Thursday, September 15, 2005

Give 'em a taste of the good stuff: simplehuman sure-fit trash liners

I just finished buying some simplehuman sure-fit trash bags for my simplehuman trash cans at What a cool, market-oriented company. Three points to this posting: (1) I gush about how simplehuman does great design based on the needs of their markets, (2) I highlight how simplehuman promoted their products better during my second purchase experience by giving me a "taste" of how good their custom "sure-fit" trash bags are and letting me know where the heck I can buy them easily, and (3) bottom line takeaways about consumers, risk and pricing.

First, what is simplehuman? Well, it is a brand of simply awesome trash cans. Yes, that's right, simply awesome trash cans. Their awesomenss is all about design and simplehuman people actually understand how people use trash and made a whole damn business out of it. (They are now diversifying into other design-impoverished household products.) I found out about simplehuman from some magazine article - which I'm really not in the mood to find right now, so if you'd like the here is the "about" section of their website explaining their design philosophy for trash cans:

They also have a blog...

I bought the 38 liter rectangular kitchen can within the last year because I HATE the smell of kitchen garbage more than almost anything. Living with only Milton the Cat and spending most of my waking hours at the university, the kitchen trash can get pretty rank over a week of intermittent use. Simplehuman's awesome design does a great job of maintaining a seal on the can so I don't have to smell anything I threw out five days ago. Given the awesomeness of this product, I recently bought a smaller 20 liter teardrop version for Milton the Cat's bathroom. Now Milton the Cat's refuse doesn't clog up the toilet in his bathroom.
This second purchase has created an annuity of purchases for simplehuman, which I explained to them in the comments section of their order form when I bought really awesome sure-fit bags this morning on

They asked:
"How did you hear about"
My Response:
"The web address on the free bags included with the 20L teardrop can I bought from Williams-Sonoma. Oddly, I had bought my 38L can a year ago at Restoration Hardware - but didn't realize (a) how much better the sure-fit bags were than "regular" bags or (b) how to get sure fit bags. Including a free "starter set" of bags in the 20L can made me realize how much better they are than regular bags and where to get the darned things;-) "
It is interesting that my morning started by replacing the simplehuman trash bag in Milton the Cat's bathroom. I saw the website address and finally realized that I could buy the bags at (I had looked for the bags before at some retail stores and could not find them.)

The Bottom Lines:
1) By including some sample bags (20) with my second purchase, simplehuman overcame my reluctance to spend twice as much on their trash bags than the generic Hefty bags I buy at the grocery store. Once I used the sample bags they included, the superior value of their bag-can design was clear. Using the custom-made sure-fit bags makes the overall design more integrated and, thus, the seal more tight. That is one of the three most important features of "trash consumption." (Second is that the bag be sturdy, i.e., no leakage in the can or on the way to the dumpster. Third is easy to handle, particularly some type of tying mechanism for the trip to the dumpster - so I don't hurl from the smell.)

2) The promotion of was as brilliant as it was obvious. Where better to let the customer know where to get more bags than to BOLDLY print the website on the container of sample sure-fit bags?