Working out when you’re angry
triples your rate of a heart attack.
Health Research Institute)
The term “Bowel Movement” has never
appeared in this newsletter in the 13 years it’s been published.
At least, not until this one, the 608th issue.
years, toilets in the U.S. used 3 - 5 Gallons Per Flush. Then in
1992, Congress mandated that toilets use only 1.6 Gallons Per
Flush, with penalties ranging from $2,500 to prison time for
anyone who violated the law.
While the idea of conserving
water was noble, the result was clogged toilets everywhere.
Multiple flushes became a part of life, and a black market for
Canadian toilets even emerged.
But in business, every
problem creates an opportunity for an innovative company that
rises to the occasion.
In this case, the company I’m
speaking of is American Standard.
After deciding to
proceed with renovating the new Casa De Shepard without having
HGTV film the project for their TV show (a new Nashville based
version of “Fixer Upper”), the first room we tackled was a guest
While no one wants to stop up their own toilet,
doing it at someone else’s house is so embarrassing that it
became one of the most memorable moments of the movie “Along
Came Polly” when Ben Stiller clogged up Jennifer Aniston’s
Not wanting that to happen to guests in our new
home, I emailed a plumber who attended my seminar in Monroe,
Louisiana. He drove a truck that read “We’re #1 in the #2
Business” and listed “DoDo Guru” as his job title, so I figured
he could steer me in the right direction.
looking at the American Standard Champion 4. I found it at Home
Depot, and was more intrigued than I would have ever imagined
being by a toilet.
It boasts the largest flush valve (the
valve that releases the water from the tank into to bowl) in the
industry, and the largest trapway (the snake shaped path in the
back of the bowl), and claims it can move a mass 70% larger than
the industrial average. And it only uses 1.28 Gallons Per Flush,
20% less than the federal standard.
Those numbers are
impressive in every category.
But what got my attention
was that it can flush a bucket of golf balls. I looked up the
video on YouTube and was so intrigued that I watched it three
There are lots of videos of toilets flushing
different things, but this one was different for three reasons:
1. The video clearly suggests “If this toilet can handle
golf balls, it can handle anything from cell phones to toys that
2. Every golfer thinks “Happy Place” when they
see a bucket of golf balls. Associating a bucket of golf balls
with a toilet is the cleverest form of cognitive association
I’ve ever seen in marketing.
3. Even if you’re not a
golfer, the visual and sound of a bucket of pristine, white golf
balls magically swooshing away makes the toilet desirable.
They perfectly communicated the “What, Why and How” of their
product better than any company I’ve seen since Steve Jobs and
Apple explained to the world in 2001 why we needed iPods in one
simple sentence (“1,000 Songs in Your Pocket”).
Standard and Apple are in very different fields. But they both
understand that no matter how brilliantly engineered a product
may be, it’s a moot point unless you also have brilliant
marketing to get it to the people.
We bought the new
Super Toilet, and it functions exactly as advertised.
The only thing I love more than a great success story is when a
product works exactly as advertised. This story had both.
I couldn’t find where anyone actually
went to prison for selling high flow toilets, but imagine this
scenario: Inmate 1 says he’s serving time for selling cocaine,
and asks Inmate 2 what he’s in for. He answers “Selling toilets
that use too much water”. Can’t imagine that situation ending
well for Inmate 2.
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