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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Final Recap of Cleaned Up Spaces

Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us has come to an end. Have you enjoyed it? Has it made you reconsider some or all of the spaces that relate to the customer experience that you've perhaps forgotten about?

In my Bathroom Blogfest '08 posts, beyond Announcing Bathroom Blogfest '08: Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us, I addressed quite a range of topics. Which resonated the most with you?

Possibly Bathroom Blogfest 2008: Trends in Bathrooms? Or, perhaps Bathroom Blogfest '08 - A Place For Luxury? Interesting to realize that what constitutes true luxury also helps alleviate Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Fear and the Bathroom.

I particularly enjoyed discussing Bathroom Blogfest '08: Dressing Rooms as I frequently refer to changing rooms when I discuss the retail buying experience.

Of course, there's also the creative side of it all as we saw in Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Art & Shoppertainment and also in Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Advertising.

There's another bathroom aspect that I admire greatly. Have you noticed how bathrooms that aren't forgotten places fully reflect the owner's full awareness and appreciation for the statement they make? These are places that shout out that they aren't forgotten, that they represent a vital aspect of the store experience. They create subtle - and not-so-subtle - statements that remind you of where you are and reinforce the store brand.

Take these photos from Target Grand Opening - Riverdale, NJ. Given the red stripes and the futuristic wash basins, are you in any way surprised that these are Target bathrooms?

They are clean, utilitarian, but also whimsical.

Every aspect of the bathroom relates to the overall Target brand experience. It's effective. It matches other Reactions to the Target Store Experience.

Target bathrooms are not an after-thought.

Take this next example from the new Bloomingdale's store in Chevy Chase, MD. These bathrooms, too, make a statement. Different from the Target one, but true to the Bloomingdale's brand experience.

[In fact, I suggest that you re-read Lisa Contreras' post about Bloomingdale's Bathroom Makeover re: the NYC Third Avenue store.]

Notice how all of the details work together to state 'Bloomingdale's.'

This, too, is hugely effective.

As important an element of the retail experience as these spaces are, it's not just retail stores that benefit from so much attention to otherwise forgotten spaces. It's also effective for museums.

For example, the photos below are of the Menil Museum in Houston, TX. It's a modern, no-frills kind of place that focuses attention on the artwork and the art experience.

Notice how the bathrooms replicate the architecture.

All of these spaces exist to fulfill a utilitarian purpose, but they support the experience of which they are a part. They haven't been forgotten, and they have been accorded spotless attention.

As you consider the relevance of the Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Out Forgotten Spaces Around Us to your retail experience, your business, your brand experience, and your customers, I hope your realize the potential for improving customer loyalty and making your overall customer experience truly memorable.

If you haven't already, please read through the posts that the Bathroom Blogfest '08 Community contributed. I detail them below:

Stephanie Weaver offered visual examples of Forgotten Spaces in Forgotten Spaces: The 2008 Bathroom Blogfest continues, Forgotten Spaces Day 2, Forgotten Spaces Day 3 and Forgotten Spaces Day 4.

Maria Palma described Bathroom Blogfest 2008: Creative Public Restrooms.

Pay attention to Claudia Schiepers who detailed 3 American toilet things to hate.

Especially since Carolyn Townes offered an American perspective on Italian bathrooms in Bathroom Blogfest '08: Toilets and WCs.

Becky Carroll shared excellent visuals in Bathroom Blogfest '08: Hawaiian and Venetian [sort of].

What about Katia Adams' example? Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us gave new meaning to 'through the looking glass.'

Were you impressed with all of the sound advice the Blogfest generated? Shannon Bilby, after posting Floor Talk Invited to Participate in Bathroom Blogfest with WearDated, shared invaluable advice in Bathroom Blogfest ‘08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us, great water saving tips in “Bathroom Blogfest ‘08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us”, and Quick Tips for Cleaning Bathrooms.

Julie Hirt, Christine Loose and Jo Brown at Kohler Talks also offered tips [see Wine Corks to Clean Cast Iron Sinks] and historic perspective [see The Clean Look of a White Bathroom and The "Other" Jo The Plumber.]

Marianna Hayes made the Bathroom Blogfest relevent to small businesses in What would momma say if she knew I was participating in "Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us"?, Reading Material anyone? and The "Family Restroom" Experience.

Elizabeth Hise and I got into the act at The Carpetology Blog. After Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us [our introduction], we described subjects like Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Potty Parity, Bathroom Blogfest '08 - How Hotels Inspire Me, Bathroom Blogfest '08: Great Flooring Store Examples and Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Art of Living -- all recapped in Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Recap.

Susan Abbott added her perspective with Customer Experience Crossroads: Forgotten Space Blogfest - 2008 version. Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most thoughtful and effective one.

Sandy Renshaw asked Can you believe it? It's time for Bathroom Blogfest '08, and showed us small, thoughtful details that make all the difference.

Iris Shreve Garrott offered Bathroom Blogfest 2008 Best Tips, When You Care Enough to Clean the Very Best and Hidden Behind Forgotten Customer Spaces. She included many gems, so don't miss them!

Lolly Borel promoted the event with Bathroom Blogfest ‘08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around. She then described forgotten shopping spaces in Shop till you drop! (but don’t drop when you shop…).

In addition to the BBC, many thanks to those who amplified the conversation and contributed their perspectives:

+ David Reich who said to Put the Seat Down.
+ Darryl Orht who provocatively posted blog while you lay a log.
+ David Polinchock who got the word out in Facebook The 2008 Bathroom Blogfest - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces All Around Us and contributed Thrillist : SitOrSquat.

Thank you to Kate Rutter for having such relevant photos available on Flickr.

And, Thank You all for a resoundingly successful Bathroom Blogfest '08 - Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us!

For the record, although we used Facebook in 2007, we promoted this Bathroom Blogfest more heavily in 2008 via a Facebook event. In fact, I added links to all of this year's posts there as well as to Twitter using the #ladiesrooms08 tag.

I've also updated BathroomBlogfest site to reflect this year's event.

Here are the members of the Bathroom Blogfest Community [BBC] for Bathroom Blogfest ’08:

Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
Katia Adams at Transcultural Marketing
Shannon Bilby at Floor Talk!
Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
Jo Brown and the blogging team at Kohler Talk
Lisbeth Calandrino at Lisbeth Calandrino
Sara Cantor at The Curious Shopper
Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
Katie Clark at Practical Katie
Iris Shreve Garrott at Circulating
Ann Handley at Annarchy
Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
Elizabeth Hise and C.B. Whittemore at The Carpetology Blog
Maria Palma at Customers Are Always
Sandra Renshaw at Purple Wren
Kate Rutter at Adaptive Path
Claudia Schiepers at Life and its little pleasures
Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology
C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer

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Coach Carolyn said...

CB, brilliant finish! Thanks so much for your diligence and love for this project. I had a blast! Can't wait to hang out together in the loo next year!

Peace and blessings,
Becoming a Woman of Purpose

SusanA said...

CB, you are truly amazing. Well done, and thank you from everyone.

CB Whittemore said...

Thanks, Carolyn! I'm so glad you had a blast. I had fun, too.

CB Whittemore said...

Susan, you are most welcome! Thanks for being such a sport and lending your creativity to the project.

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Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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