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Cool mascot logos and zany school colors are great, but when it comes to custom soap and paper dispensers and hand dryers, distributors can service branding requests way beyond campus. Many businesses in a bevy of industries look to restroom fixtures when they want to take their marketing to the next level. This includes airports, restaurants, gyms, bars and even professional sports stadiums.
Gary Thiakos is the president of Zepole Supply, a Bolingbrook, Illinois-based distributor in the foodservice industry, who sells items related to commercial kitchens. He says Zepole Supply has been selling customized soap and paper dispensers and hand dryers for many years. Recently they installed 60 customized dispensers in a facility that rents out space to entrepreneurs in the food industry after recommending it to the client.
“From our vantage point, it seems to make sense for them (the building’s ownership) to elevate their own brand within their facilities to all these entrepreneurs coming in and out of there,” says Thiakos.
Years of offering this service has led Zepole to supply custom dispensers and hand dryers to restaurants, bars and country clubs, too. No matter the setting, customers enjoy the custom job because they love to promote their brand any chance they get, says Thiakos. They also enjoy the cost. For example, it’s generally more expensive for an eatery to put branding on bag and to-go containers than the items permanently displayed in restrooms.
“It’s all about branding and marketing today,” says Thiakos. “Especially when it comes to forward-thinking tech companies and other large corporations. These companies tend to have a larger branding budget, so for them, marketing opportunities are limitless. Smaller, independent operations are much more hamstrung by what finances they can divulge to branding. That’s what makes customizable hand dryers and soap and paper towel dispensers so great — just about anyone can be active in this marketing.”
The scope of businesses and industries that can benefit from customized hand dryers and soap and paper dispensers is demonstrated by the varying forms of setting in which they are found. HelloFresh installed custom hand dryers in its corporate offices to match the company vision and mission. These hand dryers were customized so that they would match the design scheme of the office’s restrooms, and include the meal-kit company’s logo.
“Their aesthetics were definitely noticed and a deciding factor for us,” says Sam Wharton, UK Facilities lead at HelloFresh.
The National Football League’s New England Patriots enhanced their branding when they installed 125 hand dryers with custom covers at their Gillette Stadium. The custom covers include the team’s iconic logo, team colors, and a message to fans as to why the team chose to no longer offer paper towels.
No matter the size of its business or the industry, any company that wishes to further its branding would be wise to consider implementing customized fixtures in their restrooms. It’s on distributors to know this benefit and to articulate to the customer just how beneficial the addition would be next time they’re in the market for a hand dryer or soap or paper dispenser.
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