Screaming O Execs Discuss Decade of Growth, Achievements
LOS ANGELES — In a decade, Screaming O has achieved many milestones with its range of brightly colored sex toys for men and women that are complemented by equally playful, memorable branding, and became a benchmark brand in the pleasure products industry.
Screaming O kicked off its 10th year in business by taking home the 2015 XBIZ Award for Sex Toy Company of the Year. The company’s initial success came in 2005 with the introduction of a simple stretchy vibrating ring that quickly caught the attention of sex educators and women’s media, and soon won the title of “Best Ring” at Women’s Health magazine’s inaugural Sex Awards.
“We like to say that The Screaming O specializes in making quality and affordable ‘gateway toys’ for men, women and couples curious about sex toys and looking for the right place to start,” Screaming O account executive Conde Aumann told XBIZ. “Our entire line is priced to sell quickly and make it easy for shoppers to stock up on multiple items at once with little to no commitment — we choose to maintain low and competitive manufacturing costs in order to provide quality alternatives to consumers who cannot afford (or do not want) to spend $60 or more on a product they might not end up enjoying.”
The Screaming O President Justin Ross told XBIZ about the company’s beginning.
“When I was in business school at USC in 2001, I had an adventurous girlfriend who introduced me to the world of adult toys and vibrating rings and the concept remained in the back of my mind as I embarked on a career in finance,” Ross said. “I eventually left the finance world to start a new business and the iron was hot to establish an adult novelty company with a fresh perspective, but the real light bulb moment happened in 2004 after seeing an early model of a disposable vibrating ring.”
Ross said he wanted the brand name to reflect the fun and light-hearted attitude he had envisioned for the products and marketing.
“I came up with The Screaming O as a clever play on words, ordered a sample batch of about 1,000 vibrating rings, and signed up for our first trade show to see how the market would respond,” he said. “By 2005, The Screaming O disposable vibrating ring and the Big O reusable cock ring were officially for sale and shortly after that, wholesale orders started pouring in. It was such an exciting time, watching the company grow so quickly and organically, and we soon established ourselves as the go-to source for affordable entry-level mini vibes, vibrating rings and other sex toys for men, women and couples.”
The Screaming O’s product line caters to a wide demographic that encompasses men, women and couples. The brand’s 85 SKUs include mini vibes, vibrating rings, novelties, impulse items, and the company’s latest addition, Dynamo Delay male genital desensitizing spray.
Aumann, who this year was named “Brand Ambassador of the Year” at the 2015 XBIZ Executive Awards, joined Screaming O in 2008. Possessing almost 15 years of experience in sex toy sales, Aumann said she’s noticed some changes in the industry.
“It’s changed in so many ways, from price points to product variety,” she said. “Luxury has remained a top ‘trend’ with vibrators and massagers costing upwards of $100 or more taking a dominant place in the market. Attention to men’s interests has also increased considerably with more companies creating masturbators, massagers, anal toys and other accessories that cater specifically to the male anatomy. And, of course, quality has improved across the board with manufacturing facilities introducing more advanced quality control protocols and brands paying as much attention to the final look and feel of their products as they do to their fancy packaging.”
To prove its dedication to body-safety and market transparency, this year Screaming O launched an independent product material verification and labeling campaign to make sure that consumers have clear, accurate information regarding its materials.
With the help of an independent molecular biologist that specializes in materials safety, The Screaming O is working to inform consumers, retailers and distributors by using updated and accurate package labeling.
“We want to educate with accurate and scientifically backed research so that consumers can make informed buying decisions,” Aumann said. “There is an incredible amount of inaccurate and rumor-driven information online regarding the toxicity of stretchy, inexpensive sex toy materials and we want to set the record straight.”
Through mainstream promotions, street teams and social media, Screaming O has positioned itself as a consumer-friendly brand.
“The Screaming O is known for our fun and sex-positive attitude thanks to our bright color schemes, easy-to-use designs, and friendly tone, which helps establish relationships with fans around the world,” Aumann said. “We keep an open line of communication with our fans via email, phone and social media and make sure every message and call is responded to in a timely manner, and any concerns regarding product performance are handled within 24 hours without any hassle. Gaining their trust is one of our biggest priorities — intimate products are deeply personal and often carry an emotional connection, and that trust is what keeps our fans choosing The Screaming O every time.”
This year saw The Screaming O extending its services to retailers with the launch of its comprehensive retail support program that includes merchandising tools, display options and event swag to make it even easier for stores to create an interactive shopping experience.
“The Screaming O differs from other brands because of our dedication to retail support,” Aumann said. “We maintain incredibly competitive pricing to our wholesale and distribution customers for better profit margins with quarterly Super Sales to help keep stock moving steadily. And our retail support program has been a huge success making it easier for stores to create interactive shopping experiences with custom signage, POP displays, event swag and more — all free and produced in-house by our talented design department. We love making our customers’ ideas and desires come true (as much as possible, of course!) and getting creative with new ways to help our customers boost sales and make more money.”
As The Screaming O celebrates its 10-year anniversary, Ross says the company maintains its focus on its core mission to “create fun, affordable and functional products that sell,” as it sets out to redefine product categories with its unique touch.