Las Vegas Market is in full swing as you read this. Bedding producers, suppliers, and retailers from all over the world are in attendance to see what cool new stuff manufacturers have come up with to help drive sales in 2013. For the mattress industry, January market is the Super Bowl. If you are going to launch something big, this is the time to do it.
Think about it this way: manufacturers have had all year to plan, innovate, conduct marketing research, and work with suppliers on new components to bring something to consumers that will trump their competitors. We are about to see who has been working the hardest, aren’t we? Who is paying attention to macro trends, who is listening to the retailer voice, and who really values creative thinking and understands what it means to launch with a full-bodied strategy in place. This is not easy to do. If you don’t get the product, price, promotional ideas, consumer message, packaging, and sales approach JUST RIGHT, you could end up coming back in July trying to fix a failed January launch.
You can make or break your year at Vegas Market. You can confirm your reputation as a leader or that you still don’t get it. This is the world stage. It’s not a time to play your rookies. Retailers are a tough audience and are measuring what they see against thousands of competitors that are also fighting for that most prized award — square footage. In addition to that, they are trying to anticipate what their customers are going to respond to the most. It’s game time, people.
It is Sunday as I write this, so I am going to make my very famous homemade pancakes for the family, attend service at St. Paul’s, and head to the airport so I can reunite with old friends and learn from some of the best in our business.
Many of you are a part of our group on LinkedIn called Mattress Industry Executives and if you are not, please join us. We have some good conversations in there. I asked this group what they would like to see at Market, so take a look at what they had to say.
Barrie Brown • Reading the tea leaves and rumor mill drums…more hybrids from all producers, improved temperature-control products. TPX should update all of their fabrics. My personal opinion is that this is an opportune time for the 2nd Tier to overwhelm the buyers with incredible values at a time that “de specing” and value engineering is the focus at the Top 4 or 2 depending on market or ownership perspective.
Doug Duvall • I think Southerland Sleep is someone to watch this year. The long-awaited Sharper Image line is being introduced at the Vegas Market. It’s going to be worth a second look.
Dallas Tennyson • I’m Predicting Hybrid will be the big thing in Vegas.