A series of photos on my iPhone prompted the Taylor girls to become even more worried about my 'brandaholicism' (an addiction to seeing brandgym blog stories in every part of everyday life). The photos in question were of .... a swimsuit dryer. Yup. You read right. But what the hell was I doing taking photos of one of those?
The dryer below has recently been installed in the changing rooms of my local sports club. And I snapped it on my phone as I think it shows how the principles of brand innovation apply to B2B brands, not only B2C ones. Below I suggest what marketing learnings come from this smart bit of brand innovation by The Swimsuit Dryer (TSD) company.
1. Solve an end-consumer problem
TSD have created a product with a real end-consumer benefit, that they can then sell to their B2B customers. The old dryer in my club was noisy and inefficient. The new dryer quietly hums like a BMW, and fast rotation removes up to 95% of water in under 8 seconds, without heat. Not a huge change at first sight. But drying your swimsuit is one of the last things you do before leaving the club. This makes it quite important owing to 'the peak-end' principle: customer satisfaction from a given experience depends mainly on the peak level of pleasure, and the end level.
2. Get end-consumer insight
Some B2B companies make the mistake of focusing only on understanding their direct customer who buys their products. What you also need is end-consumer insight, in this case to understand the problems with conventional swimsuit dryers 'in-situ'. Its what I call B2B2C; thinking about the whole value chain through to the end experience. This is the approach I am guessing TSD used to create their dryer. According to the company's website, "Our mission was to create a modern, user-friendly solution to drying swimwear through continued research and development and listening to the needs of our customers".
3. Clever use of 'nudging'
It looks like TSD has also harnessed one of the principles of behavioural economics called 'nudging': encouraging a behaviour by using auto-pilot, 'system 1' thinking. The behaviour in this case is getting people to use the dryer for just the right amount of time: long enough to dry your swimsuit, but not too long so you use up more electricity and wear out the parts faster. The nudge uses light. When you press on the lid, the dryer lights up with a cool blue and white glow (see below). After it continues to glow until your eight seconds are up, at which point it the dryer stops and the light goes out.
4. Range extension
TSD have also extended the core range by offering different colours, so their dryers can fit in with the environment of their customers. Another smart bit of core renovation.
In conclusion, The Swimsuit Dryer company have shown that using immersive consumer insight as the springboard for brand renovation applies to B2B brands, not just B2C ones.