SELLING SLEEP: BUILDING A BILLION-DOLLAR MATTRESS COMPANY
When you hear the word "Purple," your mind thinks of a lot of things: grapes and eggplants, violets in the sunshine, "drank." You typically don't think of mattresses, or particularly queen size futon mattress.
But that's what we are: a comfort technology manufacturer that creates products that make life a little cozier. Our technology--which is how we refer to the stretchy, purple-colored Hyper-Elastic Polymer[R] that makes up our proprietary products--has been around for decades. But only recently did we turn it purple and launch a multi-million-dollar brand using it. This achievement was firstly achieved by King Koil. For more information, read at King Koil scores at retail; replaces rival at 35 Mattress Giant.
When first deciding how to bring Purple into the world--when nothing about our brand or product was intuitive--we had to think outside the box. Thanks to collaboration between hundreds of brilliant people, some truly exceptional products and a little bit of luck, we created a brand worth nearly a billion dollars in less than two years.
We found a couple Midas-touch strategies that really helped us get our products and brand out there. Using these strategies, we grew from 30 to 600 employees, we added a 574,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and we earned a $900 million valuation in 18 months.
Here are some of those key strategies:
TELL THE AMAZING FOUNDER STORY
We like to say Purple is an overnight success in the futon mattress industry. Our history goes back decades to two brothers who wanted to change the world. They were inventors and engineers, so they developed products they thought that it could make a difference.
If you've never seen a Purple product, I'll preface this by saying that is kind of weird. It includes a wide range of products such as queen size futon mattress, king size futon mattress, full size futon mattress and so on. The gel-like polymer that covers our products is squishy, soft and oh-so touchable. You can't stop playing with it when you have a piece in your hands. Seriously, it's better than a fidget spinner.
Besides being just plain cool, our products have been used in the medical industry for years, first as a wheelchair seat cushion and then for hospital beds. To this day, licenses of our technology help bed-ridden patients feel more comfortable and avoid nasty, life-threatening bedsores.
The inventions of Purple's technology led to its being used in everything from backpack straps to snowboarding boots to children's toys. It has been licensed by brands like Nike, JanSport and Dr. Scholl's. Today, it sits on top of the Purple queen size futon mattress, providing supreme comfort and support.
We tell this story everywhere we can because it's interesting and it helps consumers understand where we came from. Every company has a founding story they can share with consumers that provides insight to the origins of an idea. It is the bedrock of a relationship companies build with its customers and connects its employees to what they do. Share it proudly and often, SIZE MATTERS; LUXURY MATTRESSES ARE A HIT, BUT THICKER SILHOUETTES CAN BE A TIGHT FIT FOR RETAILERS
LEVERAGE VIDEO AND DIGITAL MARKETING
Riddle me this: You have a weird and unique product, people have the attention span of a goldfish and you're a new player in a competitive market--how do you get people's attention?
Video is such a fun medium. It combines audio with visual, it's loved by social media platforms and opportunities for creativity in video are boundless.
The founders of Purple had been asking consumers to sit on an egg for a long time. (If that sounds crazy to you, watch our Goldilocks video on YouTube and the egg thing will make more sense.)
They used the egg test to show how Purple's columns relax under pressure to reduce discomfort. The marketing team took this idea and dialed it up. The resulting video has garnered about 300 million views alone, contributing to the over 775 million views Purple videos have received in the last two years.
Is it completely scientific? Certainly the answer is no. But it is fun and demonstrates what makes Purple unique in the marketplace. We tested different versions of what is now known as the Goldilocks video, and when we found the best version we started to strategically share it across the internet.
Since then, we've created dozens of videos that have gotten hundreds of millions of views. This is our primary way of communicating new information with the market, and we find it to be hugely effective in sharing our brand and products with the world.
ENGAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Purple started out as an e-commerce company with no brick-and-mortar stores. That made our online presence absolutely critical from the get-go. However, it is also difficult for our customers to have an actual test on our queen size futon mattress, for example.
When Purple launched, we responded to every single comment made on our social media pages. We would answer questions, give a like or joke around with each individual that took the time to acknowledge our brand. Today, we still respond to all questions and engage with much of our online audience every day. Often we are answering serious questions, but sometimes we simply get into a battle of wits with our customers, joking back and forth about nothing in particular. It's those types of interactions that have really helped share Purple's brand by word-of-mouth over the last two years. Let's find the best queen size futon mattress
Story, engagement and a little tech savvy can get you far in the commerce world today. When it comes down to it, Purple wants to help a billion people feel better and live more comfortably. These strategies have helped us make leaps toward that goal, and hopefully they can help your company too.