Branding the B rooms

Posted on April 23rd, 2015

As a marketing communications firm, we tell our clients all the time that their company’s “brand” is not necessarily what they think it is, but rather what their company is perceived to be by others. And every customer interaction has the potential to affect that perception.

With that in mind, we realized one day that the restrooms in our Midland office were saying all the wrong things about us. Functional – yes, but dated and dreary. None of the creative punch that we strive to insert into every client communication.

So we set out on a little bathroom rebranding exercise. And because we’re a tad competitive, we made it a contest, with two teams facing off for “Project Potty Perfection” – the men working to transform the ladies’ room and vice versa. We first set up a group Pinterest board to pin a few ideas. Next, we swapped bathrooms and agreed not to peek. Then, with very limited budgets but unlimited imaginations, we spent the next several weeks secretly transforming these utilitarian spaces into something we now include on our office tour.

Who won the competition? The men knocked it out of the park, with a transformation truly worthy of an HGTV spot. But the women feel like winners every time they enter the beautified spa-like room, which adds a touch of calm to otherwise stress-filled days. The men are enjoying their new funky locker-room décor as well.

And as for our brand? It’s still whatever our customers perceive it to be. We’d like to think we’re on a roll … but please tell us what you think in the comments below!

Project Potty Perfection was rolled out at a staff meeting.

The bathroom renovation project was rolled out at a staff meeting. 

The guys removed decades-old vinyl wallpaper, and patched, sanded and primed the walls, creating a blank canvas for creative inspiration.
In the women’s room, the guys removed decades-old vinyl wallpaper, and patched, sanded and primed the walls, creating a blank canvas for creative inspiration.
The mirror between the two storage cupboards was not-so-strategically positioned directly across from the commode (not apparent at this angle).
The mirror between the two storage cupboards was not-so-strategically positioned directly across from the commode (not apparent at this angle).
And in this corner … the guys built out the wall to cover an exposed vent pipe and hang an old mirror with a custom frame. The former (perfectly usable) sink, faucet and mirror went to the local Habitat ReStore, where our handy men picked up an inexpensive cabinet housing for the vanity. Bamboo flooring, also from the ReStore, was repurposed into a slightly swanky countertop and backsplash. They built brand new doors, added hardware to match the storage cupboards and installed a square vessel sink and new faucet. Budget-friendly self-adhesive tiles add texture and visual interest.
Wow. From dated and dreary to a brand-spanking-new look and feel. In the women’s room, the guys built out the wall to cover an exposed vent pipe and hang an old mirror with a custom frame. The former (perfectly usable) sink, faucet and mirror went to the local Habitat ReStore, where our handy men picked up an inexpensive cabinet housing for the vanity. Bamboo flooring, also from the ReStore, was repurposed into a slightly swanky countertop and backsplash. They built brand new doors, added hardware to match the storage cupboards and installed a square vessel sink and new faucet. Budget-friendly self-adhesive tiles add texture and visual interest.
Every spa needs a fountain! (And this one was a perfect solution to hide the oddly placed mirror.) The fountain uses copper, wood and other parts from our master craftsmen’s home renovation projects. Old cabinets were stained a rich dark chocolate, pairing perfectly with the soothing mint green of the walls.Every spa needs a fountain! (And this one was a perfect solution to hide the oddly placed mirror.) The fountain uses copper, wood and other parts from our master craftsmen’s home renovation projects. Old cabinets were stained a rich dark chocolate, pairing perfectly with the soothing mint of the walls.

 

The shabby chic cork and chalk board is a great place to share positive thoughts around monthly themes. A few artfully arranged canvases (salvaged from a previous office redo) complement natural elements throughout the room.
The shabby chic cork and chalk board is a great place to share positive thoughts around monthly themes.
mensbefore2
mensbefore1
 There was nothing WRONG with the men’s room before, but it was calling out to be accessorized.
mensroom1
In the men’s room, the women created a cozy changing area, featuring lockers stocked with big, fluffy towels and toiletries, metal signs with motivational messages and a comfy striped ottoman. Both men and women appreciate the refreshed amenities after an early morning fitness class or lunchtime run. (The office has only one shower.)
mensroom2
Add a shower curtain with bold zigzag stripes, matching rugs and a few strategically placed (and appropriately themed) art elements … et voilà!