When I visit a new city for some face time with a retailer, I’m hoping to arrive to two types of pleasant views: a well Plan-O-Grammed store, and some gorgeous natural backdrops to accompany my drive. What do adult novelty merchandising displays and mountains have in common? Absolutely nothing, unless you’re a nature lover who also happens to interface with adult retailers for a living!
Last Fall, I was greeted with the best of both worlds when I arrived in Reno, Nevada. My customer could not have followed our suggested Plan-O-Grams more beautifully in his boutique-style shops. During the downtime between the staff trainings and consumer events we set up, he suggested that I take a drive up to nearby Lake Tahoe. I was in business trip heaven! My office was thrilled with the results of my customer visit, and I got to take in some of the most stunning views of the Reno area.
The Plan-O-Grammer, for those who aren’t familiar, is our custom software that aids us in designing product layout on a wall within a store to best increase sales. It’s a typical concept to those in retail – visual merchandising, really – but it’s especially important for adult novelty manufacturers. Everyone has grown up knowing popular brands of clothing and food, but how many can name the company that makes his or her favorite adult toy? This is where a Plan-O-Gram comes in. Stores that strategically place product in an easily navigable way are helping their customers develop brand recognition and understand their needs. The mass amount of toy manufacturers and brand lines can make purchasing a headache for some people. Plan-O-Grammed displays group toys by company and product line, displaying cohesive packaging that will stick in consumer minds. When a boutique client requests a strap-on-compatible rubber dong, they can now easily be directed to the slat wall section that holds the entire line of Pipedream’s Basix Rubber Works. When retailers Plan-O-Gram, it’s a win-win for everyone in the chain of supply and demand.
After admiring the walls of my customer’s stores, I headed out to his suggested drive up to North Lake Tahoe. Fitting nature into my daily duties is a huge perk of traveling for a living. The incredible beauty of my surroundings leaves me refreshed when I have to get back on the clock. Taking a breather, regardless of how small, is the best way to stay sane while living out of hotel rooms. It’s easy to get so caught up in the industrial world of a career that one forgets the importance of little sips of leisure. If you can’t fit a long break into your work schedule, steal away into the woods in-between luncheons and meetings. Trust me, the effort you’ll be able to show those future Plan-O-Grams might just depend on it.
Check out the photos from my mid-trip excursion to Lake Tahoe: