We haven't seen a lot of bathrooms in Mad Men, but you can bet Betty aspired to one with two sinks in the kind of iconic 60's colors shown in this year's blogfest logo.
The bathroom is aspirational, as are many of the things in it.
If you have been using a modern bathroom much of your life, this may sound silly. So consider the many countries in the world where most people do not have good sanitation facilities. A small market of about 2 billion people.
Or ask someone who grew up in the Great Depression, as my parents both did, when many were still using outhousees, but aspired to indoor plumbing. (Okay, you walked to school. Fine. But a lack of indoor plumbing in a Canadian winter is a genuine hardship.)
The most successful development projects now consider a marketing angle to behavior change, and positioning the latrine an affordable luxury is a stroke of brilliance. Here's the story of Easy Latrines, an organization designed to support small businesses and improve sanitation in Cambodia.
Easy Latrines in Cambodia
Canadians Tamara Baker and Cordell Jacks are part of a booming new business in latrines in Cambodia, a country where more than 80% of the population defecate in a field.
Sanitation updates video stills
Quoted in the Globe and Mail in October 2010, Mr. Jacks said, "somehow we had to make the world’s most unsexy product seem attractive to people who knew very little about it". They created an appealing latrine for a price of about $30, compared to the existing market price of about $150.
Ms. Baker took a marketing, rather than a public health, posture to market the new product. "So we sold sanitation as something that will make you feel proud, something that fits the budget, as achievable aspiration,” she advised the Globe.
As the video from the Sanitation Updates story shows, the aspirational marketing approach, combined with the health benefits and the affordable price, is helping people make a decision to improve their lives. What at first seemed like a luxury, perhaps unnecessary, is becoming something a family would aspire to in these villages. "Now when relatives from Phnom Penh visit we have somewhere good for them to go," a quote from the video, is a statement of aspiration achieved if I've ever seen one.
Improving Third World health one toilet at a time, Patrick White, Globe and Mail, Monday October 18, 2010
Cambodian “Easy Latrine” wins international design award, Sanitation Updates, June 27, 2010
The first few paragraphs of the Wikipedia article on aspirational marketing are worth looking at, but use a narrower definition than what I am using here.
This little project, launched by Christine Whittemore, Stephanie Weaver and me five years ago has taken on a life of its own. Here are this year's participants, ably co-ordinated by Ms. Whittemore, with graphic support from yours truly inspired by Mad Men. Our theme this year is "Still Stuck in the 60's?".
|Blogger||Blog Name||Blog URL|
|Susan Abbott||Customer Experience Crossroads||http://www.customercrossroads.com/customercrossroads/|
|Paul Anater||Kitchen and Residential Design||http://www.KitchenAndResidentialDesign.com|
|Shannon Bilby||Big Bob's Outlet||http://blog.bigbobsoutlet.com/|
|Shannon Bilby||Carpets N More Blog||http://blog.carpetsnmore.com/|
|Shannon Bilby||Dolphin Carpet Blog||http://blog.dolphincarpet.com/|
|Shannon Bilby||From The Floors Up||http://fromthefloorsup.com/|
|Shannon Bilby||My Big Bob's Blog||http://blog.mybigbobs.com/|
|Toby Bloomberg||Diva Marketing||http://bloombergmarketing.blogs.com/bloomberg_marketing/|
|Laurence Borel||Blog Till You Drop||http://www.laurenceborel.com/|
|Bill Buyok||Avente Tile Talk Blog||http://tiletalk.blogspot.com/|
|Jeanne Byington||The Importance of Earnest Service||http://blog.jmbyington.com/|
|Becky Carroll||Customers Rock!||http://customersrock.net/|
|Marianna Chapman||Results Revolution||http://www.resultsrevolution.com|
|Katie Clark||Practial Katie||http://practicalkatie.blogspot.com/|
|Nora DePalma||American Standard's Professor Toilet||http://www.professortoilet.com/|
|Nora DePalma||O'Reilly DePalma: The Blog||http://www.oreilly-depalma.com/blog/|
|Leigh Durst||LivePath Experience Architect Weblog||http://livepath.blogspot.com/|
|Valerie Fritz||The AwarepointBlog||http://www.awarepointblog.com/|
|Iris Garrott||Checking In and Checking Out||http://circulating.wordpress.com/|
|Tish Grier||The Constant Observer||http://spap-oop.blogspot.com|
|Renee LeCroy||Your Fifth Wall||http://yourfifthwall.com/|
|Joseph Michelli||Dr. Joseph Michelli's Blog||www.josephmichelli.com/blog|
|Veronika Miller||Modenus Blog||http://www.modenus.com/blog|
|Arpi Nalbandian||TILE Magazine Editor Blog||http://www.tilemagonline.com/Articles/Blog_Nalbandian|
|Maria Palma||People 2 People Service||http://www.people2peopleservice.com/|
|Reshma Bachwani Paritosh||The Qualitative Research Blog||http://www.onqualitativeresearch.blogspot.com/|
|David Polinchock||Polinchock's Ponderings||http://blog.polinchock.com/|
|Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond||Scarlet Opus Trends Blog||http://trendsblog.co.uk/|
|David Reich||My 2 Cents||http://reichcomm.typepad.com/my_weblog/|
|Sandy Renshaw||Around Des Moines||http://www.arounddesmoines.com/|
|Sandy Renshaw||Purple Wren||http://www.purplewren.com/|
|Bethany Richmond||Carpet and Rug Institute Blog||http://www.carpet-and-rug-institute-blog.com/|
|Bruce Sanders||RIMtailing Blog||http://rimtailing.blogspot.com/|
|Steve Tokar||Please Be Seated||http://stevetokar.wordpress.com/|
|Carolyn Townes||Becoming a Woman of Purpose||http://spiritwomen.blogspot.com/|
|Christine B. Whittemore||Flooring The Consumer||http://flooringtheconsumer.blogspot.com/|
|Christine B. Whittemore||Simple Marketing Blog||http://www.simplemarketingblog.com/|
|Christine & Ted Whittemore||Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog||http://smokerise-nj.blogspot.com/|
|Christine B. Whittemore||The Carpetology Blog||http://carpetology.blogspot.com/|
|Linda Wright||LindaLoo Build Business With Better Bathrooms||http://lindaloo.com/|