What It Means to Be a ‘Product Geek’ in the Pleasure Biz

A lot of us love shopping and keep our eyes peeled for the newest products. Some of us are even collectors or product aficionados, able to list off every available version of a certain type of product and explain the differences between them.

There is another type of product lover, however, who takes things to a whole other level. This person knows the what, when, where and why of each product they are interested in and can happily discuss it all for hours. I like to call these people — including myself — product geeks.

Let’s look at what makes a product geek, what a day in their life looks like, what they know that the rest of us don’t — but probably should — and why you want them making your products. In other words, we are about to geek out about product geeks!

What Is a Product Geek?

A product geek is someone who knows the products they are interested in inside and out. They don’t just know what they are made from; they also know the process. They don’t just know how something works; they know why it works that way.

That’s why I call myself a product geek. I lead product development and design at Blush and use my focus to help shape Blush into a pleasure products company that is both design-centric and tech-focused.

A prime example of my product geekery at work is Blush’s focus on working with the newest materials. When we choose suppliers, we do not initiate collaboration until we have seen the testing certificates for the materials. Then, my team and I work closely with the chosen suppliers to meet and exceed legal regulations for quality. This includes ensuring Prop 65-compliant practices, following ISO-9001 guidelines, testing ingredients and finished products.

Life as a Product Geek

How does one become a product geek? For me, it began in childhood when instead of buying a bicycle, I insisted on building one, choosing every component — from the spokes to the pedals and sprocket — in a quest to build something better. When I look at a dildo, it’s not simply a product for me. It’s the materials, the durometer, the color and all the ingredients involved.

When consumers noted a plastic smell from the company’s PVC products, I worked with raw material suppliers and the production department to figure out how to make the material better. As a result, Blush now uses a PVC made with phthalate-free plasticizer sourced from a European plastics manufacturer.

This is what life looks like for a pleasure toy manufacturer who is also a product geek. Fixating on the specific details, ones that some might think are small or less significant, allows a product geek to anticipate issues beyond just functionality. It has certainly served us at Blush, and it can serve and benefit other companies in the industry.

What Product Geeks Want You to Know

There are many firmly held beliefs about what products and materials are inherently “good” or “bad,” which we’ve discussed in previous columns. A product geek’s perspective on PVC — a material that often gets dismissed as low-quality — is much more nuanced. Being involved with the manufacturing process of the material itself has allowed me to tailor it to Blush’s specifications, including finding a way to reduce the scent usually associated with PVC.

Product geeks take great satisfaction not only in finding ways to create better versions of familiar materials, components like motors and batteries, and patterns of vibrations, but also in creating new materials that are unique to the brand.

At Blush, we work with compounders and raw material suppliers to create materials that are unique to us. For instance, our Puria silicone may look like any other silicone, but it’s not. The ingredients are different, and it’s developed differently.

Product geeks know to look closely and make sure you really understand what goes into the products you select rather than choosing and dismissing products based on preconceived notions.

Why You Want to Work with Product Geeks

Product geeks are passionate, and when they set about creating products, they apply that passion to every part of the process, from conceiving an idea to executing it and presenting it to the world. This passion brings the best, most innovative products to you and your shoppers.

Working with product geeks can help you choose and offer products that are better than you could have imagined, because true product geeks find ways to improve elements that you didn’t even know could be improved.

If you want safe, innovative, quality products that are beautifully made with attention to detail in each step of the process, from conception to packaging, find yourself some product geeks. You, and your customers, will be glad you did!

What It Means to Be a ‘Product Geek’ in the Pleasure Biz by Eric Lee originally appeared in XBIZ

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