The Sleep Health Wave. Are You Missing Out?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leadership, marketing, mattresses, purpose, Retail, Sleep, social media, strategy

Before I dive in I want to tell you about two really great guests we had on the Dos Marcos podcast recently. Brad Parker owns a 6-store chain of La-Z-Boy stores in Portland, Oregon, and Charlie Malouf owns a 24-store chain of Ashley stores in North and South Carolina. These guys are both incredible business people that are doing a lot of things right so if you want a chance to listen to a couple of industry veterans talk about how they drive their business, click HERE to find links to those episodes. You won’t be sorry!

ALSO…Mark Kinsley and I have our first book coming out in December so if you want to sign up now, the first 100 people to get their copy will also receive DOS shot glasses so you can enjoy your favorite brand of tequila, which happens to be the official beverage of the Dos Marcos podcast. Sign up TODAY, just click HERE…it’s easy!

You’re at the airport and in a hurry to make it to your connecting flight but you have a problem. Your gate is at the other end of the terminal and you don’t have a lot of time. You see a moving sidewalk that will help carry you through the crowd and get you to your destination much faster so do you take it? Or do you just walk through the terminal pushing past the other travelers and risk missing your flight home?

Right now we have a HUGE opportunity that very few in our industry are taking advantage of, and that is making the connection of sleep to our personal health. The Mayo Clinic says, “Yes, lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.” Do you think this is relevant to your customers shopping for a mattress, sheets, pillows or adjustable bases? HELL YES IT’S RELEVANT especially right now. So why is it we aren’t making this a much bigger deal as an industry?

When you look at the landing page of your website are you talking about how your products can literally improve a person’s sleep health which can improve your ability to fight off a virus? How about your selling process, have you incorporated that idea into your conversation with the consumer? Do you talk about sleep health in your brochures or in your social media channels?

There is a moving sidewalk right in front of us that will give us some extra momentum to carry us to our destination and cut through the clutter, but we are choosing to stay in the slow lane, fighting the traffic just like we always have. Why?


I love a good gut check so try this one out. If McDonald’s got a call from their research and development people saying that eating one Big Mac a day would help to improve your immune system so you could fight off a virus, would their marketing message change? I bet it would.

One of the most important issues facing people today is their health. They fear for the safety of their family and are looking for every way possible to protect themselves and we have a product solution that is totally relevant to that conversation, so why aren’t we having it? (This is a miss for me also. We haven’t changed anything with the websites for Spink and Co or Sherwood either so we have to figure out the right way to address the opportunity.)

Remember that we are in a fight. Not with each other, but with new cars, vacations, wood floors, and painting the house. The consumer has a limited amount of disposable income so where are we on their list? We move up on that list if we can make a compelling case and using sleep health to frame our conversation with the consumer makes sense. I think that consumers would appreciate a little education on how sleep can help them live their best lives don’t you?


Podcasters, Speakers, and Authors?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in creativity, culture, experience, fun, marketing, mattress industry, mattresses, purpose, relationships, Retail, service, strategy

Before we start, check out this week’s podcast featuring Keith Moneymaker from Sweet Dreams in North Carolina. Keith is a great retailer and shares some stories on how he is making it happen in his market so give it a listen and make sure to have a pencil handy because he throws out some really good ideas!


How Are You Playing The Game?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in creativity, culture, furniture, Leadership, Management, mattress industry, purpose, relationships, Retail, strategy

“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” Albert Einstein


These are some crazy times we are living in wouldn’t you say? In the Dos Marcos podcast that published yesterday, I make the comment that “just because you have the power to be an asshole, doesn’t mean you SHOULD be an asshole.” Suppliers from all over are having trouble getting their products to people. The stupid COVID illness has shut down factories, people don’t want to come back to work because they are getting a nice fat government check, and the demand spike has made it tough for the guys in the factories out there to keep up with production.

