Lloyd Perry walked away from a six-figure income in sales and marketing to start Big Richard, a youth-focused condom brand that’s starting to take off.
How did the idea for Big Richard come about?
Four hours of brainstorming. The original vision was to create a youth-focused clothing and condom brand. There’s always been a gap in clothing if you can come up with something unique. In condoms, I felt there was a gap for a fun, cheeky brand targeting the youth market, which makes up around 80% of all purchases. So the idea for Big Richard was really all about the brand. I realized as I went along though – with some urging from my investors – that you really need to focus on one thing. So clothing had to go. Funnily enough, our business is evolving now into a premium adult products brand, and clothing – underwear specifically – might make a comeback as part of this.
What were you doing before you founded the business?
I was stuck in employee land in a job I didn’t really like. I was doing sales and marketing, and I kept on following the money but ended up selling products I wasn’t really passionate about. The move to an entrepreneur path was necessary for me. I do fondly reminisce about those paycheques though.
What was the toughest challenge you had to overcome when starting out?
Getting quality results from limited resources – that includes me. We’ve had a few hairy moments and there have been plenty of times when I’ve been unable to pay myself. The stress of those situations definitely affects your performance and you try to keep things in the frame. Things are getting a lot better now though.
How important is social media to your business?
Social media is definitely becoming more important for us. I got hung up for a while insisting that if the activity wasn’t driving revenue, it’s an activity not worth doing. I’m getting better at working the revenue funnel now, so I understand its role better.
What has been the most effective form of advertising?
Our Big Richard Condom Courier van has been a lot of fun. We take it to festivals and hand out free condoms. Our iPhone App, SexPlay, will likely be our best yet though. It allows people to measure their volume, duration, and activity levels in bed, and see where they rank on a global sex leaderboard. It’s global marketing for the Big Richard brand and we’re building a valuable database on people’s sex lives. For example, did you know that German girls, aged 28, have the loudest sex in the world?
How tough has it been going up against established brands?
Very tough. I’ve developed a begrudging respect for them because I can see quality execution in a lot of their activity. We manage to hold our own though and we’re not constrained by the boxes that hedge them in. As a challenger brand, we can do things they can’t even dream of, and that’s what gives us an edge.