Back Page From the Publisher

Springing Along

from Christopher Schriever

cherry blossoms

Spring has finally arrived. The cherry tree outside my office is blooming and the long days of warm sunshine, I’ve missed, are right around the corner.

I had the pleasure of attending the International Sleep Products Association’s (ISPA) biennial Industry Conference in Orlando, Florida last month. It was a great conference full of creative ideas and abundant networking opportunities.

In this issue, we describe a broad range of mattress and bedding materials and products that creatively meet consumers’ changing needs and expectations, a number of which are environmentally conscious as well:

*Mattresses from BioSmart Science, Chili Technology, Spaldin and Kingsdown whose designs are informed by “sleep science.” This involves research into body movement, weight, pressure points and body temperature to produce sleep environments that are as therapeutic as they are comfortable.

*Proof that, when it comes to beds, first impressions matter; Colonial LLC’s consumer research shows that beds that are “dressed to impress” increase sales.

*The decision made by Suite Sleep to seek Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification for its organic pillows; a rigorous process designed to ensure that every step in the supply and production chain is organic and socially responsible. An increasing number of mattress and bedding manufacturers are seeking these and similar certifications. They deserve kudos for the extensive commitment of time and effort required to obtain these seals of approval.

The many innovations the industry is introducing reflect a growing understanding of what customers find aesthetically pleasing, how products can be designed to improve comfort and the best way to market today’s mattress and bedding products to consumers.

Colonial works closely with its manufacturing and retail clients, for example, to craft compelling branding strategies and display models based on consumers’ visual reactions to them. Kingsdown’s Sleep to Live Institute provides information designed to help RSAs and consumers learn how to devise a step-by-step sleep improvement plan that also explains which types of products might suit them best. WBS makes consumers feel good about their purchases by donating a portion of each one to charity. And Naturepedic is introducing organic luxury mattresses free of latex and wool, to suit the needs of people who are allergic to these materials.

These are just a few examples of the broad ranging creativity that abounds throughout the mattress and bedding industry. This swift pace of innovation, which requires the ability to anticipate and adapt to consumers’ increasingly challenging expectations, has already made the first few months of covering this industry in 2013 exciting.

We can’t wait to see what exciting developments the rest of the year will bring.