1) 2018 has been, in many ways, rightly named “The Year of The Woman”. As the positive mission for bettering women’s lives grows stronger in society—women running for office, #metoo, the women’s marches, demand for equal pay—our industry starts to move in that direction as well. We are beginning to get the message across that being a woman is (gasp!) nothing to be ashamed of, that it’s ok for women to live in and love their bodies, that being female is an asset, not a disadvantage. Period underwear is just another product now, period pad ads with real period blood, not blue stuff, are winning awards, the 3% Conference is stronger than ever. However, even with the groundbreaking improvements of 2018, there is still a long way to go in the fight for better treatment of women in our society, our industry, and the way brands communicate with women. Someday we’ll no longer have to fight for women’s rights and we’ll be able to have a “Year of The People” but not yet.
2) Funny to say, but it seems like the marketplace is starting to adjust to us. Since Katie Keating and I started Fancy in 2011, we’ve always been women-owned and operated with the mission of elevating what matters to women, something that is a relatively new trend for other groups.
3) After last year’s super fun work for adult retailer Lion’s Den, we expanded our roster of adult focused companies with an emerging cannabis brand as well as an adult toy manufacturer. Our recent work for We-Vibe challenges the idea that holiday gift-giving is all about what’s in the box and under the bow. The new-and-improved this, and the 2018-must-have that. Because when you think about it, what feels the best to give (and to receive!) are the gifts that seem impossible to wrap: like a tickle, a toe curl, or a squeal. With the We-Vibe Discover Gift Box you get 10 impossible to wrap gifts all wrapped up in one. We kept the feeling light, fun, and sexy, with banners that teased, a storytelling video that captured the anticipation of the experience, a stop-motion unboxing video that put all ten products on center stage, and a homepage that got into all the details.
4) Cannabis will continue to explode in many good ways and I believe there will be lots of opportunities for our industry there. Another trend that will continue is changing the way we look at age (both within our own companies and externally as we consider consumers) will be a focus and this will hopefully help brands understand what we’ve been saying at Fancy for a long time: that they must start communicating with the treasure trove of women over 40. They’re smart, they’re sexy, they’re confident, and oh, they also have money.
5) We will continue to engage in conversations that are an important part of women’s lives but not yet part of the normally accepted dialogue. Topics like sexual wellness, menopause, cannabis etc. are all things we should be discussing comfortably. It’s important that we normalize these conversations so that people have access to accurate information, can enjoy life in all stages and ages, and unnecessary shame about normal, healthy parts of life is eradicated.