ST Rubber will be the sole source of Swiss Navy products in the German market for at least the next two years. Randy Wither, International Sales Director of M.D. Science Lab, the owner of the Swiss Navy brand, explains what this collaboration is going to look like, what expectations are tied to the distribution agreement, and why Swiss Navy chose ST Rubber as their exclusive partner.
Swiss Navy entered into a distribution agreement with ST Rubber. How did that come about?
Randy Withers: I have been in contact with Werner Tiburtius over the years. This year, we had the good fortune of being ‘popular enough’ to interest him in taking us on. We have grown enough in Europe these last few years and we were finally big enough in Germany to be on his radar.
What does this agreement entail? In which territories will ST Rubber distribute your products? Also, is it an exclusivity-based agreement?
We agreed that ST would be the only distributor in the German market for at least two years. It is logical for both sides. They sell to the European market as well. The borders are open so others also sell in Germany as well.
As we will not add any other distributors in Germany, I can work directly with ST on how to best market our products in Germany. They are keen on adjusting our approach to create the best message to the German consumers ….and they will help us make our marketing more targeted. The ST team is fantastic and very efficient.
“The ST team is fantastic and very efficient.”
Will ST Rubber carry your entire product range?
They will have the entire lubricants range. They are waiting to bring in the Enhancement products at a later date.
Could you give us an overview of your current portfolio of products and product lines?
Swiss Navy’s line of premium lubricants are engineered for the intended type of activity the user wishes to perform … That said, our line is premium silicone and water based lubricants. We also make topical enhancement products for men and women to assist the anatomy of the user. We really get your blood flowing! Coming soon … oral dietary supplements.
The market for lubricants is fiercely competitive, and there are a lot of brands vying for the consumers’ attention. What sets your products apart from the competition?
First and foremost, our quality. It is second to none. Our packaging is open and friendly. It’s a clear bottle look and has a leak-proof locking cap that users appreciate. You really want this genie to stay in the bottle. It’s our signature look which we have used since launching our brand. The products are designed for the user’s activity and that commitment is definitely reflected in the consumers’ brand loyalty. If a person tries our products, they ‘feel’ the difference and want that quality. This is the most personal activity we engage in, and the consumers embrace a brand that gives them what they want. That is why we are growing so fast.
“If a person tries our products, they ‘feel’ the difference and want that quality.”
What expectations are tied to this new collaboration with ST Rubber? How much potential do your see for your products in your new markets?
The sky is the limit. I think we will grow slowly at first and pick up the pace as we learn how to best work together and leverage each other’s strengths.
What makes you confident that ST Rubber is the right choice for this collaboration?
Their knowledge of the German and European markets as well as their professional approach to these markets makes them a perfect partner.
What are the strong points of your new distribution partner?
They bring a great sales and marketing team as well as superior logistics. They are extremely efficient, and their customer loyalty is very high. They will really help us in getting the brand message to the German consumer.
What kind of support will you provide to ST Rubber, and how will you both support the clients of ST Rubber to market your products?
We are already doing targeted marketing together. Swiss Navy just presented the brand at a B2C event in Hannover last weekend. We gave out 12,000 samples and at least 40,000 consumers passed by our booth. We will continue to be visible at events. We will continue to present the brand in this way and get in front of the consumer at every opportunity.
We will also assist the ST team in selling B2B. This is a strength we have in helping our distribution partners. We work hand in hand helping them with trainings, with samples, and marketing. It’s a great opportunity for us and we love the process. It’s the Swiss Navy way.