Do They WANT It?

There has been a lot of activity on the power foundation, or adjustable bed, front lately. Tempur-Pedic continues to drive interest with its great marketing campaign; Serta just launched iComfort which features a power foundation, to incredible reviews; and my company continues to experience strong growth within the category. Despite these successes, the power foundation business is not anywhere close to being what it could be. How do we, as an industry, continue to drive the product?

The Prodigy power foundation is an example of innovation in bedding. Is it something the consumer wants?

For me, it is all about the “want vs. need” paradigm. Very few actually NEED a bed that articulates into different positions, but when they actually EXPERIENCE the product, they WANT it. During our research, consumers would look at a power foundation and immediately think of either a hospital bed or old people. When asked if they would ever consider purchasing one, the answer is almost always an emphatic “NO!” Get that same person to try the bed out, enjoy a few minutes of zero gravity, and help them understand that life happens in the bedroom. His or her attitude then changes pretty quickly. Whether they are reading, watching television, or working on a laptop, we can make them more comfortable by customizing the experience with a personalized comfort setting.

Consumer research says that by getting consumers to interact with products, you increase your chances of selling them. That is especially true with power foundations. So the next time you think about creating a new offering, or you are on a sales floor talking to a consumer, don’t miss your opportunity to sell the experience and get them on this bed. After a few minutes of lying on a power foundation, mattress buyers are going to want one in their home. Creating the WANT is creating an emotional reaction to your product and that is how consumers make decisions.

What am I missing here? What are you thinking?

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 good at telling me what not to say.

5 thoughts on “Do They WANT It?

  1. Like they say, “It’s the economy stupid.” If money is the issue (and today, it most definitely is), then the pitch needs to be “you can’t afford NOT to have one”

    And there are plenty of ways to make that point.

    1. I am a retail mattress salesman, I have sold adjustable bases for years, but to older clients and the handicapped. By altering my preconcieved notions about who buys power bases, my sales have increased. I use research statistics about sleep to give them a reason to try it, and Mark you are right! The end user becomes a believer once they have tried it, and they imagine themselves healthier, more rested and more productive with this expensive adjustable base under an already expensive mattress. I sell alot of adjustable bases.

  2. Mark, I jumped back to this article from your most recent post on “An old mattress can kill you”. I wanted to make a comment here first, because it will help get my thoughts straight.
    Here is how I see the want and need dynamic. “Want” is an emotional behavior, it is learned, conditioned, effected by environment, and stimulated by self esteem level. I don’t know what the percent is, but I would say the majority of consumers purchase products (especially the upgrade version or more elaborate model) based off of WANT. {Comfort and Style} is what we would be talking about here. “Need” is a more innate behavior, it’s hard wired into the brain, triggered by survival mechanisms that have to kick in, and driven by necessity. I think of purchasing groceries, medicines, certain house hold supplies and other similar commodities as need items. {Health} is what my focus with customers would be here. (Maybe not the best examples) But I’m sure we could spend a lot of time breaking down the zones on why/how consumers buy things based on want vs. need.
    But what makes the good companies, products, marketing campaigns, and RSA’s great; is the ability to combine both emotions (want and need) into one. My best professional victories are when I don’t sell people- but instead consult them towards a decision. I try to pull out enough information from the customer, assess their pain, diagnose their needs, and figure out their comfort threshold, so when it comes down to go time they will WANT to NEED what I have to offer.
    I could go further with that last statement, but there is one small industry related (thing) I need to point out. So many times a hear people say a “mattress is a mattress”. They put no stock or value into the product. To me, those people set the industry back to the middle ages. A mattress stopped being just a mattress a long, long time ago. Today we have so many great products that let us change the conversion back to “Sleep, Health, and Comfort” as well as the advantage to establish want and need together.

    1. Great comments Andrew. It is tricky finding the perfect balance between the want and the need I agree. People do their research using logic to help them and then make the decision based on the emotional tug so you have to get them both right. Thanks for making the time to comment and thanks for reading!

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