What’s green and squishy, but then becomes hard? And again soon after. No, it’s not a rude riddle. It’s the Dodil, the Swedish sex toy that requires only your imagination. Just add boiling water!
Dodil ‘Head Honcho’ Richard Almgren answers the questions in this long anticipated Q&A.
BRIAN GRAY: So let’s start by asking you to give us an introduction to Dodil and the people behind it.
RICHARD ALMGREN: The innermost core of the dodil is me, the inventor Richard Almgren, an engineer and seeker of solutions with a wonderful family and a heap of good and supportive friends. From these friendships necessary competences have been added. As in the case with our head communicator Peter, who contributes with his broad experience within marketing and communication. We decided to team up during the spring of 2017, and we really enjoy working and developing together. We share the same core values of inclusiveness and equality which of course influences the brand identity.
What exactly is the dodil and how does it work?
The dodil-dildo is a transformable dildo you can shape and reshape in your own hands to fit your anatomy and desires. The whole (optional) dodil-kit includes a branded thermos-flask ideal for the boiling water you need to heat up the dildo.
When you heat the dodil-dildo the inside thermoplastic melts, which makes the product warm, soft and squishy to handle. Now is when you can create all kinds of dildo-shapes. While it cools it turns harder and eventually just as rigid as in its virgin state. The facts that you can do this over and over again and that the thermoplastic is biodegradable makes the dodil truly revolutionary. Money and nature will be saved with pleasure.
How and when did you get the idea for the product?
As an engineer, I had gotten seriously intrigued by the remarkable character of what turned out to be the material core of the dodil, the thermoplastic. How liquid it appears when heated and how durable and rigid when cool. With my knowledge and background I follow with keen interest the development of new solutions to old issues through the use of new materials. What I could not get my head around, was why this ‘bioplastic’ had not yet been used much in new applications apart from in internal medicine. So it got me thinking.
One day I brought an oblong piece of this plastic to a good friend and maker of fishing lures, to see if he could make something out of it. Somewhat puzzled when presented with the material, my friend remarks; “that looks like a dildo to me”. This kindled the light-bulb and the journey began.
I can tell you that inventing something is not all just calculations and prototyping. I have spent thousands of hours analysing the market, learning the industry, checking out the latest technology, you name it. At this time I found myself developing another sex-toy invention and all of a sudden I was sitting in my workshop with not one nor two, but three different and new inventions and uses of sex-toys. So I made a decision on which one was the most viable and behold – the dodil was born.
With all the seemingly endless hubbub about connected toys and sex robots (with Yours Truly writing about it on several occasions recently) it’s quite refreshing to see something original that doesn’t need either a USB cable or internet access. To what extent have customers and the erotic trade reacted to this particular aspect?
Thank you, we do embrace being revolutionary. The dodil is pretty much DIY, which in its way wraps up what masturbation is about. Everyone gets how remarkable it is to be able to change something according to your own preferences and various desires. And, when it comes to the anatomy of our bodies, which changes over time and is very much like fingerprints, we are all original.
Our customers thanks us for creating this fun and unparalleled product which performs astoundingly well as an internal massager, and for explorations of hot spots to spark. I could say we probably have developed the world’s best vaginal massager, but instead I leave it with: It is in your hands to make it into the world’s best vaginal massager. A-spot, G-spot, any spot, there is a full alphabet in the dodil to explore.
We also have had reactions to how great it is for couples play. It is indeed something to explore and try together. Or simply surprise your partner with a new design.
The erotic trade also gets it, the more they learn about us. We are consciously win-win oriented. This is why we work hard with our brand, earned media and by staying inclusive.
At the moment, the Dodil is an all green affair. What was the rationale for this, and are there any plans for introducing more colour options?
You can call it turquoise, teal, blue, green or aquamarine, but the more specific name of the colour is robin egg blue. The point is to stick out enough while tapping into most people’s liking with a colour we can claim. Something we have managed to do pretty well.
We also have our intriguing and fiery orange colour in our logo. This will be incorporated in upcoming designs and products as well. We like being different, but we are sure our current technology and coming solutions will be what really reforms masturbation regardless of what colour our products have.
Users can create all sorts of shapes and textures with the Dodil. For the more creative among them, rather than visiting IKEA for moulds and cutters (and the meatballs), there’s an obvious opportunity to introduce some Dodil branded accessories. When can these be expected?
We are all about user-experience and user-friendliness, and these will be the factors leading the way to whatever may come. But yes, besides our thermos-flask, it would sure be fun with a dodil-branded kettle for example.
What three adjectives would you want your customers to associate with your brand?
Revolutionary, Fun and Friendly.
A well-positioned company seeks to ‘own’ one word in the minds of consumers (i.e. Volvo and ‘safety’). What would be yours?
Good marketing is important for any company, not only to thrive but just to survive. What have been your key marketing learning points and observations so far?
For us it has been all about how you introduce the dodil to people who never heard of or could imagine such a thing. Marketing of today is really about catching those short moments of attention from a customer or future partner. And by redesigning great deals of our appearance and conceptualizing the dodil with “design your dildo” we are confident that we have nailed it. Design and dildo is something that means pretty much the same wherever in the world you go, and put together you get ‘the dodil – design your dildo’, simple as that. And once you have passed the initial threshold you can point at the obvious advantages and the procedure.
What has been your biggest marketing challenge so far, and what steps are you taking / have taken to overcome it?
To explain the product to new adopters for sure. Hence why we have reshaped ourselves and focus on the advantages put into a concept and slightly less about the actual product. Early on the response came to be a lot about how suitable the dodil is, with its whole packaging and playfulness, as a special gift. But lately we have gotten more response telling about how useful it is as a multi-tool in the quest for a vaginal climax. With this said, we now have reasons to adapt our messaging accordingly.
We didn’t break into the market with approaching retailers and distributors boasting that we have this great invention in our hands. Instead we took it slowly and sought out the reactions and input from thousands of people during this summer’s Pride festivities. From the collected response, we made some improvements to the dodil and then tried it next with the expert consumers (the blogging community).
We have been following and befriending an amazing amount of truly great people over months and they have been a great source for further development. The amount of information and expertise which is gathered in the influencer/blogging community is mind-blowing. And again, just before we went into business for real, we made some final smaller changes. And here we are, with the world’s first user-designed dildo.
Time is our most precious commodity, especially for entrepreneurs. How do you maximise yours, and what tips have you picked up along the way?
Luckily, I have a supportive family, as well as I am surrounded by a solid team. We are passionate about what we are doing, and we allow a lot of creativity to spark in between chaos and order. But basically, a solid plan gets you a long way. Stake out your road map and set goals along the way to the greater goal. Trust and delegate. And keep listening to those who you have reasons to believe knows better than you.
And what does the next twelve months hold in store for Dodil?
Exponential growth, of both the dildo-revolution and the number of new friends. We will continuously stay in the learning loop and keep developing ourselves, our communication and our coming products.
Thanks Richard, and here’s hoping 2018 keeps you busy and successful. And we’ll keep a look out for the Dodil kettle!
If you’ve got the urge to design your own dildo, then you know exactly where to go. Head to the Dodil website, and say hello to Richard and Co., on social media too: you can find them on Twitter and Instagram.
ARE YOU AN AMBITIOUS, MARKETING-LED, COMPANY IN THE SEX TOY, LINGERIE, FETISHWEAR AND EQUIPMENT OR DATING / EVENTS SECTORS?
If you’d like to be interviewed about your entrepreneurial journey and associated marketing issues that will be interesting to the Lascivious Marketing web fraternity, then get in touch!
Until next time!