Minding Your Own Brand: Can They Squeeze Your Toilet Paper?

Mr. Whipple taught us that not all toilet paper is the same. Because of him, we all demand fluffy soft tissue instead of thirty-grit janitorial supply sandpaper for our bathrooms at home. However, when we enter a public toilet, things are not as predictable and we have come to expect very different bathroom experiences when we enter a restroom stall. From gas station restrooms to lavatories in five star restaurants, we have certain toilet tissue expectations when nature calls. Whether they know it or not, how a company lives up to those expectations is shaping our brand loyalty.

Companies spend significant resources developing logos, corporate identity standards, marketing materials, and loyalty programs but often forget that something as small as a three by three square of bathroom tissue is shaping their brand. A brand is more than just a logo; it is reflected in everything a company says and does. Consequently, something as “insignificant” as toilet paper can convey a great deal of information about an organization.

When developing a long-term brand strategy, it is necessary for organizations to examine all aspects of their business.  Instead of just focusing on the marketing and corporate identity programs, they must consider that every point of contact between their company and potential audiences is affecting the status of the organization’s brand. Companies must understand their audience’s expectations and use that information to build brand experiences that strengthen a customer’s relationship with the brand.

Building a successful brand means building a lasting relationship with people who become your advocates. If you provide your customers with consistent experiences beyond their expectations, you will be able to recruit loyal advocates. These loyal brand advocates will share the company’s vision, care about its success, see the company’s products as the only logical choice and spread the word to others. So with that in mind I ask you, can they squeeze your toilet paper and more importantly, will it exceed their expectations?

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