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Interview: Coraline Ruf, Co-director RUF Erotic

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Interview: Coraline Ruf, Co-director RUF Erotic

RUF Erotic is a leading French company in aphrodisiacs and other erotic products, founded by Dominique and Pierre-Etienne RUF in 1980. A few years ago daughters Coraline, Delphine and Blandine joined the company helping it become a global success.

Can you tell us the story behind RUF Erotic?
It started in 1980 when Dominique and Pierre-Etienne RUF begun a small business in the south of France, at first it was mostly books to give sexual advise, food supplements, tele listing etc. In 1985 they created Esterel Production and the eponym brand “RUF”. Through the years RUF acquired a deep notoriety in France. In the following 15 years they’ve developed a large range of products and became leader on the French Market.  In 1995 the strategy decision was to diversify the business and engage an internationalization of the Brand. Quickly the brand has been distributed in all Europe and knew a real success abroad.

Sadly in 2004 Pierre-Etienne RUF suddenly left the company because of an accident, the company went through a lot of difficulties and has to reinvent its strategy. The choice made was to cut out the B to C business part, and reduce the size of the company to make it more flexible. Dominique RUF made the choice to expand the business outside of Europe and find new resources in Japan, Turkey, Africa, China.

The company found a new stability and kept evolving. In 2015, Coraline RUF entered in the company after her business & marketing studies, and became Co-director of the company. We are proud to say we are market leader in France and continue its worldwide growth.

RUF Erotic is well-known for being a family company. What’s it like to run/ work at a company together with your mother/daughter?
Running a family company is the best work experience that we have, working in a relation of trust and love gives you the opportunities to express yourself in a better way than in other circumstances. At work the atmosphere is happy without bad pressure, the exchange and communication are easy which help to save a lot of time ! When you have good relationship in a family and especially between a mother and daughter it brings a lot of positive things, and at work those things are essential to be a strong and great team.

In the family we are with three sisters, Delphine RUF specializes in cosmetics regulation and the development of new and sustainable ingredients and advises us on many things. She also helps us to improve or create products, and Blandine RUF specializes in Digital Marketing and Brand identity to help us develop our packaging and build a strong brand identity.

Can you describe your typical day at the office?
We have no hours to come or leave and the task might change a day to another, there is no typical day at RUF! But basically we are free to make our own days as there is a lot trust and the jobs are well split, we are independent, and we are working alone on our task. But even if we are quite serious, cats are not making dogs, so we have the same sense of humor, every day we are laughing a lot together.

The RUF Erotic products are mostly known for its aphrodisiac ingredients. How do you come up with the ideas? And what is your source of inspiration when developing a new product?
We are working with different laboratories with which we have formed a strong relation, with some of them we are working together for 30 years. We have an exclusive French production which give us the possibility to develop special products because we understand each other well.

To find inspiration we are reading, travelling, participating at different fair, we are trying to focus on “low frequencies” and not go on obvious market development. Our idea is to think out of the box to offer something new and real, and the other advantage to have a business family is that everyone from the family helps us.

What has been your biggest challenge so far when creating new products? Has there ever been a problem with the combination of aphrodisiac ingredients?
Creating new products is not that difficult when you are well advised and the people around you contribute to the development. To me what is the biggest challenge is about regulation, in France the level is very high and extremely instable, it can change every 6 months and you have to stay aware of all the modification during the development of your products and sometimes it can delay the launching or even change completely the product.

Our products are developed by serious laboratories, in 35 years our they have never provoked any side effect or undesirable effect which is a strong proof of quality.

How are all the products tested? Do you have a special test panel to review them before it hits the stores?
Basically to test a product we use a panel of people who will be using the product during a certain period of time, to get a representative result we pick a large a selection of people. We also have many legal obligation to make test of non - irritability and non – toxic.

We insist on the fact that none of our products are tested on animal, and that we only use mainly ingredient from plants.

Is there a difference in sales amongst the female and male audience when it comes to the aphrodisiac products?
Historically the brand RUF has made his audience with men and for us they stay our main audience. Mostly of our aphrodisiacs for women are bought by men !

What is your favorite RUF Erotic product and why?
To me there are many product which I like and use, for every day I’m using the perfume Taboo Espiègle, our perfume coming from Grasse, they are same quality as most perfume of well know French brands, and I must say that I’m the one as chosen the smell of this perfume, so of course I do like it a lot !!! I sometime use cream or candle massage but this is for private moment (CENSORED).

What can we expect from RUF Erotic in the future? Are there any plans you’d like to share with us?
For the future we have many project for the short and long term, for two years we have put at the center marketing to modernize the company and products, we are making a big work to develop our presence in new countries and to create new range of products.

We hope that the company will continue to bring pleasure and joy to all people who are using our products. We are thankful for the fidelity and trust of all our customers around the world.

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