If you have not heard of Toto before then you must have come across it recently. It started off as a traditional rice plantation business in the late 1890’s. By the early twentieth century, Toto had established itself as a major manufacturer and exporter of sugarcane. Its wide range of products, including sugarcane, rubber and petroleum products, have made it a major global player in the clothing and footwear industry.
Toto has several facilities in Japan such as showrooms, factories and depots where they display their wares. Most of their products are sold under the name of “TOHO” (abbreviation for Toilet) or “TO” meaning toilet and we will use them interchangeably with their Japanese counterparts. These Japanese facilities generally produce a small amount of products a year but a great deal of them are exported to various parts of the world. Most Japanese companies do not employ labour force from abroad.
The company is led by a few individuals namely; Hiroyuki Takahashi, Minoru Okumura and Hidehiko Yamazaki. They are all active members of the “Gai” (company) and are ex-employee’s of leading Japanese firms. It was founded to meet the growing demand for high quality Japanese toiletries by maintaining a record of their manufacturing processes. Over the years, the company has expanded its product range to suit the ever-growing market demand for eco-friendly toilets.
There is a wide variety of Toto toilet models in the market that are suited to different budgets. The range of “Toilet tots” includes traditional, contemporary, functional, theme-based, luxury, back-to-schools, green and biodegradable varieties. Amongst the “Toilet tots”, the latest product to be launched by the company is the “Kake-chan” which is considered to be the first self-cleaning toilet. The company further plans to launch more new toilet products throughout the coming years. As per its marketing strategy, Toto believes that with proper marketing and promotion, Toto will definitely be able to attain a position of strength within the global toilet market.
The company is also working on the joint venture with other companies from Japan and Korea to produce more “Toilet tots” and to promote the product in the domestic market. There is no doubt that the demand in Japan for eco-friendly toilets will be continuing to rise with time. This is one of the reasons why Toto believes that it will be a good idea to develop its own toto toilet brand so as to retain its competitive advantage over the other companies.
Apart from the domestic market, Toto has also entered the European market with the launch of its line of toilets called Toilet des Flotsam. It is believed that the firm has spent a lot of money for the research and development of these toilets. The European market has a large number of environmentally friendly people who use toilet seats. Toilet seats manufactured by the company are expected to find a niche in the market. However, it is very important to remember that not all companies have equal performance.