Interview with BalticBest 2022 jury member Gerður Huld Arinbjarnardóttir, who is the Founder/CEO at Blush (Iceland).
Gerður is the youngest person in history who has received the Marketing Person of the Year title in Iceland and her sex toy company Blush was named the best Icelandic brand in 2022.
You are the marketer of the year in Iceland. What is your recipe for good marketing?
All the marketing I do is interactive and useful for customers. Customers will benefit from our marketing. For example, we gave away 300 000 condoms with our logo. People see our logo, but they can also use a condom. This is useful marketing. We are also educating our customers about our products on Instagram.
How do you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns?
Sales don’t lie. But you don’t see the results immediately, sometimes it may take months to see results. You need to think long-term. If I need quick results, I would send out an email with a discount offer. But if we do it all the time, people will stop responding to that. And you can’t make money if you discount your products all the time.
You need to mix – sometimes giveaways, sometimes fun campaigns. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money. Sometimes we do campaigns that are just fun and create a positive connection with our company. I can feel the positive feedback from our customers.
Since I am the owner of the company, I don’t have to worry about my job if something goes wrong. Obviously, sometimes we also fail with our campaigns.
During COVID I increased the marketing of our company three times. All others were cutting back. Our company doubled the sales!
What makes the Blush brand special?
We have the most beautiful sex toy store in the World, really female-friendly. We have a strong social media presence and we are very interactive. Every Friday we offer professional advice on sex and recommendations about sex toys. We try to normalize sex toys.
In our content marketing, famous people in Iceland talk about sex toys – they reveal what kind of toys they have, for example. We try to move the sex toy industry from the porn category to the sexual health category.
I was 21 years old when I started the company and I was the first sex toy owner who put her own face to it. Everybody in Iceland knows me as the girl from the sex toy company. This gave me the opportunity to give a lot of interviews. If the company has a face, it’s easier to get the PR.
I can assure you, people love reading and talking about sex.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
It’s not enough to believe in the business idea, you have to believe in yourself. In my case, I was sure that my business idea would be successful, but I did not believe in myself.
I was not sure if I was the right person to run this company. My company suffered in the first years, because I did not have strong enough self-esteem and I did not believe in myself.
Your company is never stronger than your mental health. I needed to work on my mental health and self-esteem. Only after that I was able to grow my company.
I think some sort of external push or help is needed to overcome the confidence problems. I signed up for Unleash the Power Within program with Tony Robbins and ended up getting the platinum membership and spent the whole year traveling around the World with Tony.
It was so amazing and I learned that I am the only one, who could stop myself from achieving what I want to achieve.