I know that we have our own issues in the mattress world, but the furniture guys are in worse shape than we are.
Consider that the mattress guys spend significantly more money on national advertising to promote our brands. By this, I don’t mean the coop funds that manufacturers give to retailers to swing the door. I am talking about honest-to-goodness national buys that go towards building the brand and building value in the products that we sell. We have people out there talking about the direct connection between our products and the real benefits of using our products, like better sleep, which leads to better life. Where are the furniture producers?
Just think about the incredible story they have to tell as it relates to what new furniture can do for a consumer. This is a product that people WANT to buy because it is fashion based and they can show it off to all of their friends at the next dinner party or neighborhood cookout. Furniture helps you express who you are; it makes your home comfortable, both physically and in the spiritual sense; and it adds a lot of function to every day life. Most importantly, furniture helps to make the house a home, and isn’t that a fantastic story to tell? So how often do you hear it? Maybe I don’t watch enough television but I really don’t see many ads that focus on the real emotional aspect of furniture. So where are the manufactures? There are only a few guys out there that spend any money building real value in their products, and I am guessing that has dropped significantly over the last five years. I wonder what you would find if you compared the top five mattress guys and their national ad spending vs. the top five furniture guys. Compare dollars to message and see where you land.
I am not trying to beat up the furniture people, as many of them are my friends and they do a lot right. But what if we all came together and really beat the drum about the HOME. Isn’t that where the heart is? For a while there, people were taking their money and spending it on staycations and home improvement projects instead of lavish vacations etc. Something tells me we did not take full advantage of that opportunity. If someone were to really drive the message that the home truly is the center of your universe, I think that it would give people new perspective and they would look at that a little differently. Consider all of the memories you have had in your home. I remember moving several times as a kid and having to leave my home and it was tough. I can walk you around every room of my house and share some memories of what happened there, or reminisce about Sunday evenings where all four of us cuddle up on our large sofa group and have movie night. How about all of the family and friend gatherings that take place around your dining room table?
I am big on looking at things not as they are, but instead, of what they could be. What potential do we have as an industry? Why don’t we STOP selling furniture and start selling what matters! What am I missing? What are you thinking?