We have been talking about how to sell beds to female consumers for years now. In fact, most everything we do or say, as it relates to marketing mattresses to customers, revolves around women. It’s understandable: Across all research, women make up the vast majority of buying decisions. According to a recent Furniture Today poll, retailers believe that percentage to be closer to 88 percent as it relates specifically to a mattress.
I would suggest to you that men are NOT given much consideration in this process and as a result, we are missing a sales opportunity. If you look at the research, men actually sleep less and have more sleeping problems than women. If that is the case, doesn’t it make sense that they are a great target for a new mattress and/or a better sleep message? Maybe men are unaware of the fact that they don’t sleep as well as women. If they understood that there was an issue here, they would pay more attention and be more engaged in the mattress purchase process.
For years, the brainiacs in Detroit built and sold cars for a primarily male audience. At some point, somebody (my money says it was a woman) said, “Hey guys, women actually drive cars too!” After this brilliant revelation, you saw car companies bringing women in for focus groups. The boy’s club in Detroit started listening to the female voice. They brought them into the process and actually had them help design new cars and create new ways to sell cars specifically to women.
In terms of marketing to men, what kind of ideas can we bring to the table? For instance we could address things that we know are of interest to this group. Take technology for example. We could create interesting apps that will help consumers either track sleep, find our products in the market or even measure the Bounce Per Ounce in your mattress (Yes, you can count that as one shameless plug for the recently developed Leggett and Platt iPhone app found here). We could figure out a way to connect a bed to sports. Maybe have some literature in a store that talks about how sleeping better can help improve performance on the field, or some information on how popular players address sleep. What guy doesn’t like a remote control? Get the guys surfing on power foundations and show them all of the great things it can do for them after a long day. Have we done everything, or anything for that matter, to reach out and understand what is REALLY important to them as it relates to sleep and their bed? If we have, I haven’t seen it.
There are so many reasons we should be more connected to the male shopper when it comes to mattresses and we can create new reasons for people to buy. When is the last time you heard a mattress industry executive say, “We did some research with men and they said…”?
We can’t continue to ignore roughly half of the population out there that’s using our products! If we talked to men about how important sleep is to good health, attitude, weight loss, etc., would it matter? Do men care how they look and feel? Do they try to eat better and exercise out of concern for their health? Are men not PEOPLE TOO?! Okay, maybe I’m taking this a little personally, but you get what I’m saying.
What am I missing here? How do you develop products or sell to the male audience? What are you thinking?
It makes sense. What guy doesn’t want more power in bed, let alone more power that comes with a remote control or can be controlled from a smart device?
Great point Frank!
Sooo, while I am not a man…I do understand what you are saying and completely agree. I had actually wondered about this myself when I was asked to help with a Focus Group study for point-of-purchase buying. When I arrived to the Group meeting, it was an all women group. When I asked why there were no guys involved they said it was because women were the ones most likely to be out doing the buying. But what if you are a bachelore? Is your Mom going to be the one picking out your bed (I sure hope not). Thus, I completely support the idea that men should also be included in bed studies, as well as quizzed on what they might find appealing for a mattress to offer…and I think it is a point in which business could grow by providing such marketing.
Thanks for the support on that point, I think you make some great observations. Whenever we have recruited for qualitative research or even quantitative for that matter we tell them to recruit women so I have been part of the problem. Wouldn’t it be great to see what a group of men would tell us!
Great point, Mark! I would just add that the commercials should be targeted to the media reaching men. Clearly radio stations with a dominant male listenership or tv stations/shows that appeal to a male audience should have ads tailored to the hot buttons of men. We need some old fashioned targeted messaging.
Excellent point Penny. There are many fun things we could do to target the male audience. I you consider the talk radio circuit I don’t know what the demographics are there but I would imagine they sku heavily to men. There are a lot of mattress commercials on those shows!