Connecting products to problems

The Sleep Geek and Mattress Online have been busy developing a partnership to improve sleep and wellbeing. We caught up with both parties to find out more.

Roll back to December last year, online beds and mattress retailer Mattress Online was bedding in a new recruit to the MO team. His name, James Wilson, or as the industry better knows him as, The Sleep Geek.

As part of the initial 12-month partnership, The Sleep Geek’s goal is to improve lives through better sleep by properly connecting products to problems – without traditional sales techniques getting in the way. The brief was to support and educate the Mattress Online team with sound sleep and wellbeing advice – helping them get to grips with the fundamentals of stress reduction, enjoying work to its fullest and providing tailor-made customer service. Furthermore, James has been providing customer-facing staff with the tools required to help customers make the right choices for them.

A few months after the partnership was announced, we spoke with both The Sleep Geek and Mattress Online to see how things were ‘bedding in’ for both parties. The early results looked promising. With the partnership coming towards the end of the initial agreement period, we returned to find out just how the partnership has been and what success this has delivered.

“The partnership has performed really well and we’ve achieved a lot in the first year, from getting James involved in staff wellbeing; to going on trips together researching new products and a recent event in London with Sleepeezee, and their brand ambassador, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, – it’s all been a fantastic experience,” Steve Adams, Chief Executive Officer at Mattress Online said.

Drilling down on the detail, Steve shared that James has been a fundamental component in a number of key areas of the business since the partnership began, including content, advice and awareness. “James has helped us to up our game with advice content and blogs, with some really authoritative expertise and reviewed and rubber stamped our existing advice to make sure it’s helping the customer at all times,” Steve said. “We’ve also taken inspiration and guidance from him with our social media videos. He’s also worked with our team across the business to deliver Sleep Awareness sessions which has had a huge impact on staff wellbeing.”

One area that was highlighted at the start of the partnership was about researching how staff sleep to help shape the health and wellbeing element, as Steve refers to above. So, what does this actually mean?

“James has been working one to one with some of our team following the Sleep Awareness sessions. He did some research initially before delivering the talks, and was able to identify who needed some help and the prominent areas for discussion and advice. Lots of our team had those “lightbulb moments” which was wonderful to see and it helped them to recognise other things they can do to improve their sleep, and those close to them.”

What impact has The Sleep Geek had overall?

Steve continued: “Confidence in the team when they talk to customers about sleep needs has grown with the support of James’ knowledge and the ability to refer to specific blogs and advice content on our website. The boost to staff wellbeing has been brilliant and something you can’t put a price on – the investment therefore reinforces our company values and we can’t thank James enough for that.

“As a by-product, our financial performance has improved too, but it was never our intention for that to happen. Next up is our bespoke retail training – which we strategically delayed as we have some store expansion news coming soon.”

With the physical expansion in full swing, will there be an extension to the partnership moving forward?

“As we open more stores James will deliver retail training, and we also have a Sleep Geek endorsed product range in the development stage,” Steve said. “As a partnership, we’re excited about the next stage, and we’re delighted to share that we’ve recently renewed our agreement with James. We see this as a long-term partnership with James, he’s a member of the team.”

It’s clear to see the success of the partnership, with The Sleep Geek echoing Steve’s sentiment. James has the final word on what has been an ‘enjoyable’ period for both parties. “I have really enjoyed working with Mattress Online this year, and the work we have done in helping their people sleep better, and delivering quality sleep advice to their customers has made a real difference. We have some exciting projects coming up, involving some new products, and retail training to build on the great customer experience they deliver. 

“I think we have moved the importance of sleep education up the agenda in the industry as a whole, I have seen lots of mentions of this from other retailers and manufacturers this year, and going forward we will continue to lead the industry in this area, both in staff training and helping Mattress Online’s customers get the right product for them, whilst dispensing sleep knowledge to the wider public, all in the name of taking the stress out of sleep, and demystifying sleep, and particularly sleep products.”

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