When you think of luxuries, toilet paper might be the last thing on your mind. However, Renova, a fabric company based in Portugal, wants to change that. “Our strategy is through innovation,” says Mario Lopes, Renova’s production manager. “We want to be known as a company that does things differently and makes unconventional products and of course we want to be known as the sexiest fabric producer.” So how do you turn toilet paper into a luxury item? Just add color.
The reinvention of colored toilet paper
Colorful toilet paper first became popular in North America in the 1970s, offering a range of pale pinks, blues, greens and yellows. However, as quickly as it appeared, it was gone and no one knows why. Since then, the toilet paper aisle has been a wall of white. Therefore, when Renova presented its first colored bathroom tissue in the early 2000s, it left an impression.
Far from the shy pastels of years gone by, Renova’s colorful papers are daring, shiny and daring, ranging from red to fuchsia to blue and especially black.
“In the sense of design,” says Paulo Miguel Pereira da Silva, president of Renova, that black indicates “irreverence, perhaps touching a little on the central nature of art, which is to break the rules and ‘establish new ones’.
Culturally, deep down, Renova Black invites people to break down what may be common sense ideas. “The idea that toilet paper can be more than an essential household product and become a design object that harnesses the power of color psychology is innovative. This also appears to be true. “You really have people talking about a product that might otherwise go unnoticed,” says Jonah Berger, professor of marketing at the Wharton School of Business. “What the colorful toilet paper shows you is that you can do anything that’s remarkable, anything worth discussing.”
In fact, Renova’s colorful toilet papers have been discussed on everything from celebrity gossip blogs to the pages of the New York Times. “Why fill your bathroom with boring 2-ply white when you can treat your butt with fancy European toilet paper in black, orange, red or green?” Remodelista request.
Meanwhile, Beyoncé is said to be asking for red in turn jumper, Kris Jenner is wearing black, and trendy hotels around the world are asking for their own unique labeling for their Renova supply.
From a social perspective it is a phenomenon, and from a business perspective it is considered one of the most impressive cutting edge marketing cases in recent history.
“Without any investment in marketing, Renova completely changed the rules of the category and turned a very boring product, which most people would never talk about in public, into something fun and interesting; almost a work of art, ”explains Pierre Chandon, professor of marketing at INSEAD.