Repositioning a Brand
Established in 1917, Mr. Steam, a division of Sussman Automatic Corporation, was revolutionary in its use of steam, including producing boilers for the military. Eventually, Sussman wanted to bring the luxury and benefits of a steam bath into the home, and Mr. Steam was created. Although the brand soon became a category leader, the product was typically an afterthought at the dealer level. And most consumers had little awareness regarding the benefits of steam, so it didn’t occur to them to request a steam shower when designing or remodeling their bathrooms.
Mr. Steam desired to educate consumers and drive awareness of the health and wellness benefits of an in-home steam shower. In popular culture, personas such as “yoga mom” were gaining traction and a focus on organic living was becoming more mainstream. K&A was appointed to market Mr. Steam’s holistic healing properties to help increase homeowner demand within the plumbing channel. We conducted research with plumbing contractors and developed a campaign theme of “Whatever She Wants,” validating the influence of the brand’s primary target audience – the Chief Purchasing Officer of the Home.
Health and wellness benefits of a steam shower (respiratory, skincare, physical wellbeing, holistic healing) were identified for use in branding strategies and messaging. The “Steamtherapy” brand was trademarked and K&A expanded the concept into a new website, informational videos, product packaging and a consumer focused magalog that was distributed in decorative hardware and plumbing showrooms.
The rebranded Steamtherapy® campaign helped to grow consumer desire for steam showers, resulting in increased dealer sales for both new and renovated bathrooms. Website traffic and time spent onsite at dealer showrooms increased threefold. And the campaign was recognized by a jury of peers with the prestigious MarCom Platinum Award.