eyesight rest stopDoes your business’ restroom – often just a necessity you don’t give much thought to – have such creative branding that it makes your customers want to come back?

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My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Monday. Thank you, thank you, and yes, everything you can imagine about what it takes to stay married for 15 years is true… and then some!

Scene: Fredericksburg, Va.

We have a lot of non-local travel coming up, so this year, for our anniversary, we opted for a mini road trip. Off we went to Fredericksburg, Virginia, with the obligatory stop at a Cracker Barrel along the way (we discovered CB somewhere off the beaten path in Tennessee, during our 10th anniversary road trip, and it’s become a Burke RT Must Do ever since).

Fredericksburg was lovely, and if you are into American/Civil War history, and it is fairly accessible to you, I highly recommend it. We took a trolley tour, saw all sorts of Washington (the founding father, not the District) -related sites, and then hopped into kybecca for a celebratory dinner.

It’s a very neat restaurant; not at all what I expected to find in Fredericksburg, Va. But what caught my fancy more than the great wine, the excellent food, the super service, was how kybecca’s restroom made me exclaim, and then smile, and then keep thinking about how clever it was.

I spy, with my little eye

You see, right across from the WC was a light fixture made up to look like an eye test. That’s a pic of it, up there ^^.

How very funny… and clever!

After all, the restroom of a restaurant is the last place you’d expect to see something like this, isn’t it? So it has that “Oh how cute!” factor right away.

But more than that, it says:

* They’re not what you’d expect to find in Fredericksburg, Va., which plays up the creative “twist” of their food

* They put thought into not just what you’d expect, but also into what you don’t expect, which indicates a mindfulness to the brand and the people working there

* They reinforce their creativity in a place where they have – literally – a captive audience. And how many times have we heard about people coming up with great ideas in the shower, or in the loo?

I mean, look – it sparked this post! And it made me remember the restaurant, and talk about it… which is exactly what they want.

Room to think, and food for thought

More than anything else, though, it was just enough creativity… but not too much. I’ve seen quite a few creative and artistic restrooms in my time (yes, I get around). But so often they are so taken with their cleverness, that you walk out of them feeling as if your senses have been assaulted.

So the next time you are thinking about unusual ways to reinforce your business’ branding, or core service proposition, consider the restroom… literally, as well as figuratively. Who knows what you’ll come up with?

I’ve had my say, now I’d love to hear yours. What do you think of kybecca’s approach and my analysis of it: spot on, or dead wrong? Have you seen other creative approaches to branding? Do share, I’d love to know… and as always, the comments section is all yours!

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke