June 18th, 2007
Have your expectations of something ever been so low that they have nowhere to go but up? While I was on my recent trip in Europe, I stopped at a rest area in Germany and found this nifty toilet in the bathroom.
It didn’t look like much at first, but then I noticed the blue and white hand sensor on the top. I waved my hand over the sensor, and the toilet seat started rotating under the blue arm that extended out a few inches. The arm let out a stream of cleaner and also “squeegeed” the seat as it rotated. The same thing also happened when you flushed. How cool is that? Functional, sanitary, and unordinary. I also wasn’t so annoyed about having to pay 50 Euro cents to use it.
The rest of the folks on my tour talked about these toilets for the rest of the day. Normally you wouldn’t give toilets a second thought, or care much about them. Let’s face it, using an ordinary toilet isn’t very thrilling. They all work the same and accomplish the same goals. But, this extra feature gave the experience a touch of excitement.
Customer/User expectations and homogenous products are two things marketers, designers, and development teams can use to their advantage when creating new goods, services, and experiences…or revamping old ones. By gauging customers’ expectations and transforming homogenous products to include new features, marketers and designers and can take a step beyond the ordinary and offer a pleasant surprise.
So, what is your self-cleaning toilet? How are you satisfying your customers’ needs for delight?Tweet