Sunscreen Dispensers as Useful Public or Brand Service

It's been unusually hot over the past weeks in Germany and climate change experts expect that we will face such heat waves more often in the next decades. When Mr. WOM reported on a sunscreen dispenser in a beach club in Hamburg I thought this is a perfect example for an useful and unobtrusive service that is novel enough for effective word-of-mouth marketing. This made me curious about whether any brands have come up with something like this as a brand service.

It turns out that there are rare examples. The one that Mr. WOM encountered at beach club 28 Grad in Hamburg is produced by Deb, a skin care system company targeting mainly workplaces. Weltwunderer Jenny came across dispensers put up by the Cancer Society while traveling in New Zealand and club Katy's Garage in Dresden provides a self-made sunscreen dispenser for their guests.

Sunscreen dispenser put up by the Cancer Society in New Zealand
Photo by
Self-made sunscreen dispenser in club in Dresden
Photo by Kathy's Garage

Created as public services like in New Zealand sunscreen dispensers help to avoid exploding health costs for skin cancer. For brands this would be an unique opportunity to give away free samples of their products just in time when they are needed. Most people do use not enough sunscreen so this could also serve to familiarize consumers with the right amount to use. Consumers would be more likely to remember this brand the next time they are buying sunscreen and the brand can also demonstrate that they care beyond sales. Thinking further a range of accompanying services could follow from a map showing all places with dispensers, information for different skin types or coupons for that brand of sunscreen to name just a few ideas that spontaneously come to my mind.


One could argue that brands hesitate to put those up in order not to cannibalize sales. But I think that strategically placed in venues such as restaurants or festivals where people often neglect to take sunscreen with them this should be no issue. Sunscreen dispensers do not only add to a positive overall experience as they help to avoid sunburns but they also benefit from the usually good memories one associates with this kind of venues. In my opinion this creates a win-win situation for consumers, venue owners and brands.


What do you think of sunscreen dispensers and have you seen anything similar in public places?


Katrin Mathis, UX Konzepterin und Service Designerin aus Freiburg

Katrin Mathis
MBA in Service Innovation & Design und BSc in OnlineMedien berät seit über 10 Jahren Unternehmen, die digitale Transformation zum Nutzen ihrer Kunden einzusetzen.


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