interview with lori zack, co-founder at mattress startup 4sleep
As mentioned, the mattress industry is in absolute frenzy this year. The online- Among consumers and investors, the popularity of mattress companies alone has soared. While I am familiar with some of the larger startups and how they operate, I would like to learn more about the smaller pirated companies that have just entered the market. This gave me an interview with Lori Zac from 4 sleep, a very new mattress company looking to compete with traditional mattress companies and very popular mattress startups. Mattress business environment is very busy these days. How can a new company stand out from the noise? Start with the product. The product must meet the needs of customers and it must be designed to solve their sleep problems. It must be of first class quality and ideally it should have some features that make it different and satisfying. Our approach is based on a strategic partnership with one of the world\'s best and most experienced bubble manufacturers. This certainly makes us change from a concept to a reality of high quality, differentiated products, and the price is relatively fast for consumers. Competition by price alone cannot succeed. It is helpful to find a niche because addressing the needs of consumers is not adequately addressed by competitors. However, as a new person entering the market, it has never been as difficult to obtain brand identity and affinity as it is now, especially as a beginning -- Marketing funds are extremely limited. We simply can\'t get the eye and market share at the level of many competitors -- At least not at this point. Frankly, despite where we are now and our mission, we do not believe in buying AdWords, for example, to actually help consumers find and buy mattresses that suit their needs This is where we are going to start. We know one of the biggest problems for consumers. What I personally experienced in solving my sleep challenges -- It is information about mattress and sleep health that is not easy to obtain and reliable enough to allow consumers to make good choices according to their preferences. We focus on grass-roots, organic and educational exchanges, providing much needed information to make consumers comfortable with mattress purchase decisions -- In particular, buy directly online. [ In the next few weeks, you will see more about this from us, including the impact of sleep on health, the safety of foam, hardness and softness, as well as the problems faced by many other mattress buyers. ] Do you like to be a loser? What character do you think entrepreneurs really need to compete in this market? Most of our careers are entrepreneurs. The past 20 years Long before the startup was cool. Our experience is that starting a business almost always puts you at a disadvantage -- But we are not aware of this because we choose to create something different, address the needs, and respond to desires. We always come back to that question. There are actually many advantages as losers ( No one pays attention to your failure, so you can take a lot of risks to correct it; You can do amazing things at unexpected times, etc. )- If you can translate those strengths into your strengths, that\'s what successful losers do -- Then they are no longer losers! We have seen great success in this regard from competitors like Casper. We believe that in our competitive environment, we have not only the ability to compete, but also the ability to succeed. We are thin and mean. A super small team. So we have very little overhead. We are laser- Focus on product quality and excellent customer service. We have been adjusting. Feedback to the market, to consumers, to communicate with consumers in all ways. We acted quickly. We always remember who we are and why we do it. We had a good laugh. Husband and wife as president and chief operating officer ( Meaning, we do anything to drive our business! ) We must have a great sense of humor, a firm commitment to our vision and to each other, and we must have great patience and bold determination in the face of uncertainty. What is your background? What makes you finally start the idea of a mattress startup and roll out 4 sleep? I don\'t sleep well. I\'m famous. Has always been I have long known what all health experts have been confirming recently -- Sleep quality affects health and health More than any other factor. I tried everything. My husband Dave, who worked in the bubble industry early in his career, eventually convinced me to try the foam mattress --- I never went back. I\'m just sure there\'s a lot of room for improvement on all the foam mattresses I \'ve tried. So, while running different businesses, our first start --up (ad specialties) Dave and I started talking to experts and finally met our strategic partners. Our partners are as sure as we are that there is a better foam mattress to be developed -- So we worked together to try different specifications and product features and came up with a couple of very good mattresses that sold well for us. But it wasn\'t until we put together four layers of special foam that each layer solved the key factor in getting a good night\'s sleep that we believed we had a mattress --4Sleep. After a whole day of sleep on our mattress, I never slept better and never felt more energetic. Life is changing for me. I have to believe there are people like me out there. This is being confirmed by our customers! What was your company like in the early days? How did you get the money and how did you plan to grow? We have a very small team, a family, really- Some very dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate people dedicated to our mission. We all play multiple roles, and many of us talk to customers every day to make sure they are happy with the mattress and understand their sleep experience, so we can see what can be improved. ( I can tell you the story of a lot of real people, I talked to them in person, heard their questions and sent the mattress to help respond. This is an incredibly satisfying part of what we have done. )With the game- Our strategic partners are constantly contributing, and so far we have funded our business without external investment. We are very picky about our spending and we know where we need to hire incremental staff and increase our marketing spending in our business plan. We expect the growth curve to be relatively slow, but we will not break through and exit quickly at this point. We have a long-term business strategy to build the bestin- The first-class direct sales business can be easily expanded with the development of the business, with the focus on providing good sleep. Which companies do you admire competing as losers in hot industries, mattresses or other industries? Especially from a marketing perspective. They are very effective in connecting their brand image to the experience of a good mattress --- They continue to be true to a very direct message. Consumer needs-- It\'s clearly a response through sales. While it may not be a \"hot\" industry, we admire Ben & Jerry for being a loser in an almost commoditized space. Of course, there was a good ice cream before Ben & Jerry. But they took the delicious ice cream to a new level. - They slowly built up their business and brand image on the information of quality ingredients, making ice cream an \"experience\" for the first time \". Apple, of course. There is no need to say more there. ( It\'s even hard to remember that Apple used to be a loser! ) Life is a good person, and there are a lot of places in their stories that deserve my respect and admiration. Tell me about the mattress. - How did you approach the design and what made it special in your eyes? While Dave has specific experience in the bubble industry, I don\'t. I am ( Dave, on those terrible restless nights) Not sleeping well. So we\'re actually looking for ways to make me sleep better. Temperature adjustment and response ability, but with motion control and elasticity (a sturdy base) , When I turn over, the edge that won\'t completely crash. The price we can afford. With the expertise of our manufacturing partners, we focus on these features and have tested, tested and tested. We\'re still testing. While this is a great product in an industry with huge potential opportunities, when you boil it down, it\'s a personal journey we share, we strongly believe that our mattresses can provide solutions for others. This may not be for everyone, we are not here to meet everyone\'s needs, but there must be people like me outside. Who are your target customers? What do you do with your products and marketing to reach out to them? Our consumers are interested in good quality sleep. Pricing mattresses they can buy directly. 4 sleep customers understand how important a peaceful night is to a vibrant day. Our products are specially designed to cope with this situation, and we want to build a brand that can satisfy, healthy and positive lifestyle. We want our consumers to know what 4 sleep represents and what will be provided. Currently we are reaching consumers through social media, PR promotion, word of mouth programs, online video shows and some paid online ads. We are facilitating a wide range of customer and expert trials, and of course, all purchases are based on In trial of 100% a don\'t ask any problem 100 days return policy. Of course, if we have more money, we will want to spread our brand and information more quickly and widely in mainstream channels. Hopefully we can do that as soon as possible. What is the definition of success next year? Customers who like our products First of all, who sleeps better and lives better. Who spread the word? But we need more of these people. Therefore, attention to brand identity is the most important. Enough sales to keep us going until the brand recognizes progress. Sleep has been on the market for a few months, got strong reviews and got traction in the market -- Although they are still a long way from big mattress startups. With so many players in the market, it will be exciting to see who stands out!