Gone Fishing

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in advertising, creativity, e-commerce, Management, marketing, mattress industry, mattresses, Retail

Consider where the ad money is coming from in the mattress industry at the moment. No doubt, brick and mortar retailers are spending to bring people into their stores. Tempur-Pedic is banging their drum, although, considerably less than in previous years as I understand it. But outside of that, there is very little happening from the traditional manufacturers. Yes, they are doing some content marketing and investing in co-op as well as dabbling in some smaller campaigns perhaps, but nothing to really move the needle. (Warning: This last statement is totally irresponsible because it is not based on any hard data because I didn’t have access to those reports when writing this. The comment is based solely on my sense of things so if I have it wrong, send me a note and I will correct it! But I don’t think I do.)

So… as a brick and mortar retailer what sort of bait are you using to catch your fish. I don’t know a lot about fishing but I know enough to say that you do your research before hitting your spot and use the bait that’s getting the action. Don’t consider what worked last time you were there either because it’s constantly changing.

If it were me I would give some serious thought to bringing in some of the bed in a box guys to my retail floor, at least the ones that are spending the ad money. Off the top of my head Purple, Casper, Leesa, Saatva, and Nectar are getting it done with television and a strong approach to the internet with ad words, display and content marketing, so aren’t they the brands you should be advertising?  Makes sense to me but there are a few problems with this.

  1. Not many of them are making a push into brick and mortar so you won’t have access to them.
  2. Even if they were, I doubt they could compete with what you already have on your floor which is really odd given the fact that a lot of these guys started out saying that they were going to deliver much better values to the consumer. Uhhhhh, I don’t think so. (I have to exclude Purple from this however because they are not selling a foam bed like everyone else, they have intellectual property in their sleep tech, the beds are proven to perform in certain areas, and they feel very different from what’s in the market.)

What if you just brought these products on to your floors to give consumers a comparison to what you are carrying in your store and set up a tablet on a pedestal for them to use should they want to buy one. Don’t be foolish about it either, don’t attack the product just let the consumer see what it is, and actually give them a way to buy the bed so that you’re not breaking any laws with your comparison. If you really do offer value then you should be able to overcome the e-commerce brands that are out there AND you give your customer a way to see those products in person. “Want to buy a bed on the internet? Fine, come on down we have some of the major brands in our stores for you to try PLUS our very own brand that will blow you away!”  The Original Mattress Factory used to do a brilliant job of this and they killed the traditional brands as a result.

I like products and stores that approach the consumer with confidence. “Here it is. See for yourself. We will kick everybody’s butt because we are better and we will prove it. See for yourself!”

Caught any big ones lately? Maybe you need to stop fishing with hot dogs.

Politics On Trial For Murdering Relationships

Posted 9 CommentsPosted in culture, Leadership, politics

It’s so frustrating to hear people talk politics these days. The conversations have become so emotional that very little good comes from it. Facebook seems to be the place where a lot of this happens which is fine, but things spin out of control pretty fast so what’s the problem?

  • People post stuff that is very inflammatory and lacks any support from actual facts so the audience shuts down before they get done reading what’s been written.
  • The intention behind what’s written isn’t to spark a healthy conversation, it’s to troll the other side and piss people off.
  • When the conversation breaks down, the name calling begins so LOOK OUT.
  • Participants aren’t engaged to learn anything. They aren’t even listening really. They are just trying to make their point and ONE UP the losers they are up against.
  • When you KNOW you are right you leave very little room for empathy, and when you stop trying to understand the opposing view, you prevent a healthy dialogue.

Two very good friends of mine, Sean and Sarah Bergman, invited me to dinner around the time of the last Presidential election. We all had questions about different things so we decided we would order a few-okay maybe it was three-bottles of wine and figure it all out. We didn’t change each other’s minds on everything, but we did leave that dinner understanding where the other side was coming from. Most importantly, we left that meal even better friends; love those guys.

Remember this…politicians want you to hate the other side because when you do, they can raise money. If they keep us angry at each other, then there is less attention and oversight on what they are up to in DC. Why is it that we can’t agree to disagree? For all of you politicians, television pundits, talk radio personalities, professional athletes, and assorted celebrities I say get a freaking grip. Act like the adult in the room and understand that you have the ability to bring people together. Let’s not stop there, we all have that ability so why don’t we spend our time looking for common ground and solutions!

Do me a favor if you are somebody that gets into it with friends and family ask yourself if it’s really worth the loss of a relationship. I have family members and friends that I don’t agree with when it comes to this stuff so you know how I handle them? I find other things to talk about because I know I’m NOT going to change their mind so what’s the point? Their friendship is way more important than the politics of the day. If you need to be right on this stuff then you NEED to check yourself. I’m not saying to stay home and keep your passion to yourself but avoid these topics with the people closest to you if you don’t agree with what’s happening out there, volunteer to knock on doors for your party and get out the vote. That’s the only way you will see change happen anyway. Know anybody that should read this…then share away!

What do you think? Send me your comments!

