More than a sex symbol: Why Lovehoney is paying tribute to Marilyn Monroe


“Our special edition is a tribute to her, and is designed and positioned to empower all of the individuals around the world that identify as a woman to break through stereotypes… and define their own sexuality.”

According to Lovehoney Group’s Australasian director Rob Godwin, the partnership has been in the works for over a year and was made possible thanks to the doors opened by last year’s merger between Lovehoney and Germany’s Wow Tech Group.

“Marilyn was decades ahead of her time, she’s an original feminist,” Godwin told Inside Retail. “We’re really privileged to have the opportunity to work with her estate.”

Group play

As reported last year, the combined Lovehoney Group brings together a portfolio of brands, including Fifty Shades of Grey, Happy Rabbit, Womanizer, We-Vibe, and Arcwave, as well as Swiss retailer Amorana. 

The merger also gives Lovehoney access to new regions, such as France, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Asia and America, and the opportunity to tailor its message to individual markets. 

“We [now] have the economies of scale, the reach of iconic brands like Marilyn Monroe, and can implement our customer strategies [across the world],” Godwin said.

“We have this real, global purpose and impact. I think we’ll do half a billion dollars this year, globally. Ten years ago it was myself, one other person and two dogs in a spare bedroom, and next year we’ll have over 5000 square metres of warehouse space and over 70 staff.

“It’s a huge success story.”

Direct contact

Aside from being one of the biggest players in the sexual wellness space in Australia, much of Lovehoney’s success has come from the direct relationships it has fostered with customers. 

The brand has over 18,000 Trustpilot reviews and an average ranking of 4.8 out of 5 stars, and it boasts over 300,000 customer reviews on its website. Much of this consumer trust comes from the fact that, when the brand advertises, it tends to use influencers and ambassadors to educate its customers on sexual wellness, rather than simply promoting its products.

“[Our ambassadors] get our message across, and feed back to us what customers responded well to and what they want more of,” Godwin explained. 

“We do a lot of work in education. Sexual education is lacking in Australia, specifically in high school and university – people aren’t learning about their bodies.”

‘We’re ready’

When it comes to the remainder of 2022, however, Godwin expects the “peakiest peaks ever” this holiday season.

“I think given the inflationary issues around the world, wage inflation and cost of living increases, people are going to be really holding out for those sales events: Click Frenzy, Afterpay Day, Cyber Week and then straight into Christmas,” Godwin said.

“There’s going to be no pause, and we’re expecting unprecedented demand. We already have double-digit growth on last year, which also saw double-digit growth. It shows people are really taking sexual wellness seriously.”

With prices continuing to rise, and customers increasingly nervous around spending, Godwin said the sales period will be “intense”.

“We’re ready… I’m nervously excited.”

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