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Study reveals innovations in self-cleaning surfaces positively impact jansan industry
NanoTouch Materials, producer of NanoSeptic self-cleaning surfaces, recently completed two market research studies as part of a $2 million grant the company received last year. Those studies uncovered business opportunities and consumer preferences that will drive the cleaning industry and guide product development in NanoTouch's disinfection technology lab.
"The way our products are disrupting the jansan industry is really fascinating," says Dennis Hackemeyer, co-founder of NanoTouch Materials. "Even though we invented NanoSeptic materials because of the real value of self-cleaning surfaces, the market research showed that the positive perception generated from making 'clean' visible was highly valued by both consumers and industry professionals."
The first study was conducted to gauge consumer feelings about cleanliness in public places and while traveling. This study provides valuable insight for cleaning supplies distributors and building service contractors since they are responsible for delivering products and services that create clean facilities in a variety of industries.
Millennials displayed a heightened level of concern over cleanliness in public spaces, with 35% of respondents self-identifying as germaphobes. This should be a wakeup call to the cleaning industry since cleaning is an invisible service and therefore does little to alleviate the concerns of this market segment.
When polled, 50% of respondents said that self-cleaning surfaces that were visible would affect their choice of hotels and 60% said that a self-cleaning television channel guide in the room created a positive perception of the entire property. When asked a different way, 70% of respondents assumed that the rest of the room and the facility was cleaner if they saw self-cleaning surfaces in use.
The second market research study was conducted by surveying cleaning industry professionals including distributors of cleaning products and building service contractors that are responsible for commercial cleaning services. The responses reinforced what was learned from the consumer study. In fact, responses from distributors and BSCs revealed that their customers were proactively asking for self-cleaning surfaces. In this case, the consumer perception was actually driving the business purchase.
Mark Sisson, co-founder of NanoTouch, explains: "Without visible clues, the perceived value of cleaning products and services can be low.
"It turns out that the real innovation isn't just the nanotechnology, but also in looking at the concept of clean differently and delivering a feeling of confidence in the cleanliness of their environment...by making clean visible."
This highlights a tremendous opportunity for the janitorial supply and facility management industries. As commoditied industries, moving away from client relationships that are based solely on price is a necessity for revenue growth and a healthy bottom line.
Larry Nedrow, of Hathaway Paper, backs up the study's findings, saying: "We like to be first-to-market with innovative new products. Not only have we got new accounts by introducing NanoSeptic surfaces to prospects, but once they are installed in a facility we get more leads because people see the products and want to know where they can buy them."
From an industry standpoint, innovation has been slow, and that was obvious from the responses of the study participants, notes the manufacturer. A cleaning and maintenance supplies distributor commented: "For the most part, product innovation has remained relatively stagnant, with most of the minimal technology change stemming from order processing software and systems."
Another line of innovation deals with making cleaning products more eco-friendly. Since NanoSeptic self-cleaning surfaces do not use any chemicals, poisons or heavy metals, they are an innovative new approach to going green.
NanoSeptic self-cleaning surfaces for facilities will be on display in the Innovation Showcase at this year's ISSA convention in Chicago on October 25th.
11th August 2016