I think most people in our industry accept that consumers shop for a new mattress roughly every 10 years. So much conversation surrounds that statistic and how we can drive consumers into the market more frequently. And where does that conversation almost always go? Warranties.
Do you think the teams at LG or Callaway Golf sit in their boardrooms and talk about how the industry has to lower warranties on televisions or golf clubs so they can sell more products? I really doubt it. They are hard at work driving innovation into the pipeline to create compelling products people want to actually buy. (See Scott Smalling’s article on innovation featured on Sleep Geek today, it is a great read.) This is, in my opinion, the key to getting consumers in the market more frequently! Think about how much time we talk about this reality versus warranties. I know what some of you are thinking: Electronics and sports equipment are “want” items and much easier to innovate around and convince people to buy. I call bullshit! Our products can help people look better, feel better, lose weight, improve memory, and reduce illness. There is NO WAY that doesn’t inspire the consumer, so the question is what do we do with it?
To shorten the cycle, we need to stop all of this conversation around warranties. Here are a few things that can really drive consumers into the market and grow our top line and share of consumer dollars:
1. Innovate new products with REAL technology that actually improves people’s sleep.
2. Drive the biometric conversation around sleep and how we can learn about and improve sleep when using our products. Consumers love to measure almost everything and there are only a few brands connecting to this growing trend. If you want to create the need for better sleep, show people how bad THEIR sleep really is. Remember that technology is sexy and people want more of it in every aspect of their life.
3. Change the way we talk about our products. I realize I am a broken record on this, but everybody in the industry has to invest in telling our story and by that I mean the tangible and intangible benefits of products that help you sleep better. All of this product-for-a-price nonsense is never going to get us the love we are looking for.
If we just do these three things, we will make huge improvements in the purchase cycle and make ourselves more profitable at the same time. Remember, we are in this together and if we work at it we can make the sleep products we sell more of a priority, therefore placing ourselves at the top of consumer’s MUST-HAVE list.
What do you think? Did I over simplify things? Tell me in the comments section!