There are a lot of things going wrong right now and when life hits us hard our reaction to that is important. The point of the blog today is to have us all take a minute to pause on what is going on, how we are handling it, and what it will all mean down the road. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are you making decisions that consider the people in your world first and profits second? We all have to manage to the bottom line there is no doubt, but compassion and empathy should serve as our guiding light.
  • Are the decisions you’re making right now the best for your business long term or are you playing the short game? There may be things that we need to do to get us through where we are but can they be undone when things return to some sort of “normal”?
  • If you want to know how good you are in developing and nurturing relationships, now is a good time to see the fruits of your labor. Do you treat your suppliers with respect and appreciation? Do you treat your customers with respect and appreciation? If we have done a good job of nurturing those relationships they could buy you some favor with your supplier or maybe even the grace you need when you fall down with your customer. If you are in a “transactional” relationship then you could suffer the fate of that reality.
  • Inspiration or intimidation? What kind of leader are you right now? Stress is a tough thing to deal with, especially when it could mean the failure of your business. Some get pissy and float around the office beating up the team for different results. Others see an opportunity, excite the troops, and find a way to lead their people into battle looking for the win.
  • Real leaders will show themselves in times like this. Some will look for rocks to hide behind. Others will step up and look for creative solutions to the complex problems facing them, and drive forward no matter what obstacle is in the way. Which one is leading your group?

I understand that relationships don’t always fix the problem. Sometimes you have to use a boot instead of a carrot. Some things are just flat out of your control and you can’t Marry Poppins your way through every situation.

HOWEVER, we can get to the other side and feel great about how we got there which oddly enough, usually delivers the best outcomes. Funny how that works.

Sealy Takes Top Spot

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in culture, Leadership, Management, marketing, mattress industry, product, relationships, Retail

Before I start, if you would like to hear a podcast on this topic, Mark Kinsley and I cover it all in the latest episode of Dos Marcos, so check it out!

When I first started in the industry Sealy was #1 by a large margin. Simmons was #2 and Serta was trailing at a distant 3rd. I began working for Serta in 1996 and got there in time to be a part of the massive growth under CEO Ed Lilly and later Bob Sherman. Serta eventually took over as #1 because of a laser beam focus around one simple idea. “Find creative solutions to the complex problems that our customers are facing.” At some point, Serta wandered off the path and Sealy came roaring back into the top spot.

As of 2019 Sealy is back at #1, up 12% in 2019, Simmons is second and Serta has fallen to the #3 spot. So how did this happen? The loss of Big Lots for Serta/ pickup by Sealy, and the re-entry at Mattress Firm for Sealy were a few of the factors, but here are some additional thoughts.

Tempur+Sealy In Pole Position

Leadership: SSB had Bob Sherman running the show, then Gary Fazio, followed by Michael Traub and later David Swift so there was a lot of transition over the years with each guy implementing his own plan. Then SSB lost or pushed out the two top sales exec’s that really made their growth happen, John Rachid and Bill West as well as a few others, and reduced the salesforce at one point by 200 something people. At the same time you had Scott Thompson take the helm at TSI and this guy is a full out savage, gun slinger, and deal maker. If you doubt me on that just look at how he handled the Mattress Firm situation and I think you’ll agree. Rick Anderson was a constant since 2006 as TSI’s president, now being followed by Steve Rusing who is a well thought of industry veteran with a strong track record. Changes in leadership are very costly so maintaining consistency over time will create a big advantage for those able to pull it off. SSB is now in a groove with a solid team and they are adding key players so there is no doubt that this market share battle will continue on.

Brand Clarity: 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2. Serta and Simmons have not been great at differentiating their products. So much so that according to some of the retailers I’ve talked to over the years, having them both on a floor doesn’t always make sense. Back in the day, if you were to ask retailers or even their own sales force what each brand stood for and what made them uniquely different, you would be hard pressed to get a solid answer from anyone. Tempur-Pedic owns memory foam. Sealy has something for everyone, top to bottom. And Stearns and Foster is a widely distributed luxury brand with great history. Now you can stir into that mix Sherwood who specializes in strong private label programs, and Spink and Co, a great craft beer/bed that is grown on a farm in England with exclusive distribution. Overlap or fuzzy definitions within your brands will hurt you. Trying to extend your brand into spaces that don’t make sense are also counter productive. TSI has been very smart in how they define who they are and what they offer their retail partners. Thanks to Melanie Huet, SSB’s Chief Marketing Office, I think they are going to figure this part out as they focus more on the consumer and carve out a unique space for all of their brand offerings.

