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Interview with Brian Krieger of Minna Life

Our friend, Cheryl Cohen Greene, recommended that we look up MINNA LIFE a couple of months ago and after we  did some research we were hooked. Their approach and focus on smart, beautiful, high-quality products is consistent with our philosophy.

How did your company or organization get its name?

There's a street in San Francisco, where we are based, called Minna that cuts across a few disparate neighborhoods - we liked the idea and name since our goal in creating Minna was to provide well-designed, approachable sexual health products that could appeal to a broad cross-section of people. 

Your company has posted more videos on YouTube lately featuring you discussing your products and how customers can use them. How did these come about? What prompted you to develop these?

Video is such a powerful tool for communicating how products work. Particularly since our products have unique features that customers may not have seen before, like Squeeze Control for Ola and Limon or 360 Degree Sensing for kGoal, we try to provide as much information as we can about why those unique features are so great. 

What is the appeal of your product? What differentiates your products from those of your competitors?

In a general sense, we pride ourselves on innovation. 

More specifically, Ola and Limon have our revolutionary Squeeze Control - the harder you squeeze, the stronger the vibrations. This makes them super intuitive to use and perfectly suited for couples, since both partners can partake in a much richer interaction than a normal vibrator where it's difficult to control the vibration intensity in the midst of use. They also have Smart Memory, which enables the user to record and play back any pattern of vibrations they can imagine. We believe that every person is unique, and all deserve the right to have a totally personalized experience.

And kGoal was the first (and we think is still the best) smart Kegel exerciser in the world. Its combination of biofeedback, guided workouts, exercise history tracking, games, and adjustable size make it a unique solution for any woman who wants a better, more enjoyable way to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles. 

How do your products enhance customers' experiences?

It's ultimately all about control. For Ola and Limon, giving people the ability to control vibration intensity just by squeezing harder or softer (no fumbling with buttons required) - this is great for solo use and even better with a partner. In the same way that one partner might do any number of things harder/softer or faster/slower, that ability to tease and please is now extended to vibrators. 

And for kGoal, enabling people to take control of their pelvic floor fitness, with all the benefits that can entail, is tremendously empowering.

The adult toy industry is largely unregulated from a medical perspective so there are some manufacturers who market their use of "body safe" and "medical grade" materials (e.g. the industry has moved from rubber, to PVC to Silicone among others). Do you think the industry would benefit from more regulation and oversight when it comes to materials? Does your business encounter stricter regulations and more oversight in other countries?

We feel strongly about the importance of using body safe materials, and we use only medical grade, body safe Class VI silicone in all of our products. I'm not sure that increased regulation is the best solution to the existence of products with lower quality materials, but I think that Minna and many other companies have made a lot of progress in educating customers about the importance of material quality, and that's something that we look forward to seeing continue. 

What criteria do you use in selecting your materials? How do you test/evaluate your products?

We use the same Class VI medical grade silicone, from the same supply chain, in all of our products. We also have an exhaustive, iterative user testing program that we go through as part of each new product development cycle where we provide our test group with different prototypes and get repeated feedback from them on what works well and what doesn't. 

Adult toys have gone mainstream. How has greater mainstream acceptance affected your business and how you develop products?

It hasn't really changed how we develop products - we have always taken the approach that a healthy sexuality is a critically important part of a full, happy, healthy life and that products that help promote that should be approachable for as many people as possible. But it's been great to see the taboos disappearing, since barriers to these types of products being in the mainsteam only hurt people by making them unwilling or unable to improve their sexual health. 

How has Amazon affected your business?

Amazon can certainly be a double-edged sword - it has the potential to expose products to new customers but it can be a difficult platform to manage in terms of everything from messaging to pricing. 

What would you like customers to know about your products and company that marketing materials might not adequately communicate?

Using the Squeeze Control technology that all of our current products are built around is something much better experienced than described. It's amazing to see the reaction when we put a product in someone's hand, even someone who we just described it to moments before. The sense of control is so intuitive that for many people, you can actually see the light bulb turn on when the first start squeezing. 

What are three products in your line that you think do not get enough recognition?

We're always working hard to promote awareness of kGoal but even moreso of pelvic floor fitness in general. The pelvic floor muscles can have a huge impact in a lot of areas (like sexual function and bladder control, to name two). Yet so many people assume issues that can be due to weak pelvic floor muscles are "inevitable" or "just part of life". That is definitely not necessarily the case and people should know! 

Our company believes that enjoyable sexual activity is important to healthy adult lifestyle regardless of physical disability. One group of consumers whom we are trying to serve are the physically challenged. What kinds of products do you offer or recommend which can help those with physical disabilities reconnect with partners?

We couldn't agree more. Limon can be a great fit for physically challenged customers for a few reasons. First, you can control the vibration intensity without having to press buttons but in addition, we hear from lots of customers whose favorite way to use it is to trap it between their and their partner's body and control the vibrations by squeezing closer to their partner or relaxing - it can be an extremely intimate way to connect with a partner that doesn't require using one's hands at all.  

Customers (okay me really) are curious as to how you do product research. How do you develop products? Are there focus groups? Are there online discussion groups? Do you use market trends?

That is a great question. I actually wrote a blog post a while back that digs into it and figuring out how to do product research most effectively continues to be an area of focus for us. 

Check out our selection of elegant MINNA products here!

Here are our reviews of the LIMON and kGoal.



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