The consumer goods company already owns condom brand Durex and says it takes a “very pro-active approach” to marketing the sexual well-being category. While it is too early to share details of any marketing campaigns, a spokesperson says K-Y will benefit from Reckitt’s “innovation and brand equity investment approach”.
Reckitt says sales of K-Y topped $100m (£60m) in 2013. It will now sit alongside Durex as the firm aims to create a “unique portfolio” of brands in the sexual well-being category.
Reckitt, like rivals Unilever and Procter & Gamble, has been investing in innovation and new products in a bid to prove its value and reduce the level of discounts and promotions that became commonplace during the recession. It has also increased the amount it invests in brand building based on its own Brand Equity Investment criteria, which is the sum of media advertising, digital activity and consumer and B2B education programmes.
The firm claims investment in its brands accounted for 13 per cent of net revenue last year, equal to a £100m increase compared 2012. In particular it has invested in its “power brands”, which includes Durex, as well as newly-acquired brands.
Last year it bought vitamin company Schiff, launching its first vitamin products early this year with the introduction of MegaRed. That launch was supported by a £5m marketing campaign that included TV, press and digital ads.