So the client says “We sell toilet paper and paper towels to companies around the world, for their bathrooms, right? But we also sell hand sanitizers and soaps, too....

  On average, employees cost their employers 1600 bucks a year because of illnesses – which can be avoided just by getting them to wash their hands regularly. Crazy, huh?

On average, employees cost their employers 1600 bucks a year because of illnesses – which can be avoided just by getting them to wash their hands regularly. Crazy, huh?

... But we also sell hand sanitizers and soaps, too. So what if we packaged them all together in one bundle, telling those companies who just buy toilet paper and paper towels from us, to buy the whole thing from us?”

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

Except for one thing – there’s no need.

Usually the customer or client or public says “hey, we have a problem!” and smart companies come up with a solution, and they talk to marketers to communicate that solution and everyone goes home happy.

But in this case, the folks who ordered the toilet paper and paper towels for the bathrooms in office buildings all across the planet were not saying “golly, i wish there was one place to get all my bathroom germ-killing needs”. Or even “gosh, i have a problem involving the stuff in my bathrooms – i sure wish someone would help me solve it”.

So we had to figure out what the need was.

And to make matters more difficult, the people we were talking to – the folks who actually buy the goods – they only care about two things: price, and what their tenants think. And not in that order.

Oh, and one more thing: This has to work globally. So whatever idea we come up with has to work in Japan just as well as it does in Guatemala, in Germany just as well as Australia. Both from a cultural as well as a product availability standpoint.

  Lots of different countries, lots of different cultures, lots of different languages and idioms – putting the numbers right on the hands created something attention-getting and incredibly flexible.

Lots of different countries, lots of different cultures, lots of different languages and idioms – putting the numbers right on the hands created something attention-getting and incredibly flexible.

Solution? The Healthy Workplace Project.

Where building owners are literally helping their tenants be more productive, more effective and more efficient, by keeping them healthier.

How? By getting them to wash their hands in the bathroom (one in four men don’t). By getting them to wipe down their telephones and computers (they have more germs on them than most toilet seats). By lots of little things that can save their companies thousands of dollars every year.

By creating a program that did not blame the very people we were trying to activate – but that explained to them how this actually protected them from the germs from other folks in their office.

And then we promoted the Healthy Workplace project with fun, thematic signage around the workplace that reminded and activated the employees. We engaged the building owners with online calculators that helped them tell their tenants exactly how much they could save. And we armed the sales force with print ads for local publications, and event materials to reward the companies that engaged the most fully.

All with a visual thematic device that used two things that worked in any language – hands and numbers.

And did it work? Yes. KCP immediately reported that their sales people were selling in more products – including the soaps and sanitizers that they hadn’t been able to get any traction with – to current clients, and were using it as an icebreaker with prospects. And after a successful U.S. launch, the program rolled out across the planet.

  A comprehensive step-by-step guide to selling in the program, signage and stickers to place around the office, posters for the break rooms, and ads to run in publications – all to help spread the word about not spreading the germs.

A comprehensive step-by-step guide to selling in the program, signage and stickers to place around the office, posters for the break rooms, and ads to run in publications – all to help spread the word about not spreading the germs.