Is the Mattress Industry Living in the Past?
Working for the XSENSOR Campaign on behalf of InterConnecta for the past few months has shed the light on a huge market with a lot of potential but in dire need of a marketing facelift: The Mattress Industry.
Just how big is it? Well, if we consider mattresses are a first necessity and that every single person is sleeping under one, it makes for a very large potential base of consumers. In the USA alone it is an industry averaging $7 Billion in revenue annually. Why is this important? Because it’s a big and hardly anyone ever mentions it.
No one likes salesmen, and when it comes to mattresses it’s no exception. I’m more surprised to read a review about a charming salesman than another comment along the lines of “seemed uninterested” or “obviously just trying to make a sale”. Customers are often thrown a bunch of mattress names and brands while they’re at the store. These aren’t displayed in any particular order; just one wide selection of product lines after the other, no wonder the sales people seem to be desperate and uninterested.
Let’s talk about them for minute, salesmen, some still living in 1954. Wake up! People don’t want to hear about how soft this mattress is compared to the next or how durable or sturdy the springs are. They want to hear things like: “this mattress will give you the best night sleep you’ve had since you had kids” or “sleep, you could only dream of” they want experiences, intangibles. Those days of unique and emotional selling propositions are over.
The other day I came across an article whose headline read: “Is mattress marketing finally making progress?” The article mainly talked about Sleep City, a small mattress manufacturer in Montana who had “figured out” that they should switch focus on selling the benefit of a better night sleep rather than the comfy rectangle itself. The article went on to say that the number one reason why customers buy a new mattress is to get a better night sleep. That’s right folks you heard it here first, they want a better night sleep plain and simple. So why are retailers and manufacturers so focused on price, product, and promotion in their advertising?
Going back to the salesman from 1954: Unfortunately this industry still living in the past and it’s important they switch focus to market using the tools available today. They need to listen more to their customers’ needs and learn what they really look for in a mattress. Also, people hardly go into stores to “make up” their mind anymore. Mattress companies need to have a strong presence in as many social networking channels, they are being diligent to any customer inquiries that might surface and creating as much content as possible to help built their online reputation.
The potential is there, the demand as well; it’s up to the different mattress companies to seize this opportunity and tap into it.