Roadside gas stations are notorious for this. But, I’ve also been in some pretty high-brow retail stores where the loo was a lot less than lovely. In fact, it was missed many opportunities to connect their brand with customers, clients and employees, often and intimately.
If you think about, when someone visits your room of resting it’s a pretty uninterrupted experience, where small details surface and a lot of messaging is communicated.
Take a look at these 3 environments and see how they could be translated into a brand impression.
Unfortunately I see this one a lot.
1) A nasty, unkept facility with no obvious thought about design or decor, multi-used as an unorganized, cluttered stockroom and no basic supplies in sight.
Hmmm is this how do they run their business too?
2) An immaculate space, friendly signage about plumbing sensitivity, interesting art, painted walls and lighting that make your look great, not sick and subtle branding details that further the story about the brand.
This feels good. What a nice experience, I believe this company is thoughtful and these small details tell me more about who they are.
3) I’m blown away. This 2-minute bathroom excursion is so unique. Every detail is memorable from the lighting, to eco-friendly fixtures to the branded soap products.
I can’t wait to tell my friends about this. This company is so creative, innovative and distinct. This makes me feel special.
So which one is your company? And what do you need to do to bring the toilet up to total brand standards?
Here are some ideas to pump up your bathroom branding.
1) Change something out regularly. So people want to visit. Make it a seasonally experience.
2) Consider leveraging more than one sense. What can you do to the scent, the sounds, touch and textures or visuals to make it more memorable?
3) Inject some humor in to the room. Provide custom reading material with a brand twist.
4) Think about how can you imprint your brand graphics into the experience? On the soap, tissues, floor, ceiling or wall tiles.
Here are a couple of my favorite restrooms experiences.
Oddpodz is fortunate to be housed in the Walker Brands Building in Tampa. Walker Brands specializes in experiential, destination branding and their building is the first “Gold” LEED certified property in the city. Which means they were recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s leading-edge system for designing and constructing a sustainable, energy-efficient and high-performance building meeting key eco-supporting standards.
The entire space is awesome and a creative haven, but the bathrooms are a great example of a thoughtful on-brand experience. The 8,400-square-foot building has four uniquely wonderful lavatories, all delivering a cool and memorable experience. All designed with a consistent style, each sport a wall-to-wall photo graphic depicting a story and travel experience. One is Fenway Park, one is an aquarium with whale sharks, one is Times Square in New York City and one is a Roman scene. In addition to energy-saving and beautifully-design fixtures, they all have life like sound effects from the featured destination.
Walker Brand’s restrooms provide a lot more than utility.
My other example is not quite as full drama, but equally as on-brand. The company is a consulting practice and investment banking firm called Santa Fe Capital. It’s owned by emerging business guru and author David Silver. David is very creative, not your typical finance guy and loves art and collects it. His office is packed with an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures and photographs. And so is his restroom, wall to ceiling, you feel like you are at the MOMA and not in a small business bathroom. It’s impressive and memorable.
Santa Fe Capital artwork
If you want to see some other noted restroom environments for more inspiration check out this link highlighting 10 of the most unique restrooms in the world.
Your company toilet, bathroom, power room or what ever you choose to call it is an important branding touch point, don’t to waste the opportunity. Have you seen a cool and on brand bathroom? If so, share it with us.