Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Branded to the core

Many of you who know me probably know I don’t think bathroom activities are an acceptable topic in polite conversation. Picture me, then, hopping on the Times Square shuttle yesterday and finding myself surrounded by the Cottonelle campaign that’s been up since March.

Because it’s two months old, I won’t go into the work itself, other than to say “We shine where the sun don’t” is a funny headline. And I like how the text is framed by a rounded border with detail in the lower right that mimics both a tuft of cotton and a human butt. Clever.

But seeing this effort reminded me of something I’d been thinking a few months ago.

As with many other products, I have a toilet paper preference. Or at least I think I do. Some brands are better than others, but I can never remember which one I like.

The reason has to do with my interaction with the branded portion of the product. I buy the stuff at the store, take it home, remove the rolls from the plastic, and stock them in a cupboard in my bathroom. If I buy a pack of twelve rolls, it can be quite a while before I need to buy more. Three or four months? Six months? I really don’t know for sure. But during that time, I’ve completely forgotten what brand I’m using because I'd discarded the wrapper shortly after returning from the store.

None of my other toiletry products suffer from this disassociation between the product and the brand. My toothpaste tube is branded, and I interact with the brand until I’m squeezing out the last bit of paste. My deodorant is branded throughout my experience with it. Ditto my shampoo. And the same for most other goods I use.

So here’s a free idea for anyone in the TP industry: Brand your cardboard core. It’s the last part of your product your customers experience. Put a funny message on it (see above) and connect with your customer on another level. Seize the opportunity to remind them of what they’re using. If it’s a good experience, they’re more likely to make a repeat purchase simply because they’re more likely to remember your brand.

1 comment:

Mark said...

This very good idea proves that you are underpaid.