Vegas BABY! It’s that time again to start thinking about our upcoming trip to market. Seeing old friends, waiting for elevators, eating and drinking too much, long taxi lines etc. You know the drill by now right?
So what is on your agenda for market? What are you looking for? What does success look like? I thought I would help all of the retailers out there reading this blog with a little checklist that they can use when shopping for that perfect bedding assortment. Read to the bottom today and don’t miss the BONUS CONTENT!
- Is the product a WOW from a comfort perspective or is it more of the same? Remember that your customer is going to be shopping the market so if you don’t have something different from your competition, then you are probably missing an opportunity. When it comes right down to it THE FEEL IS THE DEAL so that should be on the top of the priority list.
- Do your bedding partners work towards helping you grow your overall business OR are they in it to simply take a piece of the pie you have already baked? What are you talking about in your meetings? Are they bringing you ideas on how to grow the overall business or are they just worried about their balance of sale? If their product and marketing programs aren’t capable of expanding your mattress category, then you might want to keep looking.
- Is your bedding company innovative or do they follow the industry? Review a list of the new and exciting products/programs that they have introduced to the industry over the last 5 years and determine if there is a future there. If your company is going to grow, you need to make sure you have partners that you can count on to keep your business relevant. That means buying from a company that can show you some evidence that they value creative solutions to complex problems.
- Does their marketing message pass the BS test? Bedding producers that don’t have much to offer typically try to hide that with fancy marketing or technical speak that the consumer doesn’t really get anyway. If the manufacturer represents a product for a price and are straight forward about that, then more power to them! If they instead try to pass themselves off as something they’re not then the consumer is going to smoke that out and you both lose. When you are in a showroom reviewing a new line and you are thinking, “This looks a lot like what I have now with new covers and labels” then you need to keep shopping.
- Finally and maybe most important, will the rsa get excited about your new bedding programs for 2016? I have cited this quote from Brian Tracy before, “Sales is nothing more than a transfer of enthusiasm.” If your sales people can’t get fired up with your new program then how do you expect them to be passionate when selling your beds to the consumer? If you have an exciting story and product to support it, then you have the recipe for success. When you bring in new products, sales people get excited because they’re NEW right? Imagine bringing in a new line that was so good that your sales team couldn’t wait to talk about it with your customers. Isn’t that how things should be?
For those of you going to market I wish you safe travels. If you can’t make the trip I suggest you circle back with Sleep Geek as they always have a great recap of the latest and greatest coming out of Vegas.
If you are having trouble finding a bedding producer that delivers on the points I mention above DO NOT WORRY. I can get you connected to a guy that can deliver it all; just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will tell you all about this new product called Spink and Edgar. 🙂
BONUS CONTENT! When I was with Leggett and Platt I would do some reporting for Sleep Geek. During a Vegas market I had the rare opportunity to interview the star of the Serta commercials, the Alpaca. You can see that very compelling “Barbara Walters” moment HERE.