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Committing, Quitting, and Killing the Word CAN’T: Winning in 2012

Your 2012 resolution list can be lengthy, but ultimately helpful.

What’s it gonna be this year? Lose weight, stop smoking, eat better, call your mother more, manage your finances better, find that perfect job, quit that crappy job, or be nicer to the cat? Maybe you’ll resolve to do all the above. The great thing about a new year is that it really means you get a do-over. Remember when you were growing up? Something didn’t go exactly as you would have liked, so you just call a do-over. Well, erase 2011. It is over and in the books, so start focusing on what could or should be in 2012. Here are a few of thoughts on how to make succeeding at your resolution more likely:

  1. If you have tried to accomplish something in the past that didn’t quite work out, then be real with yourself about what went wrong. Don’t just climb back on the same horse and wrestle with it the same way. Pick a better path and commit.
  2. Make sure the resolution is something you really, really want. If you are lukewarm about it, chances are you are going to fail, so be passionate about whatever you pick.
  3. Measure it! From the beginning, make sure there are very specific ways to define what success looks like.
  4. Take the word CAN’T out of your vocabulary. “I would have lost more weight but I travel a lot and CAN’T find good food to eat on the road. I would work out more but I CAN’T find time to train.” (That’s me by the way.) Give me a break! CAN’T is a weak excuse that people use to justify failure. If you want it badly enough, if the reward is great enough, and the pain of not achieving it is more than you are willing to live with, then you CAN make it happen.

So, going into 2012, what should the resolutions be for our industry? How about these to start the discussion:

  1. Be committed to helping consumers understand that a good, quality mattress is in fact a solution to the problem of poor sleep. If all we do is sell them the rectangle instead of the experience, we are missing it in a big way. I don’t care what our position is in the industry; we should all be shouting that sentiment. Remember, we are in competition for consumer dollars with big screen televisions and vacations, so if you are not doing your part, let’s get with it! If your products contribute to improved sleep, and improved sleep can help you lose weight, improve memory, reduce frequency of illness etc., then the question is, do you tell that story? If not, WHY NOT?
  2. Let’s listen more to our most important audiences: the consumer and the retail sales associate (RSA). This is how we are going to discover the keys to success. In general terms, the industry needs to invest more time and money learning from people in these groups. We should listen to the consumers because they are going to tell us what they want, and the RSAs because they are going to tell us what the consumers really want. It’s not always the same thing.
  3. We need to innovate more! Did you ever think that consumers would be asking Santa for a new mattress? It is happening because of innovative marketing and cool new product development. We have a lot of space to create new relevant things that consumers must have! Do you remember my past blog when I wrote about innovation in the industry?

What do you think? Should the industry be focused on something else in order to grow? Tell me about it in the comments.

Now, put down the cigarettes, drop the Krispy Kremes, and take your cat for a pet spa day. Well, maybe just don’t kick the cat when you get home.

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.

2 thoughts on “Committing, Quitting, and Killing the Word CAN’T: Winning in 2012

  1. As a medical sleep specialist I’m fascinated by the changes in the mattress industry and what they aim to achieve. The focus on the consumer and more importantly on the quality of SLEEP is so in line with what I see in my practice. Consumers and patients have come to rely on sleep medications because that is where they are getting most of their information. It’s an exciting time for consumers to arm themselves with tools to get the most from that rectangle that calls them for 450 minutes in a 24 hour day.

    I love your resolutions! My resolutions?
    1. Make 2012 the year I take my own advice about sleep
    2. Decide elastic waistbands are fashionable
    3. Finish Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky
    4. Learn to throw a perfect pizza

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