furnituremarketingmattressesproduct development

Power to the People!

The old school philosophy says that there are two ways to grow sales: sell to more people or sell MORE to current customers. My focus is on the latter. How do we sell more to the people coming in the door?

In the interest of full disclosure, I work for Leggett & Platt, the largest manufacturer of power foundations (also known as adjustable beds) in the U.S. Believe it or not, my passion for this product does not come from company loyalty, but from personally sleeping on one for the past two years. I am, however, in the minority, because my best guess puts power foundations at a 1 percent attachment rate to all mattresses sold. What a shame.

A few reasons for that:

  • Research tells us that consumers look at the product and immediately think “beds for old people” or “hospital equipment.”
  • The way we sell it at retail is, for the most part, an “add on” sale AFTER a mattress is selected. It’s not easy to sell a mattress to a customer for $1,500 and then say, “Hey, would you like to also buy this $2,400 accessory?”
  • Fear of rejection from the sales associate. They just finished closing a deal on a mattress set and many RSAs out there don’t want to risk that by bringing up a power foundation.

There are many people that do an incredible job selling these products and have some very solid solutions to the aforementioned challenges that we face. So why should we learn from them and focus on this kind of product for growth?

The silver tsunami is coming. Someone is turning 50 every seven seconds in this country, and baby boomers account for 28 percent of the population. They have money, and from a psychographic perspective, they are at a point where they are looking for ways to enhance and enjoy their lives. Power foundations test really well with this group and these individuals can afford to buy them. (Oh and did I mention that 1 in 4 own more than one home?)

They are REALLY REALLY comfortable. Like I said, my wife and I have had ours for the past two years and LOVE it.  We would never sleep on a flat bed again. Everyone in my family sleeps on one, as do most of my neighbors. When you talk to owners of this product, they are typically very passionate about how great they are. Power foundations can help you create some raving fans for your products and store.

"The Prodigy completely redefines and modernizes the bedroom for an interactive, customizable comfort solution..."

Products like Prodigy are a great platform to integrate technology and help address some well known sleep disrupters like snoring and loud alarm clocks. Did you know that snoring is one of the top five reasons for divorce in this country?

Life happens in the bedroom.  People work on laptops, watch television, read, etc. in the bedroom.  We need to help personalize that experience.

They are a major source of profits! Power foundations can help you grow your ticket and add some profit dollars to the bottom line.

There is a lot more action in this category today compared to a few years ago. People are going to continue innovating and developing creative ways to sell it, thus making their customers very happy as a result. Do me a favor and join me in working to change this product’s image. If we keep calling them adjustable beds, we will limit our opportunity. “Power base” is a consumer friendly term that says it all and does NOT have the negative image attached to it. Think about it: Would you spend $50 on a polyester golf shirt? Probably not, but you might if it were made with a “performance fabric.” Who knew that polyester was actually a great fabric to make sportswear with? If the inventor had positioned this material just a little differently in 1941 when it was introduced, I wonder how big it would be today?

Do you see an opportunity? What is the best way to display/sell these products? Who is getting it right?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the thinking of the company I work for, or anyone else with whom I am affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is always telling me what not to say.

2 thoughts on “Power to the People!

  1. YES YES YES!! I just found your blog and I am already a huge fan. I was really wanting to start a blog about Leggett with neat, progressive ideas…but seeing as how I actually just started working here only about three months ago…I hardly know/have access to all the information I would want/need. This is fantastic. I love that you cover things like social media and creativity…and I am fully on board for bringing L&P into a newer/updated era as opposed to the “old fashioned” way. Sweet. Can’t wait to read more.

    – Rachel Reed

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