L&P's Quinn likes 'hybrid' as new mattress term
David Perry -- Furniture Today, April 25, 2012
HIGH POINT - Leggett & Platt executive Mark Quinn says the industry can benefit from talking about the benefits of "hybrid" beds. He's referring to sleep sets that combine innersprings, which L&P produces, and specialty foams, which L&P doesn't produce.
"The term hybrid connects with today's consumer," said Quinn, segment vice president of marketing at L&P. "New language can transform nearly any industry, and bedding is no different. We are convinced the description will help the consumer easily understand the construction of a bed, and, in the process, transform the sales floor by giving retail sales associates a new way to talk about mattresses."
Retail sales associates agree with Quinn.
"Customers understand the word hybrid," said Anthony Williams, a retail sales associate at Bedmart in Tucson, Ariz. "They appreciate the benefit of combined sleep products. Hybrids offer the best of both worlds for customers who don't want to take that complete step to memory foam, but don't want to go with a traditional spring mattress, either."
Trevon Watson, store manager of an Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Savannah, Ga., said consumers shopping his store are interested in hybrid sleep sets.
"As soon as I use the term hybrid, customers identify with it," Watson said. "Their eyes light up and they say, ‘That's what I want. I want a hybrid.'"
L&P is actually talking about more than just hybrids. The supplier is using the term "ultimate hybrids" to refer to sleep sets that it says offer numerous consumer benefits.
"The Ultimate Hybrid really does offer a better solution to everyone involved," Quinn said. "We want to help the industry understand what hybrids can do for them."
L&P has launched a website at Ultimate-Hybrid.com to promote use of the hybrid term. The site, which went online in early March, will offer a mix of education and entertainment. It currently includes product information and a comedy sketch, and a reality Web series is in the works.
Quinn says the consumer understanding of hybrid bedding is a big plus for the category. And he says the benefits of hybrid bedding are tangible and important to consumers.
Hybrid beds can help consumers sleep cooler and move about more freely in the beds, thus improving their comfort, Quinn said. And the hybrids often provide a more reasonably priced sleep set, he added.
L&P is promoting hybrid bedding designs with the introduction of additions to its fabric-encased Comfort Core line of innersprings. Those new innerspring models give producers new ways to build aesthetically pleasing and attractively priced sleep sets, Quinn said.
Hybrid beds offer winning combinations of comfort and support, he said. Those are two key features that appeal to all bedding consumers, according to Quinn.
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