Given COVID-19-induced remote work mandates and home self-quarantining, Reckitt Benckiser probably couldn’t have picked a better time for rebranding its K-Y personal lubricants—with a theme that champions women’s rights in the bedroom.
On the new packaging, a diagonal ruby is nestled between the letters K and Y, which have been brought closer together to symbolize a diamond. The ruby is meant to represent “a celebration of the vulva and a symbol of uncompromising passion and enjoyment.”
The new brand identity for a product launched in 1904 and sold around the world is being rolled out first in the United States. K-Y’s Tingling “sensorial personal lubricant” and Yours + Mine lubricant line for couples already bear the new imagery.
According to the Design Bridge New York agency, which Reckitt Benckiser engaged in 2019, women everywhere still struggle to have their voices heard—and the bedroom is no exception. Brand messaging derives from the concept of “Let’s talk about sex.”
K-Y has begun to share the new brand identity on social media. Asked about plans for a broader campaign, “We believe it will be a national launch across all media,” Design Bridge New York client business director Emma Godfrey tells Marketing Daily.
The target audience will be overwhelmingly female. “From an end-user perspective, the vast majority are women given the nature of our products. We estimate at least 95%,” Godfrey says.
Reckitt Benckiser acquired K-Y from a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson in 2014.
Grand View Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% for dollar sales of personal lubricants worldwide between 2019 and 2016.
“Growing demand for these products for reducing vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction is expected to boost market growth,” the company said.
“Moreover, in recent years, lubricants are increasingly being used by sex workers as well as men who have sex with men to reduce discomfort during intercourse. According to U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), 49.92 million Americans were reported to be using personal lubricants in 2018.”