In a recent study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, researchers found that lack of sleep is related to serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
With national obesity at an all-time high and cardiovascular disease taking the lives of nearly one million Americans annually, bedding component giant Leggett & Platt says it isn’t taking our nation’s poor health lying down. In fact, Leggett is launching a grassroots initiative aimed to help consumers and mattress retailers understand the full health benefits of a good night’s sleep.
On September 17, 2007, Leggett will launch the first ever “Spring Alive Tour,” a coast-to-coast journey that will promote the health benefits of a good night’s sleep and communicate the role innersprings play in delivering restful and rejuvenating slumber. For five days, the Leggett team will zigzag the country, visiting retail outlets to educate retail associates and consumers on the sleep/health connection.
“Research from the Better Sleep Council shows that poor sleep not only directly affects your health, but is also directly related to the age of your mattress,” explains Mark Quinn, group executive vice president of sales and marketing for Leggett & Platt’s bedding division. “For years the industry has focused on the price of a mattress instead of the benefits to a consumer’s life,” Quinn continues. “Leggett & Platt wants to help change that message so we can make a better connection with the end user.”
It’s an issue that Quinn is passionate about, and one which he addressed during a speech at the 2007 Furniture/Today Bedding Conference. During the tour, Quinn will take that talk and turn it into action. In addition to executives, Leggett is bringing along subject-matter experts, including Craig McAndrews from Innovative Retail Group, to provide sales training to retail associates.
In true grassroots style, McAndrews will meet one-on-one with retail associates to share consumer insights from his field research as well as methods for selling a better night’s sleep at point of sale rather than focusing on price and product specifications.
According to a recent study conducted by Innovative Retail Group, when retail sales associates emphasized the importance of improving sleep quality with customers, the overall mattress shopping experience was 50 percent more pleasurable than when the emphasis was on product specifications or price.
“When a retail associate’s presentation focuses on price and product over the health aspect of purchasing a new mattress,” says McAndrews, “they are missing some of the key ingredients customers want to understand when it comes to the topic of sleep. My goal is to help each retail associate I meet on this tour have a greater understanding of today’s consumer and more importantly a better understanding of how to communicate the better sleep story. In doing so, they will not only improve the lives of consumers, but they will also deliver a more dynamic experience in the store.”
McAndrews isn’t the only expert on the tour. Leggett has secured industry veteran and research specialist Kurt Ling, president of Customer Kinetics, to lead consumer research during the week-long event. Ling will work with Leggett to design and moderate consumer focus groups that delve into retailers’ specific concerns regarding their customers’ perception of the shopping experience.
“We are going to learn valuable information during this week. Information that will be useful to Leggett, insights that will be beneficial to retailers and specifics that will be advantageous to retail sales associates,” says Ling. “We will create impact by taking what consumers believe and marrying it to what retail sales associates know and speak.”
To supplement the tour, Leggett has created a variety of collateral materials, including brochures, pocket cards and “Sleep Kits” to help retailers and consumers understand the indisputable link between better sleep and improved health.
A Web site, www.LeggettSleep.com, will be launched on the first day of the tour, so interested parties can follow along via a daily blog and video-log. The site also allows retailers to order educational materials for retail sales associates and consumers, and features information on innersprings and the Active Support Technology™ story.
“No one in the industry has taken such a grassroots approach to addressing the sleep/health link,” says Quinn. “If we all tell the story, we will benefit our consumers and our businesses.”
About Leggett & Platt: Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) is a Fortune 500 diversified manufacturer that conceives, designs and produces a broad variety of engineered components and products that can be found in virtually every home, office, retail store, and automobile. The company serves a broad suite of customers that comprise a "Who's Who" of U.S. manufacturers and retailers. The 124-year-old firm is composed of 28 business units, 33,000 employee- partners, and more than 300 facilities located in over 20 countries.
Leggett & Platt is North America's leading independent manufacturer of the following: a) components for residential furniture and bedding; b) retail store fixtures and point of purchase displays; c) components for office furniture; d) non-automotive aluminum die castings; e) drawn steel wire; f) automotive seat support and lumbar systems; g) carpet underlay; h) adjustable beds; and i) bedding industry machinery for wire forming, sewing and quilting. For more information, please visit Leggett's Web site at http://www.leggett.com.
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