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Waking Up a Sleeping Industry: Mattress Industry Disruption

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Melissa Lin, Finance Editor at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

The Traditional Mattress Model
Upstarts Grabbing Market Share
Common Mattress Upstart Success Factors:
The Story Isn’t Black and White
Key Takeaways from Mattress Industry Disruption

Introduction

Mattresses are having a cultural moment. Once crammed into stuffy showrooms with eager salespeople and a dizzying plethora of models touting ergonomic springs or gel foams, mattress purchases have long been a notoriously complicated in-store purchase. However, they have recently become—dare I say it?—sexy. A growing number of upstarts have recently revitalized the industry with innovations in marketing, delivery, a direct-to-consumer model, and new mattress technology. According to Jason Bennett, former Senior Director of Marketing for Gap, Inc., “Mattresses are now a cool thing to talk about. You would never have thought that in years past.” You might be scratching your head wondering how regular mattresses—not even “smart” mattresses—have gained renewed popularity in the public eye, but wonder no more.

While the concept of “disruption” has become somewhat trite in today’s evolving tech world, it may just be that these mattress upstarts are shaking up the business and forcing incumbents to adapt. Rather than the typical narrative of shiny, nimble operations displacing older ones, perhaps there’s room for collaboration and innovation. There are lessons for investors, entrepreneurs, and corporate moguls alike. This article discusses the traditional mattress business model, what these upstarts are doing differently (and better), and some takeaways from these developments. Read more of this post

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