Q&A: Standard Innovation CEO Anne Finlayson Talks Company History, Future
OTTAWA, Ontario — Standard Innovation CEO Anne Finlayson may be new to her post but she’s played several key roles in establishing We-Vibe as “the world’s No. 1 couples vibrator.”
Before being appointed CEO last month, Finlayson was Standard Innovation’s CFO, responsible for operations, product introductions and intellectual property protection. Her extensive history with Standard Innovation goes well beyond that, having been part of the company’s management team since it was founded.
As CEO, Finlayson’s focus will be on Standard Innovation’s overall company growth and performance, strategic direction and product innovation. In this exclusive interview with XBIZ, Finlayson discusses her new responsibilities, goals and the growth she’s seen since Standard Innovation’s early days operating out of a garage.
As someone who’s been with Standard Innovation since the beginning, how have you seen the company evolve?
Standard Innovation used to be just four people operating out of a garage. We all did everything — from marketing to business development to manning the booths at trade shows. We’ve grown up quickly from a newcomer with one product and a handful of people, to a very talented and structured 40-person business aimed at shaping the future of the sexual health and wellness industry and promoting sexual exploration as part of a full and satisfying life.
How does your experience with the company enrich your new your role as CEO?
I’ve played a real variety of roles at Standard Innovation — from upfront product promotion at trade shows, to operations, to new product introduction, and of course, to CFO. That experience had several important benefits. For starters, as Standard Innovation was growing — and myself along with it — the industry has really matured along with it. I know this business intimately, having watched it evolve and seen consumer interest, curiosity and acceptance grow. It has also given me a great opportunity to meet many channel partners and key industry players.
What are some of your goals as CEO?
Our goals as a company remain unchanged. We are focused on building broad consumer awareness of our products and strengthening the We-Vibe brand with our key industry partners. We want to be recognized as a company that delivers what it promises: a high quality, body-safe product and a healthy, satisfying sexual experience.
We are also committed to fuelling innovation and knowledge. We use technological expertise to design, create and produce high quality original products that are unprecedented in the adult product industry. We also participate actively in initiatives to grow sexuality awareness through research and engagement with consumers.
Are there any changes or improvements Standard Innovation customers can expect?
Again, our core values as a company remain unchanged. We will continue to develop and deliver products that live up to our reputation for being of the highest quality in the industry, and for being backed by extensive scientific and consumer research and customer feedback. We pride ourselves on our innovative and insightful approaches to both couples and solo products, so not much will change in that respect!
What are your thoughts on Standard Innovation’s protection of its brand?
Standard Innovation’s intellectual property is at the core of our business. It is the backbone upon which the couples line has been built, and it represents the most significant innovation in this industry in recent years. I remain focused on protecting our markets from infringing and counterfeit products.