Bemis Manufacturing Co.: Protecting your marriage, one flush at a time.
This is not the new slogan for the Sheboygan Falls, Wis.-based maker of toilet seats and covers, but maybe it could be after its latest innovation.
It was late 2005 when the company quietly launched Harmony. Now Bemis is looking to go big with its newest product - you better sit down for this - a self-closing toilet seat. Now, the company has implemented a widespread marketing push as it rolls Harmony out to the broader market.
Guys, imagine a day when the ``To lift, or not to lift?'' question no longer comes into play. Ladies, imagine a day when you never again have to worry about falling in.
Bemis officials have. And they believe the self-closing lid feature could become the rule, rather than the exception.
``We look at this as having the potential of being something akin to a garage door opener,'' said Scott Thomson, marketing director for North American plumbing products.
It was customary for drivers to come home, get out of their cars, manually open their garages, drive in, and then manually close the garage afterward.
``Now it's the norm that everyone has an automatic garage door opener,'' he said. ``Over time, we think this will grow to become a convenience that they can't live without.''
The concept for Harmony came from an outside inventor who brought the idea to Bemis. The company licensed the patent, then developed it into a commercial product.
The mechanism involves a weighted float that sits in the toilet tank. It is connected by plastic string to the injection molded polypropylene seat and cover. Upon flushing, the tank is emptied, and as the water level drops, so too does the lid.
The Harmony seats are being sold for about $55 exclusively at Home Depot stores throughout the Midwest. A national rollout to additional areas and stores is in the works.
The focus is on the replacement market, where on average, a typical residential-grade toilet seat is replaced every five to seven years.
``As people's existing toilet seats break, or become unserviceable, we'll look for them to purchase this as an upgrade,'' Thomson said.
Hygiene and safety issues as they relate to pets and small children are another factor in why the Harmony seats are a good option for homeowners, said Joe Hand, who heads up Bemis' proprietary division.
``My impression is that this is something that a significant portion of the population thinks is a great idea and would be interested in buying,'' he said.