Rolling the Dice on Marketing

       

       

By David Gill

In addition to new products, it was a market for marketing campaigns for the mattress category at last month’s Las Vegas Market. Retailers who braved the 100 degree-plus heat to attend the market were treated to a number of new programs aimed at raising the bar on marketing mattresses.

Sealy used the market to launch its social-media campaign for the Embody line of memory-foam and latex mattresses, which it introduced at the February Las Vegas Market. The effort includes a new Facebook page and Twitter feed, targeted at giving consumers a way to talk to the company and each other about the collection and healthy sleep.

Sealy intends to run consumer contests and promotions through the social-media platform. The sites are facebook/embodybysealy and twitter.com/embodybysealy.

“We are continuing our foray into the world of social media by connecting with our consumers in a meaningful way, while also differentiating our brand portfolio in the digital medium,” said Jodi Allen, Sealy’s chief marketing officer.

Serta kicked off its Labor Day national promotion, titled the Luxury Suites Mattress Savings Event. The company will also use social media to promote this event, its first effort in this direction, with footage of its iconic Counting Sheep.

The latter also play starring roles in a new national television commercial featuring Donald Trump; Serta launched its Trump Home mattress line last year. At the company’s showroom, it previewed both the national television spot and the Web video, both of which feature Trump in a conversation with one of the Counting Sheep.

Spring Air International took advantage of the market to debut a new retailer promotion that marked both the 84th anniversary of the Spring Air brand, and the first anniversary of the company under its new ownership. Ed Bates, former owner of the previous Spring Air’s plant in Chelsea, Mass., acquired the company’s assets in May 2009 and reintroduced it as Spring Air International.

Titled “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas,” the promotion was positioned as a sequel to the program for Spring Air’s Back Supporter brand, which ran in 2009 as a market-only opportunity for retailers. Part of the campaign is a new Spring Air Web site, featuring Back Supporter on the home page.

Mattress vendors also introduced new products during the market. Simmons not only unveiled additions to its Beautyrest Black and ComforPedic and ComforPedic Loft collections; the trade show also marked the debut of Gary Fazio as its chief executive officer. Fazio, formerly chairman of Mattress Firm, took the job in July.

In comments to the press at an event in Simmons’ showroom, Fazio vowed to “restore the focus of the company. In my background, Simmons was always known as the most innovative company in the mattress industry, very competitive and very professional. We need to restore the company’s competitiveness, now that we’re not distracted anymore.”

The latter comment referred to Simmons’ financial problems of last year, which ultimately led to the company being acquired by Ares Management and Teachers’ Private Capital, also the co-owners of Serta, earlier this year.

Fazio added that he has already observed a change in the conversations Simmons has with its retail customers. “I have emphasized that we have to work together with our dealers,” he said. “And they want to work with us now. The conversations are already more interesting.”

Simmons also launched its new segmentation of the Beautyrest Black into Beautyrest Black, priced from $1,799 to $3,299, and Beautyrest Black Beyond, priced at $3,499 and up. Also new is Beautyrest Black Haute Couture, a limited-production mattress line priced at $10,000 and more.

The new ComforPedic products feature a combination of the brand’s patented NxG Memory Foam and its trademarked Advanced NxG Memory Foam. The ComforPedic Loft model includes GelTouch technology, which positions a layer of GelTouch within a layer of NxG Memory Foam.

Two developments were highlighted for Hollandia during the market. The first was its new place in the showroom of Therapedic, with whom Hollandia formed a joint venture earlier this year. As part of this agreement, the two companies will develop new products for the global market, and Hollandia will open Therapedic stores in cities in Israel, where Hollandia’s headquarters are located, next year.

Also spotlighting this partnership was the unveiling of Hollandia’s new iCon mattress, which pairs Hollandia’s adjustable mattress with a docking station for an iPad and speaker systems. This is the first mattress designed under the partnership with Therapedic.