Mattress Firm Files Chapter 11-Does That Lead To A Reunion With Tempur-Pedic?

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in Leadership, Management, marketing, mattresses, Retail

You have probably heard by now that Mattress Firm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The good news is that they are planning to pay all of their suppliers what they are owed, so everyone can exhale and go about planning your business.  The bad news is that they are going to be closing down 700 stores so they can reconcile some bad real estate which means many will lose their jobs. That’s always the worst part with something like this.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about how all of this happened. Too many stores, mismanagement, the break up with Tempur-Pedic, no consistency with their marketing, I’ve heard it all. At the end of the day, I guess it really doesn’t matter because what’s done is done. Now everyone has to figure out what comes next right?

The big question I keep running into is “Will Mattress Firm and Tempur-Pedic get back together after a very nasty separation.” It’s hard to imagine that would happen given all of the lawsuits, hurt feelings, egos, and supply agreements on both sides but never say never. Fact is that both companies would likely benefit a great deal from a reunion. For Tempur-Pedic, they would pick up about 3,000 retail locations which could plug some holes on the map for them and deliver a significant boost to their top and bottom line. For Mattress Firm, they could bring back that great Tempur-Pedic brand that drove their traffic for so long and shore up those big ticket averages. But are they better off keeping things the way they are?

Is the band getting back together?

Mark Kinsley and I dug into this a little on our most recent Dos Marcos podcast so check that out HERE but allow me to recap that for you. Tempur says that they are doing great in their company-owned stores. Scott Thompson has made some public comments about the fact that in those stores they are running up 200% year over year and their average tickets are much higher than what they were seeing at Mattress Firm which I don’t doubt, but how many of those stores do they have? It’s going to take a lot more of those company-owned stores to make up for the lost Mattress Firm volume.

After speaking to Steve Stagner, CEO at Mattress Firm, I got the impression that he was not opposed to the idea of Tempur-Pedic coming back but wants to make sure that the product value is there for the consumer. They are testing a few of their own brands now and getting some great results with big margins and they are seeing some of those big-ticket transactions come back. But can it replace the net benefit you get from the Tempur-Pedic products and brand strength?

This issue is way more complicated than I am making it here but when you write a blog, you can hit the easy button anytime you want. What do you think the chances are, will they get back together? Somebody call Vegas and see what the line is please. 🙂

 

 

 

Mattress Stores With No Salespeople?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in creativity, e-commerce, Management, marketing, mattresses, Retail

I’m sure you have been reading about AmazonGo cashierless stores. If not, Amazon is planning over 3,000 of these stores in the next few years so you can walk in, pick up your merchandise and simply walk out with your charges waiting for you on your Amazon account before you make it to your car. (If you like reading about Amazon check out THIS post from my buddy Brent Beshore and his team at Adventur.es; there is plenty of information in there to keep you busy for a few hours.)

So is it possible to do a mattress store with no retail salesperson? I know that it has already been tried but I am unaware of anyone doing that successfully today. After thinking about this for a while I thought I would share some of my thoughts on how somebody could actually pull that off.

  1. The mattress product assortment has to be really narrow. Maybe even all one price in three different firmnesses, and let Goldilocks find that “just right” feel for herself. If you try to expand past that you will just cause confusion therefore indecision. As for your pillows, protectors, and other items follow the same path. The downside for some of those sleep essentials will be shrinkage. If you have samples of pillows that they can use from bed to bed a dishonest customer could end up walking out with them. You could, however, put some cameras in the store like Wal-Mart does these days showing that they are being recorded; maybe that will stop the bad guys. Sheets would be easy enough, just provide a hand sample so they can pick their favorite quality and feel.
  2. You have to nail the fulfillment side that’s for sure. If you have your products on Amazon, that would be easy enough. Just follow the Tuft and Needle formula and run it all through your Amazon platform and they will process the order, bill your customer, warehouse it all and deliver it for you no problem.
  3. Your point of sale has to do the job of the RSA. You need to be able to educate your consumer on the benefits of your products and why somebody should shop with you instead of with someone else. (This will disqualify many of you out there because you don’t build value in your products or stores which can be clearly seen in your advertising. Does that upset you? Sorry for the smack of reality.) Could you do a virtual assistant where you could facetime people in the store, sort of like a help bot when you are shopping online but a real live person? How about tablets strategically placed with video thumbnails to bring the consumer deeper into the selling funnel. Topics? (Nothing over one minute please!)
  • Tell me about this product; what does it do and what proof can you provide me with?
  • What makes it better than others at similar price points?
  • Why shop here?
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ’s to include return policies, delivery details etc.

Other keys to success? Either a digital or traditional brand could mean a lot here. If you carry something that a                        consumer is familiar with it will help build some trust for the consumer if they aren’t totally comfortable buying in this type of store.

Make it a cool space. Pipe in some great music, fun graphics and calming smells to establish some texture in the store. If you deliver a simple to navigate, hassle-free shopping experience you will be rewarded.

