or indulge me with some sneaker shopping as I am building quite the collection… When the weather heats up in summertime, I like to cool down at the beach (I am very lucky to live just around the corner from it) or let my hair down at a – preferably techno – music festival. I travel a lot – both for my work and in my private life – and love visiting new places as it truly expands your horizons and introduces you to new traditions, cultures, and social conventions; all things that enrich the way you see the world and how you choose to live your life.
How did you come to join SCALA?
It was the right opportunity at exactly the right time. During my Psychology studies, I worked part-time in B2C erotic retail at a boutique called PureLust in Amsterdam. After graduating, I was recruited by LELOiAB as a Business Development Manager Benelux, representing high-end brands such as LELO, HEX and Intimina. Though I really enjoyed my time there, learning all about consumers trends, brand exposure, product functionality, and more, I started craving a new challenge that would allow me to take the next step in my career. This is where my previous work experience at PureLust comes in. When one of my former colleagues mentioned that SCALA had made an impressive transformation to SCALA 2.0 and that it might be a perfect match for my desired switch. A few clicks later, I was on SCALA’s website where I stumbled upon the CalExotics Brand Ambassador position: the right opportunity at exactly the right time. I met with Walter and Trudy, the owners of SCALA 2.0 and we instantly clicked, the rest – as they say – is history…
What excites you about the new challenge? Why is SCALA the right choice for you?
My new position as CalExotics Brand Ambassador challenges me to use my skills and knowledge to find new, creative ways to boost brand awareness and exposure on a European level. The position is very versatile and enables me to work with a wide variety of people, ranging from our valued retailers, the fantastic CalExotics team but also our own SCALA crew: as I’ll be dedicated to maximising CalExotics’ exposure by working closely in sync with our sales, marketing, and supply chain departments. Though SCALA 2.0 is a well-established name with a rich heritage in the industry, the company also has a bright, ambitious, and young team – which creates an exciting mix of experience and innovation, with room to grow; both on a personal and on a corporative level.
“My new position as CalExotics Brand Ambassador challenges me to use my skills and knowledge to find new, creative ways to boost brand awareness and exposure on a European level.”
What exactly are your responsibilities as Brand Ambassador?
As the CalExotics Brand Ambassador, I will be travelling across Europe, visiting our customers at their retail locations to help them maximise their CalExotics potential. During client visits, I’ll inform them about all the new CalExotics products, the brand’s extensive product portfolio and will aim to answer all their questions regarding the SKUs and collections. The goal is to make them as excited about CalExotics as I am: as I see how much retailers can profit from raising the brand’s awareness amongst their end-consumers. My role will also see me advising retailers about in-store product presentation and POS-options. I aspire to listen carefully to our retailers and to find out what they need from us – SCALA – to help them succeed, finding new, creative ways to meet their needs. This can be anything from finding – or creating – the right POS-materials for their store with the help of our graphic designer to an in-depth product training for the store’s own sales assistants: the possibilities are endless.
And how will you tackle these multifaceted tasks? Which ideas, visions, plans etc. do you want to implement?
We need to focus on those retailers that have big potential, yet don’t know how to fully realise it yet. The main goal – as explained earlier – is to increase CalExotics’ brand awareness and exposure, which in turn will increase sales, both for SCALA and for our customers. Product trainings, retail trainings and offering the right assortment for a specific target-audience are key factors in this. I am fortunate to have extensive experience in consumer behaviour, consumer trends and product development, allowing me to interpret a customer’s situation in detail and translate it into solid advice catered exactly to their specific store.
To what extend will the experiences you’ve made in the past help you in your new field of action?
My experiences in B2C and B2B erotic retail, business development, PR and Trade Marketing, and consumer psychology are all important attributes I bring to this new CalExotics Brand Ambassador position. My professional background enables me to advice retailers from the brand’s perspective, but it has also thought me how to approach consumers in a non-intimidating, engaging way about erotic subjects – vital to promoting brand awareness amongst the end-consumer in a store environment. In the erotic industry – or any retail industry – psychology is such an important factor when it comes to understanding your end-consumers’ needs, wants and desires: and it can help clarify a lot of questions about why certain products or product presentations generate bigger results than others. I hope to shed a light on this subject with our SCALA clients and enlighten them about the thrilling possibilities that understanding consumer behaviour offers.
What are the strengths of the CalExotics brand in your opinion?
CalExotics creates innovative, user-friendly and trendy products made of premium materials, packaged in contemporary, eye-catching ways. The CalExotics designs aren’t just thrilling to use, they are also thrilling to look at; making them a quality, non-intimidating choice in erotic novelties that every consumer deserves in their love life! Another thing about CalExotics that I love is its involvement with varies foundations and charities, giving something back to the world and donating part of their profits to worthy causes. An example of this is its Inspire collection where for each product sold, a donation is made to the Living Beyond Breast Cancer foundation. Though CalExotics is one of the biggest brands in the industry, it still manages to maintain a great eye-for-detail and personal approach to erotic pleasure, creating collections to heighten intimacy and truly improve its end-consumers’ experience. The brand has a match for every preference, entry-level, and budget. An example? The Jack Rabbits collection, which offers simple and budget-friendly rabbit-vibes for beginners – yet also includes state-of-the-art bunnies for more experienced players. Or, as CalExotics states, “There is a right bunny for every honey”. Its high-level of commitment to delivering the very best in adult novelties resonates in each and every CalExotics collection, with a strong focus on product quality, brand experience, and great cohesiveness between the products.
CalExotics has been a major player in the European market for many years. Is there still room for improvement?
CalExotics already has a winning formula and is – as you just confirmed – a solidly established name in the European market, but as is the case with everything in life, there is always room for improvement. Not necessarily for CalExotics as a brand, as its already big on innovation, listening to the end-consumers, and creating collections that are bang on trend – the improvement lies more in promoting a better understanding of what the brand can offer retailers. Raising brand awareness and giving retailers the tools to maximise their CalExotics potential is key to expanding the brand’s presence in the European market. The unique thing about CalExotics is how closely the brand monitors consumer demands and actually listens to what people want – instead of overloading the market with mediocre products. CalExotics is truly making the difference, we are simply creating new, creative ways to spread that message!