Leverage: Let’s face it, brand equity is leverage and nobody has more of it than Tempur-Pedic. Tempur-Pedic is the only brand in our industry that has created real preference. Others have built some awareness but that just isn’t the same thing. The most important thing for retailers right now are door swings and Tempur-Pedic delivers those which makes them a pretty big deal.

In an interview with with Furniture Today Scott Thompson had the following to say. “We are truly honored, but there won’t be any big celebration. We will keep doing what we have been doing: pushing to improve every day everywhere around the world. We know that whatever we did yesterday is not good enough to win tomorrow.” Given the dynamic space we find ourselves in I think that Scott has it right. Change is a constant and the companies out there that can adapt will win the day. One thing though Scott, if I were you I would assemble the team at your favorite watering hole, put on a sombrero, and partake in the official beverage of the Dos Marcos podcast; tequila shots for everyone!  You guys have earned it.



My Mom

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in faith, purpose, relationships, service

On Memorial Day my mother, Dee Quinn, passed away and it crushed me. In college I was lucky enough to take a Crisis Communications class taught by Dr. Jim Towns and we learned a lot about the grieving process and how to deal with that, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing.

Somewhere close to 300 people were in attendance for the funeral at St. Martha’s, my parents church in Kingwood, Texas, which shocked me given the scare around the corona virus. Ladies from the church volunteered to decorate the church and the reception hall, a neighbor created a small piece of art in memory of mom that my father was able to duplicate and give to close friends and family. My dad’s best buddy Grant Chapman, his wife Betty and his two kids Chris and Kerry, along with his cooking team called the Holy Smokers, prepared lunch for over 100 people at the reception and nobody let us pay for anything. Dozens of people cooked meals and brought them to the house and cards, donations to my mother’s charity, flowers, text messages and phone calls came in to my dad Nick, sister Cari, brother Jeff and myself to express their condolences. The love and support was felt in a very meaningful way.

All of this happened the way it did because my mom was an amazing lady that gave a lot of herself to people. She worked as a volunteer with Family Time, a shelter for abused women for over 17 years, and was incredibly generous to her friends and family. She was definitely the “go to” if you needed to talk through a problem. As for the impact she had on me, that would be impossible to put into words. She listened to me, supported me in all things, kicked my butt when it was necessary, and loved me like only a mother can. Her influence in my life has helped me become the person I am and any success I have experienced along the way can be directly tied back to how she raised me.

I was sad when she died, but more than that, I was grateful for the fact that she was my mom and for the influence she has had on me, my wife Bridget and my kids Gabby and Nick.

The overwhelming response to her death was the result of her connection to people. Investing in our family, friends and co-wokers and creating strong relationships with others is what it’s all about isn’t it? What impact are we making on those around us? How will people FEEL when we leave this earth? What good have we done? What will the ripple effect from our life be?

My mothers life will impact others long after she is gone because of what she did when she was here. My pastor once told us that we have to be mindful of the dash. The dash between the date you were born and the date that you die. What will we do with our dash?

Love and miss you mom! I will see you again.


Dee Quinn                                     August 19, 1945 – May 25, 2020


My brother Jeff (Todd), has never written a poem in his life but the passing of our mom inspired this writing.  I think he did a terrific job of sharing his heart and what we all feel about who she was.

Sweet Dee

From humble beginnings with love in her heart

She met a man and fell from the start


The Bulldog inn is where it all began

and he walked her to class like a fine young man


They didn’t have much but they made it work

and that’s when Dee learned how to be a damn good cook


They had three children Cari, Mark, and Todd

Raising them right as children of God


The kids made nicknames for all they loved

Sweet Dee was hers a gift from above


Dee filled our hearts with love to the sky

The kids left the nest to learn how to fly


Grandkids came next 2 of each kind

More love to give and let Sweet Dee shine


A mother, A sister, and a wife extraordinaire

Every role she played she did it with care


17 years she gave of herself

To those in need and not much wealth


A smile, a laugh, a quick-witted jab

She gave this life all that she had


Her health went south but she fought a good fight

Until God was ready to use her light


The reception in heaven will be so grand

with your Mom & Dad to hold your hand


If a life is measured by those you touch

Sweet Dee did that in spades and I think that’s enough

Jeffrey Todd Quinn