TOTO, styled as TOHO, is Japan’s largest bath product maker. It was established in 1917 and is well known for producing the Washlet and related products. The company is headquartered in Kitakyushu, Japan, and has production plants in nine other countries. Its most popular product line is its Washlet waterproof mattress. Other fine products under this category are the Toto Pillet, Washlets with frames, TOTO Marbles, etc.
TOTO’s latest innovation is the Toto toilet seat. This toilet is elongated, like a rectangle, about half the size of an adult’s body. To sit on it is comfortable, even if you are sitting on a small bowl-like seat. The advantage of the elongated seat is that it offers a larger range of motion than traditional sit-on-top toilet seats. You can sit straight up or recline, depending on your choice. It also offers a higher degree of privacy than conventional sit-on-top toilets.
One disadvantage of the Toto brand is that it does not offer an option to mount a hand-held shower head. However, the innovative TOTO Mira hand-held shower head makes this drawback irrelevant. The other disadvantages of the Toto brand include relatively poor customer service, a relatively short warranty period (compared to competitors), poor quality plastic parts, poor design, etc. Some of the plastic parts do wear out quickly and need replacement. Also, the compact nature of the Toto brand sometimes makes it hard to conceal and clean the toilets.
Among competing Japanese toilet brands, TOTO is probably the most expensive, probably because of its exclusivity and high-end design. At present, TOTO only markets toilet units in Japan. Other countries may find some demand for the Toto brand but nowhere near as much as in Japan. Japanese consumers are used to having luxury toilets with beautiful designs and high-end functions.
In addition to competing in price, TOTO is also challenged by stiff competition from the Japanese-based KDC and Lixil companies. TOTO’s bidets also face strong competition from the well-known Bidet toilet and shower models from KDC and Lixil. TOTO bidets have to be compatible with Japanese toilets. Since all toilet models from KDC and Lixil are already highly-functional, many people don’t think of buying a TOTO bidet. The high cost of TOTO toilets is also what has led to the company’s lack of international expansion.
The key selling points for the Toto brand are the extremely high water pressure, the revolutionary self-cleaning technology, and the exceptional ergonomics. The TOTO Company has been trying to improve the reliability of its bidets by adding new features such as the heated seat and self-cleaning technologies. Many people are now finding that the new heated seat works well to help improve hygiene. It also has a dial to adjust water pressure which allows users to control their flushing needs according to their needs. And with the self-cleaning system, TOTO claims that it eliminates up to 99% of germs from the toilet bowl. The most important selling point to TOTO is the outstanding quality of its toilets, but this might not mean that it sells toilets that sell on their own.