Casper Has Figured Out
How To Sell More Mattresses: Let 'Em Sleep On It
Casper, the online bed-in-a-box pioneer that disrupted the traditional mattress retail business, is doing it again. This time bringing the experience of sleeping in a Casper bed to a whole new level.
(Author : Pamela N. Danziger)
Casper has opened its first nap showroom, as opposed to a bed store, in Greenwich Village, New York , called The Dreamery. It is a place where people can experience actual sleep, rather than just buy a new mattress.
The concept is simple, and brilliant. People can schedule a nap break at The Dreamery to enjoy 45-minutes of rest in one of its nine Casper-equipped sleep pods fully decked out in Casper beds, sheets and pillows with a sleep mask included. After nap time, guests can enjoy a cup of coffee in the lounge. Bathrobes, ear plugs and makeup wipes are also available to make guests feel comfortable. Walk-ins are also welcome.
The Dreamery’s 45-minute time block is based upon science that finds it is the optimum time people need to refresh and recharge in the day, without feeling groggy afterwards.
A nap will cost $25, a small price to pay for improved health and productivity. “The Dreamery is about making sleep and rest a part of our regular wellness routines — similar to how many people prioritize a workout class,” said COO Neil Parikh in a statement. “The concept enables us to pilot new ways of bringing better sleep to more people and to more places — whether that’s here, the workplace, airports, or beyond.”
From online to physical retail
The Dreamery takes Casper to a whole new level in experiential retail. Since its founding in 2014 as an exclusive ecommerce business, Casper has been expanding rapidly in physical retail, starting first in 2016 in partnership with West Elm, which ended after year, coincidentally not long after it announced a new retail partner.
In May 2017 Casper joined with Target to put its mattresses and bedding products into 1,000 Target locations. For Target, Casper is more than just a bedding brand to stock in its stores. Target invested $75 million in the company, becoming the the lead investor in a $170 million round of funding which was used to launch a design lab in San Francisco, as well as “to pursue other brick-and-mortar opportunities,” the company stated.
Not long after, Casper opened 15 of its own branded pop-up shops in major cities across the country. A special feature in each pop-up shop is a home-like setting where customers can test drive the mattresses for 20-minutes trial sessions.
But that was clearly not enough time to get the full Casper sleep experience. So when it opened its first permanent showroom in New York this year, it took retail space in the same block for The Dreamery.
Retail success by focusing on how you sell, not what you sell
Casper disrupted the traditional business of mattress retail because it evolved from the 4Ps of marketing approach that is so evident in traditional mattress retail – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Here’s looking at you, Mattress Firm, blanketing the country with over 3,000 retail locations.
What Casper understands, and too many mattress retailers like Mattress Firm don’t, is that they are not just in the business of selling mattress and bedding products. They are in the business of providing customers with a better sleep and shopping experience. The products they sell are only the means to that end.
Casper operates under a new 4Es model of marketing where:
- Experience (better sleep and mattress shopping) replaces Product (new mattress);
- Exchange (what is the value of a better sleep and mattress shopping experience?) becomes the new Price (how much can you discount to get people to buy?);
- Evangelism (pull people in for a better sleep and mattress shopping experience) rather than Promotion (push out paid advertising to promote sales); and
- Everyplace (Casper is available everywhere people have a smart phone, tablet or computer) is new Place (mattress store).
Yes, Casper is in the business of selling more mattresses and bedding products. But it focuses on people’s sleep problem and even more importantly from a retail point of view, their mattress shopping problem. Casper solves those problems by not just selling a better mattress cheaper, but by remaining focused on the customers’ complete experience.
Casper pulls customers in with an evolved 4Es of marketing approach. Casper understands that it is not what its sells, but how it sells it that will win customer loyalty, support and business.
Now all Casper has to do is scale it and to do that, it will take its Dreamery concept into new, unexpected places where people have sleep problems, like airports, office parks and busy city streets. The best marketing and the best branding will be when people think about sleep, they think about Casper . The Dreamery is one powerful way to do that.