Name of Faculty Sponsor

Mona Sinha

Faculty Sponsor Email


Author Bio(s)

Rachael Amatriain graduated in July 2019 with a major in Business Marketing and a Music and Entertainment Business Certificate from the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. This case study was written for her International Marketing course in Spring 2018, under the instruction of Dr. Mona Sinha (Marketing). Rachael has presented this case study at the 2018 Atlantic Marketing Association Conference held in New Orleans. Rachael currently works as an internal and external Marketing Specialist at CWC office furniture, a certified Herman Miller Dealer.

Publication Date

Winter 2019


Toto is a 101-year-old, world-renowned Japanese manufacturer of high quality, innovative, state-of-the-art, and luxurious bathroom equipment such as, toilets, bidets, washlets, and ultraviolet sanitation equipment (“Our Founding Spirit,” n.d.). However, Toto has been unable to replicate its global success in the United States (U.S.) for several possible reasons (Roberts, 2017). First, by positioning its brand as an exclusive and luxurious manufacturer of high-end technology at a high price point, Toto only appeals to a limited, top-end, niche market, limiting its widespread adoption (Roberts, 2017). Second, Toto believes in environmental stewardship and makes sustainable products with a green supply chain (“Toto and UPS,” 2010). However, given that the United States recently backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the market for sustainable products might be negatively impacted (Zhang, Chao, Zheng, & Hueng, 2017). Third, Toto’s target audience includes both business-to-business and business-to-consumers, and economic conditions, housing markets, and individual disposable incomes impact purchase of its products. Fourth, persuading consumers to change their self-cleaning habits and attitudes involves an awkward ‘bathroom conversation’ that either puts off and/or offends (Molotch, 2015). This case study explores the struggles of a sustainable, luxury brand positioned on innovation that sets it apart from the competition but which consumers may not value. The case questions focus on the marketing strategy changes that Toto must make in order to succeed in the U.S.