Want A Competitive Advantage?

Before we start, don’t miss this week’s podcast where we talk about all of the INCREDIBLE auction items at the Seena Magowitz Golf Classic this weekend in Boston. Dos Marcos (Mark Quinn and Mark Kinsley) will be the auctioneers again this year hoping to raise some big money for a terrific cause. If you want to bid on some really great items, give this a listen to preview those. How about a private jet to Napa Valley for a few days? Listen HERE.

So…you’re a retailer in a competitive market and it’s not easy is it? If you want to succeed you have to battle your competition for “A” location real estate, create advertising that drives the consumer to your store with great stories and offers,  create a shopping experience that separates you from everyone else, and sell products that nobody can buy from your competition. I had you up until that last part about products, didn’t I?

Retailers try hard to make themselves different. When you ask most people what separates them from the competition the typical answer is our people, our stores, maybe a unique in home trial and if you’re lucky enough you might have a slight variation on your products.  Manufacturer’s build mattress with different ticking and different names so that the big guys don’t have to share their line and compete with the middle to small sized retailers. Retailers push hard for exclusives so that they can leverage a feature or entire line of mattresses because with that comes better margin, the perception that they are a leader in the market because they have something that nobody else has, and the ability to lean into something special. The problem is that manufacturers aren’t really set up for mass customization. Even if they were, how many incredible innovations are there in this business that would really set your “exclusive” product apart from the rest? Sure, you can have a mattress supplier put a 1/3″ of foam in the center third of your bed and call it zoning but how compelling is that. Really?

Spink and Edgar has been growing at a healthy rate this year because of the fact that we are the answer to what many buyers are looking for. We have a story that is unlike anything ever brought to the United States because it’s authentic, compelling, delivers big margins, has best selling price points of $4,000-5,000 at retail, and is very limited when it comes to distribution giving our partners some exclusivity. None of that matters unless your product delivers an incredible look and feel different from anything in the market. We are very happy to say, we have that also. So far we are getting placement with some of the best retailers in our industry and we are incredibly grateful for it. Larry Miller and Nelson Bercier started us out with Sit’N Sleep, then we launched with Lorie Silva at Jordan’s, then with Dan Murphy at Gabbert’s/HOM, and are about to launch with David Shiroff at Metro Mattress. (Not to mention many other high-quality retailers.) As I think about our retail partners they all have one thing in common. They are product geeks. Larry, Nelson, Lorie, Dan and David have all been in this industry for a LONG time, have had great success selling and creating beds of their own, and are some of the toughest product people out there. They are in a very elite class when it comes to knowing what works so when they chose us it really told us something. Want to talk about a win/win? We deliver them something special, and they champion what we do to the consumer. How often does something really special come along in this business?

Meet Harrison, our head sheep. We use his wool to make Spink and Edgar beds.

There are some good luxury brands out there but not much separates them from one another. Yes they are high-quality products, made well, and they look good and feel good. Most of these brands probably started out saying they would limit distribution but they really didn’t. Is your luxury brand over sold making it less special to your stores? Stearns and Foster just showed up at Costco as just one example to prove my point. So again it comes down to aligning yourself with a partner that really is committed to your best interest. If you ask our retailers I am confident they would tell you we are.

If you are a retailer and are reading this blog post, consider this. Your people can definitely help differentiate you from your competitors but after that, it’s tough to do something big enough to make a difference. If you want to create an experience with a product that will have people leaving your store talking about their new bed to friends at a cocktail party that same night, then give Spink and Edgar a look. Think I am exaggerating? It happens all the time. Who else on their block sleeps on a bed that was grown on a farm in the countryside of Yorkshire, England and celebrated by the Queen?

This is Hornington Manor, a 17 bedroom family estate that sits on our 300 acre farm in Yorkshire, England. Come and visit!

If you look at what we do, want to be a leader in your market like some of the top retailers in the country already carrying Spink and Edgar, AND you absolutely love it, then send me a note at markquinn@sibose.com. We are looking to grow with the right partners and we hope that it’s you.

 

 

About Q

Mark Quinn is a 20-year mattress industry veteran with a passion for presenting business in the best possible light. He works hard on strategy and culture, and has a business focus on leadership and marketing. Quinn believes every company is a media company and works hard in the digital space to bring products and stories to the right audience. Family comes first, and FAITH is a verb.

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