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A Rising Need
Almost everyone’s staying home. People are bored. And they’re getting intimate. Or at least, that’s what global sex toy sales show. Around the world, sex toy sales are rising sky high as reports reveal that over 1 billion people globally are adhering to social distancing practices to curb the growth of the novel coronavirus. For instance, in Canada, an Adweek piece reported that one company saw a “263 percent increase in year-over-year March sales.” In the U.S., the same company said sales have risen 152 percent. And with roughly 278 million Americans staying home, there are no signs of that trend slowing down.
In the U.K., couple Josh Morris and Greg Davis are the owners of an LGBTQ-friendly sex toy retailer that ships worldwide called Kandid. They have experienced the same trend with a 70 percent sales increase. And due to the popularity of their products, they’ve even implemented a 25-percent-off #StayHome sale.
“Because we only really launched in December, we’d seen quite predictable growth every single month,” Davis said. “In February we were expecting it to be the busiest month [because of the holiday], but after Valentine’s Day we never really saw a drop in sales. It only ever went up and up and up.”
And as for the sale, it probably “won’t stop any time soon.”
“We want people to explore solo pleasure and partner pleasure, and I think it’s really important because we’ve got a lot of our time on our hands at the moment for people to have that opportunity,” Morris said.
And as a growing business, the sales boost might be just what Kandid needs to get its greater message out there: buying sex toys shouldn’t be “seedy.”
The Sleeker Sex Toy
“We just felt that that’s not what it should be like,” Morris said. “For many of us, regardless of where you come from or what your sexuality or gender identity is, opening up about sex and buying sex toys can be embarrassing, and in many cases, we are judged negatively by those around us. So, we wanted to create Kandid as an inclusive and gender-free brand, just making people feel comfortable and good about buying sex toys and talking about sex.”
Unlike many other companies that sell similar products, Kandid boasts discreet packaging and it shies away from traditional bright color schemes to create a more “approachable” product.
“It was more of our intention to build a brand that isn’t so overtly sexual, that kind of speaks to the sexual element of sex toys in a little bit less of an aggressively, overtly sexual manner. Not all, but many of the sex toy brands out there are very focused on the big, veiny dildo,” Morris said. “We kind of wanted to make people as comfortable with these products as they would with anything else in this space like lingerie or lubricants — things that are already well-established and that they already have a positive image for.”
Indeed, Morris and Davis agreed that comfort and honesty about the sexual experience, whether individual or with partners, was the reason Kandid chose its name.
“Obviously, it’s a play on words because Kandid is normally spelled with a ‘C,’ but candid by definition means being open and frank and that’s kind of what our mission and ethos is all about,” Morris said. “[It’s] about opening up the conversation and allowing people to talk about these things. It just seemed like the natural fit.”
In addition to its unique marketing approach, Kandid’s site not only focuses on answering customer questions via online chats, email and calls but it features educational content on everything from using certain items to having a sex life during the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked why the company decided to add those features to its site, Morris said it was important to Kandid’s image to create an inclusive and honest product.
“We wanted to offer this grounding collection that meets the diverse community that we sell to. And the biggest thing we wanted to do was not shoehorn our products into specific categories … like ‘for men,’ ‘for women’ and ‘for gay sex,'” he said. “We wanted to make it comfortable for people of any gender or [for those] who don’t fit into these categories to shop on a website that categorizes things on where they’re used or what they are, as opposed to who is going to use them.”
Find out more about Kandid, its founders and its products online at Kandid.com.