• David Perry

Business analyst, sleep specialist address Therapedic licensees

MANALAPAN, Fla. - Therapedic licensees shouldn't be intimidated by the consolidation of major bedding companies, a business analyst said at the Therapedic international annual meeting here.
     "In mattresses, the big are getting bigger," said Steve McKee, an award-winning business analyst widely quoted in major media outlets.
     "There are advantages of scale, but elephants are lumbering. Don't be intimidated by the big guys merging. That may be a sign of fear. When organic growth is hard to come by that's when companies merge."
     He delivered the keynote address at the Therapedic meeting, which was attended by Therapedic licensees from around the world and across the country. The three-day meeting was held here at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, formerly the Ritz-Carlton.
     McKee, the president of McKee Wallwork & Co., an integrated marketing firm, also cited another challenge faced by big companies: Maintaining their unique identities. "Big companies invite alignment issues," he said, noting that it is important for companies to be consistent and to remain focused on their key issues.
     Therapedic, he said, is "in a good place" with its focus on what it needs to do to be successful with its business.
    McKee identified seven keys to growth, including three that are external - the economy, changing dynamics and competition - and four that are internal - alignment, focus, nerve and consistency.
     While the external issues affect all companies and can't be controlled, companies can control how they respond to those issues internally. He noted how Southwest Airlines promotes alignment with its company culture by hiring "fun people," and cited Subway for its focus on providing "fresh" ingredients. He saluted the nerve of Red Bull to sponsor a daredevil's recent jump from space. And he said consistency in companies is important.
     "If you keep aligned, keep your focus and nerve and remain consistent, you can rule the world," McKee said. "I really believe that."
     Another highlight of the meeting was an address by Dr. Gregg Jacobs of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, an authority on the treatment of insomnia. He has spent almost 20 years treating and researching insomnia and has d
eveloped a cognitive behavioral therapy program that he says is proven to be more effective than Ambien.
     Jacobs, who recently agreed to become the "Therapedic Sleep Doctor," is the author of "Say Good Night to Insomnia," which relates the natural treatment plan he developed to "conquer" insomnia. The program emphasizes relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene, an understanding of basic sleep physiology, and the need to make the bed a stronger cue for sleep instead of wakefulness.
     Jacobs said he is offering several science-based messages for consumers.
    "Sleeping pills are not the solution to better sleep," he said. "Beds alone are not the solution to insomnia. The solution is Therapedic beds/sleep products" in combination with his insomnia-fighting program, "the scientifically proven superior option to sleeping pills."
    Therapedic is planning to offer Jacobs' insomnia program in various formats to consumers who purchase Therapedic beds and sleep products, the company said.
    "We will be leveraging Dr. Jacobs' science and our products to improve sleep," said Gerry Borreggine, Therapedic's CEO. The Therapedic licensees also heard from two licensees who are enjoying success with the brand.
     Jeffri Massie, president of P.T. Massindo International, Therapedic's Indonesia licensee, said he's succeeding with some distinctive bedding displays at retail, including some that feature lights on showroom walls and futuristic, "Star Trek"-type presentations. "We are the ‘Star Trek' generation," he said.
     Massindo is also growing by hosting elaborate dealer trips to famous cities around the world. The latest trip, to Austria and Germany, was attended by more than 300 dealers, Massie said.
    Also addressing the group was Chris Sanders, a Therapedic licensee in Idaho. He said his sales representatives serve as consultants to their customers, bringing them ad calendars, promotional ideas, and business-building tips. "We tell our reps to give their retailers three good ideas," he said.

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