At the Heart of the Mattress

Looks of pity crossed their faces. That’s what I remember when I told my friends I was getting into the mattress industry.

They gave me the head tilt and smiled saying, “Oooo, that is just great, Mark.” To make it more exciting, I am now on the component side of the mattress industry. Does that make my job even less interesting at a cocktail party? Probably, but today, as we near the 2012 ISPA Expo in Indianapolis, I want to make a case for us components people.

When a consumer is buying a mattress, it should deliver the ultimate in comfort, the maximum amount of support, the least motion transfer, the best thermal regulation, and the appropriate durability that will last 10 years or more. How do we deliver those things? Great components, that’s how. Shoppers today are more discerning about how they spend their money than ever before. If we are charging $300 more for a mattress set, we had better justify that price jump with something tangible or they just won’t buy. Your story SHOULD come from the quality materials used in making beds.

If we want to put some pressure on a group in this business, an appropriate amount should be directed at the people making the guts of the bed. Our success will in some ways be determined by the innovation the components people bring to the table. If we are going to compete with other durable consumer products, we have to pull people into the market with REAL sleep tech, and by REAL, I mean tested and proven. If we do that, then we give RSAs some great stories to share, and that will make all of the difference at the register.

On March 14, over 200 exhibitors from all over the world will meet in Indianapolis to show off their latest and greatest products. If you are going to ISPA, be on the look out for the real innovators, wannabes, imitators, and the real McCoy, as they will all be represented. Who will help you sell more mattresses with great components in 2012? Check back here in the coming weeks for all the ISPA updates because this week, I will be in Indianapolis with my camera rolling.

If you are planning to attend, there are two things you can’t miss: the party and the panel.

1. The Party

This is the type of party that erases those looks of pity my friends gave me when I first told them I was entering the mattress business. If you are a valued customer of Leggett & Platt, our blowout customer appreciation party is taking place Thursday evening at the Historic Union Station (at the Crowne Plaza Hotel). Our band Party on the Moon is playing again this year, and you do NOT want to miss a great night of food, drinks, and awesome entertainment.

2. The Panel

Withit is hosting a panel discussion titled “Love at First Blush.” I will be on that panel, along with my friends Don Wright, Kim Knopf, and Cindy Williams to discuss the male vs. female perspective in the mattress industry. If you want to come and see Don and I get our butts kicked in a debate, stop by the Indiana Convention Center at 4 p.m. on March 14 in Wabash 2.

What are you looking forward to seeing at the 2012 ISPA Expo? Share in the comments section below.

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 you are affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is telling me what not to say.

2 thoughts on “At the Heart of the Mattress

  1. I hope the “The Future of Mattress Recycling” seminar addresses what can be done with all of the Visco that is soon to be entering our Landfills. Recycling of the spring based products has always been easy, however the recyclers who previously took all of our used mattresses now leaves behind the Visco products. The sea of inexpensive imported Visco that is entering the USA has now reached a staggering level. I hope this seminar addresses these concerns before our landfills all end up with “Visco Fever!”

  2. I’ve been on the retail side of bedding for years. Whenever our reps took the time to sell the RSA’s about the guts, the inside of the mattress, (sell the salesman) the sales of that product accelerated, the customers were happy and we all made more money. Mattress manufactures are learning their product is more than just a commodity. Retailers really want to know about the guts.

    Thanks for an honest take on this issue.

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