What do you think, could this work? Likely not for the master suite purchase for most, but it would be great for a slice of the buying public. Maybe this concept is working and I just don’t know about it, if so tell me about it in the comments section.

The Stuff That Matters Most

Posted Leave a commentPosted in charity, culture, faith, Leadership, mattress industry, mattresses, purpose

It was a humbling experience to serve as this year’s Seena Magowitz Foundation Honorary Chairman. I knew that it was going to be a big commitment but these guys are trying to cure pancreatic cancer. That’s a pretty good place to invest time don’t you think?  I’m very glad I did because it has had a profound impact on me.

It all started with a breakfast On Saturday, September 25th, when I was able to meet Dan’s Diamonds; a group of very brave people that are survivors of the disease. Dr. Dan Von Hoff or Dr. Dan Von Hope to many, gave a talk on his research and the progress he was making, and then the survivors in the room expressed their gratitude to Dr. Von Hoff, to Roger Magowitz and to myself for what we were doing to support this cause. My thinking at the time was, “Thank God I agreed to be a part of this, I really want to help these people!”

At the Discovery Dinner Sunday evening, Dr. Von Hoff delivered a keynote address and gave us all a small glimpse of what he and his team were doing at tgen to find a path towards early detection and a way to ultimately cure the disease. Dr. Von Hoff has so many titles and awards I could write about those for pages. But it’s his heart for the people with the disease that drives his mission. He is without a doubt one of the most amazing people I have ever met and I know that his research will eventually lead to a cure, and his compassion will give some peace to those inflicted.

Click to see Stan Vitikas speech

Next came THE talk of the night from Stan Vitikas. Stan has been living with pancreatic cancer for 11 years and in a very emotional speech, he shared with the audience that facing death has changed him. “Why am I alive? If not me then who?”  Stan has raised over $70,000 to find a cure and his speech that night gave everyone in the room a reason to be grateful for their own life and he encouraged everyone to support Roger Magowitz and the foundation’s efforts. If you want to be inspired by Stan, give this video a look and see for yourself what real heroes look like.

I was up next. Normally when I give a speech, I get a little nervous before I go on stage but over the years I have been able to manage that pretty well. This time was very different. Stan had me and everyone else in the room so choked up that I wasn’t sure I could get through what I had to say. Then Karl Glassman, past Honorary Chairman of the event, current CEO of Leggett and Platt, and my friend took the stage to share a few thoughts and to introduce me. When it comes to people that I admire and respect Karl is at the top of the list for me, and for many. I didn’t get a chance that night to really communicate how I feel about him and his wife Cathi, and how grateful I was that he agreed to bring me on stage because his introduction was so incredible, I pretty much forgot everything I was going to say. Karl had recently met Senator John McCain while testifying in Washington in front of a Senate Sub-Committee. Senator McCain has been an advocate for tgen for a long time and told Karl that getting tgen to Arizona was one of his biggest accomplishments in politics. Karl was recently looking through some of Senator McCain’s writings and pulled a quote from him that he used to introduce me and after you see that, you will understand why I lost it a little at the beginning of my talk. To say that I was humbled by that is an understatement, and to say “thank you” just doesn’t do it, but….thank you.

Click to see talks from Karl Glassman and Mark Quinn

During my speech, I talked about how we set a goal to inform more people about pancreatic cancer. With the help of my good friend Mark Kinsley and partner on the Dos Marcos podcast, we put together an advisory board filled with the top leaders in the industry to get the word out. These guys helped us promote a video we call Why Wait and pushed this message to over 165,000 people. I can’t thank you all enough, you really came through! After the update I finished up with a few thoughts so read a brief recap below but watch the video and get a feel for that moment:

  1. Be empathetic towards people because it will connect you to them in a very meaningful way. What if you were the one that found out you had six months to live? Would you want people to give their time and treasure?
  2. Live your life. Are you spending time on the things that matter most? If not, why not?
  3. Put your problems in check and let the people surviving pancreatic cancer serve as your inspiration.
  4. There is always hope.

My thanks to Roger Magowitz for having faith in me to do this job and for his passion to find a cure for pancreatic cancer. I have learned a lot over the years working with Roger on this foundation and it has forever changed me! Also a big thank you to Liz McBeth event director and to Nicole Rechter who was recognized this year with an award for her work on the foundation. Also, we can’t forget all of the volunteers, you made this a huge success. To everyone that attended, you had many other places you could have been, and there are other ways to spend your money so thank you for choosing the Magowitz event. Finally, to my parents Nick and Dee Quinn for making the trip to Boston and for teaching me what it means to serve others, and to my wife Bridget for being so amazing and supporting me in everything I do, I love you all.

So there is no cure YET but when it happens, there is no doubt that the mattress industry will have played a HUGE part in getting that done. Just think about that for a minute. I’m so proud to be a part of it with all of you.

BONUS:

Watch Johnny Clegg, a world-renowned musician and pancreatic cancer survivor perform live.

Opening remarks from Roger Magowitz and Derek Hall, CEO Arizona Diamondbacks.