The Unforgettable Sunday

Posted 9 CommentsPosted in Uncategorized

It was Sunday night and my wife and I were sitting in our screened-in porch with our kids, watching the storm. My son, Nick, was collecting hail to see if it tasted like ice. But any feeling that this was an ordinary storm would soon melt away. I received a text from my good friend John Walsh, who lives about five minutes away, telling me that a tornado touched down in his neighborhood, taking out a few trees. But still, at that moment, I had no reason to believe that this storm would prove catastrophic.

My church, St Paul's, after the storm

At 5:41 p.m. on May 22, the eighth-deadliest tornado in U.S. history hit my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Stretching almost a mile wide and running 13 miles long, it completely destroyed everything in its path. (more…)

Team Up

Posted Leave a commentPosted in marketing

Working together, truly together, is vital for success.

So much of our time is spent trying to figure out the best way to sell to our customers  (and by that, I mean the ones paying the invoices every month) that we often forget about the customers closer to home. How often do you consider the customer that pays your salary?

It’s easy to forget that sometimes our most vital customer could be the one sitting in the office down the hall. Based on my past experiences, I know they’re not always at the forefront of one’s mind. Have you ever considered what could get accomplished if you were both playing on the same team? (more…)

Giving RSAs a Voice

Posted Leave a commentPosted in furniture, marketing, mattresses, product development

In a recent blog post of mine, I pointed out that the industry doesn’t do a very good job of listening to one of its most important audiences – the retail sales associates, or RSAs. This group of people works the most closely with the consumer; understands their wants and needs better than most of us in the industry; and pretty much makes it happen for the other sectors of the bedding world. We don’t sell tick (the fabric the bed is wrapped in), springs, foam, machines, thread or finished product of any kind unless they are doing their job. Why aren’t more companies reaching out to RSAs and tapping into their collective wisdom and experience? How often do finished bed producers utilize this group early in the product development lifecycle to create new sleep solutions? Shouldn’t suppliers make use of RSAs’ knowledge in developing the next best component? Who better to communicate the desires of the consumer than someone who works in that setting every day? Why don’t we take advantage of that data set? Do we really understand the voice of the RSA? (more…)

Travel Broadens the Mind

Posted Leave a commentPosted in furniture, marketing, mattresses

One of my recent posts centered on culture, and how we need to pay attention to the consumer segments that might have a different way of looking at sleep and/or retail shopping in general. For the most part, that discussion was directed at the retailer. Now it’s the bedding manufacturers’ turn. What are you guys doing to study other markets to see how they address consumer needs?

I have had the good fortune to make several trips overseas to study the bedding business, most recently to Europe. There are some big differences, to say the least. What are our friends in the European community doing that we should consider emulating? (more…)

The Walking Dead

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in creativity, marketing, social media

Sixty-two million Google results come back when you search “zombies.” You’ll find zombie clubs, game apps, gear shifts for cars and plenty more. Who cares? The Better Sleep Council (BSC) does, and so should you.

Seriously. Try telling this guy you don't care about zombies.

The BSC’s focus isn’t on the zombies on the big screen or those on the Internet, but rather the “real” zombies walking among us: the people who get poor sleep. These people walk around in a daze with a shabby appearance, a negative attitude and an increased appetite that could lead to weight gain. With these zombies, it’s less “eating brains” and more “getting rest.” If the industry got together to push a message that poor sleep was bad for consumers’ health, wouldn’t it make an impact? (more…)