No I am not a Musketeer, but I thought it was an appropriate headline for this weeks post. I am starting a new company but I need your help to vet the idea. I am going to manufacture running shoes but I want to be really disruptive in my approach. For this company I am going to make only one style of running shoe, but will produce it in a variety of colors and sizes. People have been complicating the world of running shoes for far too long so I intend to put a stop to that and convince people that one style of running shoe will be comfortable for everyone that runs. I understand that consumers “THINK” they need different levels of comfort and function in a running shoe, but there is no reason that the shoe that works for the overweight neighbor that just started to run, won’t work for the speedy veteran. Think this business model will succeed? It is in the mattress industry.
When you consider age, sex, weight, lifestyle (active/passive), and a subjective opinion about what is soft vs. what is firm, it is remarkable that any company is able to SELL the idea that one bed will fit all. Here is my real beef with this approach; it’s TOTAL BS. (When my pastor says BS in church he means biblically substandard. We’re not in church.)
Ask the real champion in this industry, the rsa, what they think about the idea that consumers can all fit into one comfort profile. Maybe we should reach out to the guys at Kingsdown to see if they feel stupid for profiling thousands of people to gain a more scientific understanding of consumer comfort preferences. Is it possible that the largest retailer in the country that sells more beds than anyone got it wrong when they decided to arrange their floors using color to designate various comfort choices?
I know that these e-commerce guys are selling a lot of beds and I have no issue with that. I actually have given them a lot of credit for what they have accomplished. But the ones LYING…..that’s right I said LYING…to the consumer when they say that one comfort fits all need to check themselves if you ask me. Listen to what this consumer had to say about the bed they bought on line. I am going to XXX out the name because I don’t want to single one of the companies out.
“I bought the XXXX mattress from all the hype on social media and on the subway. Unfortunately it was not at all what I expected. Truthfully how can a mattress be for all when everyone is different? I woke up every morning super sore. The mattress is extremely firm. I gave it a month and just couldn’t do it anymore. The customer service was great though. I’m returning it and it’s being picked up this weekend.”
The approach to the consumer obviously works in most cases but I really don’t like it when companies lie to the consumer to sell products. Will they continue to sell their beds. Sure. Is it necessary to lie to get a deal? I think there are better ways. Let’s face it, when a consumer that has a crappy mattress gets one of these beds in a box and gives it a test, it is likely going to feel better than what they had so chances are, most everybody is going to be happy. Just look at the reviews if you don’t believe that. But at the end of the day I would be willing to bet money on the fact that if the same consumer was in a store with that bed in a box next to several other choices of comfort at the same price, there is a really good chance they wouldn’t pick it. What do you think?