Mattress Firm Kicks Off 'Team Sleep Well' With Cameron Brink

Cameron Brink, who plays for the L.A. Sparks, is the launch member of "Team Sleep Well." 

The Mattress Firm wants consumers to better understand how much a good night’s sleep can do for them -- including boosting their physical performance. It’s signed Cameron Brink, recently chosen as the No. 2 draft pick for the WNBA, as the launch member of the retailer’s “Team Sleep Well.”  Sam Bennett, executive vice president of marketing at Mattress Firm, tells Retail Insider about the effort.

Interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Retail Insider: Let’s start with an update on the mattress business. Last year was a rough one for the industry, and Mattress Firm’s sales fell about 5% last quarter to $924.8 million. Why?

Sam Bennett: The mattress category is fragmented, and the market has been challenging. People consider mattresses furniture, which they cut back on in slower economies. However, we're feeling optimistic. People are shopping a bit more, and we had a solid start to summer with our Memorial Day event.

Retail Insider: How do you describe the store’s personality?

Bennett: We consider ourselves approachable experts. The best thing about our brand is our sleep experts, almost 6,000 of them, working in about 2400 stores. They get 200 hours of annual training, so they’re not just authorities on sleep. They are the heart and soul of Mattress Firm. We aim to help people sleep well so they can live well. But we also like to have some fun, and -- outside of getting a good night’s sleep -- we don't take things too seriously.

Retail Insider: How much research do people do online before entering the store?

Bennett: A lot. Being omnichannel is so important to us because more than 85% of shoppers visit our site first to check it out and do some research. They’re also looking at social media platforms and networking with friends online. They use our MattressMatcher quiz, so they walk into stores with an idea of what they think they want. They can try them out and talk with an associate in the store.

Retail Insider: But they don’t usually buy them online?

Bennett: No. We see more online purchases yearly, but people spend a third of their time in bed. They make sure they get the right thing.

Retail Insider
: Why start “Team Sleep Well” and kick it off with Cameron Brink?

Bennett: We want to give a more significant vantage point to the story that getting great sleep leads to a better life. It’s about building broad awareness of how much sleep impacts your life and how we can uniquely help people sleep well and live well.

Sleep is tied to performance, and we wanted to partner with someone committed to her health and wellness. Cameron Brink is an incredible athlete. She's a rookie, and we're excited about getting started with her at the beginning of her career and watching how sleep coaching can help her improve her game. And we’re thrilled to see she's going to the Olympics. It’s exciting to see so much consumer interest in the WNBA. But she is just the first on our team.

Next, we will work with Kenny Bednarek, the track and field Olympian.

Retail Insider: It’s a fun platform. But do campaigns inspire people to buy mattresses, or do most people come in with a more urgent need, as in "My back is killing me, and I need a new bed right away"?

Bennett: It's a little bit of both. Sleep is one of the top searched words on the internet. People are always thinking about improving their sleep. We want to be right at that intersection of where they're having a need, and we have a solution.

Retail Insider: How are you marketing the new campaign?

Bennett: We're doing a lot with influencers and paid media on social. We're doing a lot of PR efforts and activations. And we do plan to keep this as an evergreen program, so we'll continue to pulse it as we get new athletes.

Retail Insider: What are the primary goals for Team Sleep Well? To increase sales, obviously, but also boost brand awareness? Engagement?

Bennett: As a marketer, my goals are always sales overnight and brand over time. Engagement about sleeping well and living well is more of a brand-oriented conversation. However, so much shopping and traffic come from social media platforms, where this effort lives. We'll have a nice opportunity to get people thinking about sleep and about Mattress Firm as the place to go when you want to improve your sleep.

Next story loading loading..