Imagine this: a porn company that actually goes out to retail stores, provides them with cool stuff, talks directly to the customers and generally makes itself a real presence out there in the world.
Well, Zero Tolerance — whose name, it appears, now applies not only to its attitude toward bad porn, but toward bad customer relations, as well — is planning to do just that, with a new program called M-2-M, or Manufacturer to Merchandiser, which it predicts will revolutionize the way the adult studio does business with the adult retailer.
“As far as I know, there has never been a program like this in adult,” said ZT’s Scott Stein, who’s spearheading the M-2-M program and likens it to the kind of merchandiser outreach practices of companies like Budweiser and Coca-Cola. “For quite some time, I had thought that a merchandising program which catered to the adult industry was long overdue. So we spent several months conducting focus groups and fine-tuning our agenda and collectively (Zero Tolerance Entertainment, Third Degree Films and Black Ice Limited) created [one].
“We were inspired by mainstream merchandising programs. Everyone has seen a vendor visiting one of their accounts — be it a supermarket or Home Depot — stocking shelves and providing the store with merchandising products, as well as customer support. We’ve taken that basic concept and created a customized program that addresses the specific needs of the adult retailer.”
So what will the retailer get, exactly? Oh, things like shelf talkers (those little tags that jut out from the shelf above or below the product), point-of-purchase displays, posters, mobiles, and the occasional product giveaway, in-store promotion and/or visit from a porn star, among other things.
“It’s a win-win,” Stein crooned, “with absolutely no downside to the retailer. Not only will our company be perceived as customer-friendly and the company that cares enough to actually send people out on the street, but we will be listening to the consumers’ likes and dislikes. By providing the consumer with an ‘ear’ to speak to, we will have a greater understanding of the adult marketplace.”
Distributors needn’t worry, either, about any sort of undercutting this program might seem to imply. “Our distributors are very excited about the program,” said Stein. “We have reassured them that at no point will we ever sell direct to any of the stores. This program was established to help support our distributors [in] the promotional and marketing burdens that manufacturers leave up to [them]. By visiting the retailers, we can address any questions of concerns that they may have. If any of their questions concern our distributors, we will promptly pass that information to them. In that instance, we will assist our distributors by serving as their eyes and ears.”
Of course, having recently signed Courtney Cummz as the first ZT contract girl, the company plans to incorporate her into the M-2-M game plan.
“By signing Courtney, we believe in her and her ability to represent the companies,” Stein commented. “We’re certain that she’ll have a presence on many of our in-store promotional products and marketing materials. The actual program is [designed] to enhance and support the brand itself. [But] Courtney will be a catalyst for the program.”
This is a major step for an adult company to take, and one that others will doubtlessly follow. But in leading the pack, Zero Tolerance has once again proven what a marketing-forward company it is. Declared Stein, “We feel as though we will be forever changing the relationship between the manufacturer and the merchant.”
To contact Zero Tolerance about the M-2-M program, email Scott Stein at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 818.700.1872.