Toto: The Bottom Line
Posted: 9 Jun 2010 Last revised: 10 Jun 2010
Date Written: June 8, 2009
TOTO, the leading manufacturer of toilets in Japan, is struggling to penetrate the US market with its premier bidet-toilets, which are present in 63% of homes in Japan. The case examines the behavioral, cultural, and institutional barriers that TOTO faces in gaining adoption of an innovation. It also explores the role of product categorization in driving consumer behavior – in contrast to the US, toilets in Japan are considered a high-tech consumer electronic device. Finally, the role of organizational identity and culture is examined. The creation of the bidet-toilet category in Japan was a defining accomplishment for TOTO, and this history has created a strong commitment to promoting it in the US. But given that TOTO has been highly successful selling regular high-end toilets in the US, is this commitment to the bidet-toilet appropriate?
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