Bathroom Branding

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Lately, I’ve been noticing some pretty creative use of a space that’s been traditionally taboo.

The potty, loo, john etc.

Yes, the Bathroom seems to have become the new frontier in brand messaging.

This is a picture of the Virgin Management HQ in London.

It’s a bit hard to read…but the sign over the toilet paper roll says “this is the only unauthorized Virgin rip-off, now go wash your hands”.

I think this is brilliant…

It uses a frequently visited space to reinforce Virgin’s commitment to being the consumer champion.

Recently I was in the NY offices of ?Whatif! the innovation company well-known for it’s incredibly strong company culture.

They are also using the bathrooms…to post “10 Interesting Facts” about new employees. And true to ?Whatif! fashion the fact sheets are cleverly written and insightful.

What’s most important is that they underline the company’s commitment to celebrating the strength and diversity of it’s people.

What I haven’t seen is any brands using Bathroom Branding as an touch point to external audiences.

It seems odd to me that brands like Ikea and Starbucks who are so good at using their physical environments to communicate their brand message are ignoring this touchpoint.

Maybe they can’t get over the taboo of the toilet…but I think they should try.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Have you seen any interesting examples of Bathroom Branding? If you can, send us a picture.

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I learned a lot from Brand School.  It inspired me to think outside the box. I have a much deeper understanding of how to effectively build a brand. – Mike S.

The Pet Rock and other Favorite 70’s Brands

Today is my birthday.

Rather than focus on the fact that I am another year older, and freaking out about the passage of time etc. – I’ve decided to focus on the brands of my youth- some of which I miss.

As a child growing up in the 70’s, I remember a lot of iconic brands- many of which are no longer with us.

Check out Retroland.com and search under the 70’s in case you miss some of them too.

I have distinct images of myself in front of the bathroom mirror singing into my hair brush or accepting my academy award (thanking my mother of course).

I probably also thanked product sponsors and gave them a shout out for for making me look so beautiful and glamorous.

Top on my list were:

“Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” Shampoo (the best name ever)

Herbal Essences (who could forget that green bottle and distinct smell?)

The Sweet Escape of Reality

I am addicted to reality TV. Well not all of it.

In my case, the main source of my affliction (and my enjoyment) is NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

I know I am not alone. Millions of people are tuning in each week, making this one of the most popular shows on TV.

But it goes beyond entertainment for me.

I actually feel like I am accomplishing something,  each week as the contestants face difficult challenges and transform their bodies.

17 Trends According to Faith Popcorn

I received these trends in a marketing email from Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve.

I’ve always been interested in trends.

I don’t really believe in their ability to predict the future.

After all, most trends are usually well underway when they are coined – so it’s really more like a snapshot of the present.

And one of the things that FPBR is really good at is giving them clever names like “cocooning” (an oldie but apparently still a goodie) and capitalizing on them on the time when they are just “mass” enough that people are nodding their heads in agreement.

Not so much ahead of the curve, but maybe right on top of it.

What interests me most (and from what I’ve read Faith too) is the APPLCATION of the trends.

I find them a useful filter when I am trying to innovate on a project to think about a subset of current trends (say five or so) and look at the task at hand through those eyes.

Take one of the more interesting ones below Egonomics (“consumers craving of individuality”) and think about how this might affect what I am trying to do at one of my projects at Virgin.

If you buy into this trend, then how can you capitalize on it in product development and marketing?

Hypothetically, in a Virgin hospitality experience how can we obtain a new level of customization in the customer journey?

Anyway take a quick look.

Let me know If any of these strike a chord and how you are applying them to your brands.

FAITH POPCORN’S BRAINRESERVE TRENDBANK

99 LIVES
Too fast a pace, too little time, causes societal schizophrenia and forces us to assume multiple roles.

ANCHORING
A reaching back to our spiritual roots, taking what was secure from the past in order to be ready for the future.

ATMOSFEAR
Polluted air, contaminated water and tainted food stir up a storm of consumer doubt and uncertainty.