Brand Power!

Posted 1 CommentPosted in furniture, marketing, mattresses, product development

When I started in the industry over 18 years ago, Sealy was the clear No. 1 when it came to brand. Serta and Simmons came in at a distant second. Fast forward to today and although I have not seen the latest aided and unaided brand surveys, I am guessing that Tempur-Pedic is No. 1 with Select Comfort making an appearance in the top five.

So who cares?  We all do, don’t we?  Brand is power. Those who have it enjoy the benefits of their investment, and those who don’t are trying to figure out how to compete in the “product for a price” commodity game. (more…)

Do you LOVE what you do?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in furniture, marketing, mattresses, Uncategorized

With Thanksgiving in our rear view mirror and after attending the Seena Magowitz Foundation Golf Classic raising funds and awareness to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, I have had an opportunity to pause and think about this industry I am in. Here are three reasons why I think all of us in the furniture industry have reason to be grateful for our path in life: (more…)

4 Ways to Test Your Creativity

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

So my parents, being the generous people they are, decided to take the entire family to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  If you have never been, I highly recommend it if you want to feel like a child again.

My Mother and Father in front of Cinderella's Castle

While I was there, I spent a lot of time with my jaw dropped open, just blown away with all of the creative things these guys do – everything from the rides, to the entertainment, to the integration of technology and even the logistics like how they move people in and out of large events. (more…)

Are mattresses sexy?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in furniture, marketing, mattresses, Uncategorized

I recently spent a week in England for the National Bedding Federation Conference (NBF) along with John Walsh, Director of Creative Services for Leggett and Platt, Inc.; and what a great week it was.  I had the opportunity to say hello to some old friends, see some incredible product, and give a talk to the 450 people in attendance at their gala dinner.

At the conference they did something that we don’t do here in the U.S., which is to incorporate everybody in the industry into one big show.  Component suppliers AND bedding producers were on hand to show the retailers their latest and greatest for 2010.  We did see some greatness in the way of product –  there is no doubt.  My friend, Simon Spinks, makes a bed as good as any I have ever seen.  He is doing some very creative things with the green concept by raising his own sheep, and growing and using hemp, a very renewable resource in the production of his beds. (more…)

Mattress Comfort is Overrated!

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in furniture, marketing, mattresses, Uncategorized

Okay, so maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but give me a minute to explain.

My first job in the mattress industry was with Sealy as a Stearns and Foster Representative in Jacksonville, Florida.  My first few weeks on the job were spent at Sealy University learning about mattresses.  This class was led by Nat Bernstein and Troy Danahey who put on a fantastic training program.  So for one of our first exercises,  they led us into this large showroom filled with about 20 beds, all covered by sheets and numbered from 1-20.  We were told to test each bed and then rank them from most expensive to the least expensive.  I took great care in doing this so I could prove that my butt was price sensitive.  When the big reveal came, everybody failed miserably.  I rated the most expensive bed to be the softest and the least expensive bed to be the most firm because the plush beds were my favorites.  Every single person in that class took a similar approach.  Isn’t this how our consumers see it? (more…)