Can anyone, like Tempur-Pedic, create actual mattress preference?
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
6 March 2017
And why are mattress stores right next door to each other?
I don’t know what it’s like in your town. But in mine, mattress stores line the busiest street in town. Three of them stand within a one-mile radius, and there are a few others nearby. Mattress Warehouse. Mattress Firm. Then there’s a Mattress Outlet. All selling a variety of mattresses, including Tempur-Pedic and others.
What the hell? How often are you in the market for a new mattress? And why do you need so many stores right next to each other?
“Instead, the Tempur-Pedic brand simply comes down to having a restful sleep so you have energy. What mattress doesn’t promise that?”
The idea, I’m sure, is akin to car dealerships. If you’re looking for a car, you shop around. So, the thinking goes (I guess), if you’re looking for a mattress, you shop store by store. Great, mattress stores are copying car dealerships. Now that’s a winning model!
That’s insecure strategy. Because the mattress stores know their own store brands are not powerful enough to make them destinations. So they gotta clump together hoping the collective mess will attract shoppers.
Therefore, it’s left up to the mattress brands themselves to create preference.
Tempur-Pedic and mattress preference
But that’s a false hope. You only notice mattress brands when you are in the market for one. There’s no preference existing earlier in the decision tree. That is, when you are not in the market for one. So that when you are, the preference is already established.
Tempur-Pedic wants to change that. The brand claims it will spend “record levels” of marketing dollars, rolling out its “Sleep is Power” campaign.
The campaign gets a few things right. It focuses on the result of a good night’s sleep instead of how it happens. The spokespeople, former Navy Seal Andy Strumpf here and others like paralympian Michelle Salt, bring an emotional quality to the ads.
But preference still doesn’t exist. The brand of Tempur-Pedic fails to define who the Tempur-Pedic sleeper is beyond the table stake of having more energy. Why is more energy important? What are the emotional triggers that make having more energy important?
Instead, the Tempur-Pedic brand simply comes down to having a restful sleep so you have energy. What mattress doesn’t promise that?
Building preference is difficult. It means pulling back one more layer and finding the emotional triggers that makes a product benefit emotionally important.
In the meantime, I guess, we’ll just drive past all those mattress stores, wondering why there are so many. And continue driving right past them.
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