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Put the Bathrooms in the Front
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There’s one thing that makes certain customers happy: bathrooms in the front. These customers don’t want to walk all the way through an overwhelming store, potentially with a child in tow and another on the way, just to use the facilities and care for their children. This is called knowing the customer and understanding what they want. Seeing the world from their perspective and delivering on something so simple, yet so important? It makes a difference. Enter into a Babies"R"Us and what happens? Customers, mostly moms, have to walk all the way through the store to the back to use a bathroom. Walk into a buybuy BABY and this brand has figured it all out, with bathrooms right at the entrance and a very nice family area that new moms can use for whatever they might need. Is this going to sell more bottles and diapers? Yes! It’s much like the burrito conversation from yesterday. Anything that enhances the brand and makes customers more engaged with it produces brand loyalists and customers that would rather spend dollars on this brand instead of the one down the block.  

Most baby stores sell the same thing — diapers, bottles, clothes, and everything else under the babyworld sun. Honestly, a customer could walk into any of these stores and get what they need from pre-baby to young kids. But that’s not why customers choose one baby brand over another. Much of it has to do with the soft benefits the customer receives. These are things that can’t exactly equate with dollars, but sure help to create a successful brand. It’s enough associates helping customers pull product off of shelves, it’s an easy layout to get in and out quickly, it’s a loyalty program where an employee can look up your number, and it's kids' areas for the toddlers who need a play-break while shopping. How do brands know what “add” to elevate their stature within a sea of competitors? Know the customer. Ask them, ask employees, do research, and try a test. All of these tools can help brands reach a higher standard for the customer and ultimately gain them as a shopper for life.

So, yes, sometimes bathrooms in front make sense. It’s not simply for ease of use, but also for a larger brand engagement and loyalty initiative. These extras can be the items that matter most to customers, and if other brands aren’t offering them they may be the item to help gain additional dollars and future success.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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