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COVER STORY


develop beds that will help people achieve better alignment and better sleep. Through real science and real solutions, the Sleep To Live Institute allows Kingsdown to bring products into stores that have a higher level of legitimacy.”


But credibility is about more than just the


product itself; it’s about helping consumers find the right mattress for their needs and body type. When it comes to sleep, there is no one-size-fits-all solution—and yet it can be difficult for retailers to reassure their cus- tomers that they’re getting exactly what they need. While rest testing is still an important part of the buying process, it remains an in- exact method. This is because a body reacts differently when it is at complete rest than when it is awake; to truly understand how a particular mattress will affect you, you need to actually get REM sleep on it. While multi- day in-home trial periods have become more prevalent, some customers can be turned off by the hassle of installing a product that may be returned just 100 days later. For the con- sumers, investing in the wrong kind of mat- tress support can exacerbate existing aches and pains and decrease sleep quality. For the retailer, relying on rest-testing alone can po- tentially result in a higher number of “comfort returns” or dissatisfied customers. One way the Sleep To Live Institute works to combat this problem is through education. Oexman spends much of his time on the road, consulting RSAs on how to communi- cate with consumers about the different fac- tors that impact sleep. By supplying specific data and concrete facts about the full sleep environment, he aims to help retailers provide more personalized solutions. “People understand that sleep is important but most are not sure how to get it,” Oexman explains. “Consumers don’t necessarily un- derstand our industry’s technical terminology. When they go into a store and the RSA only talks about coil count or type, they’re likely going to fall back on comfort and price when making a decision.”


He works on educating the sales force


about the importance of mattress support, in addition to helping them address specific pain and behavioral disturbances like snor- ing or room temperature. Expert Sleep To Live Institute retail training specialists further support these goals, visiting retail stores to help RSAs understand how to better answer the questions customers may have. The In- stitute’s research has shown that by simply focusing the sales conversation on the sci- ence of support, stores see comfort returns decrease by an average of two points. For retailers looking for a more advanced sales approach, there is bedMATCH® tech diagnostic system that


—a high- eliminates the


guesswork from the rest-testing process. In a traditional retail space, most consumers buy on comfort alone. While a mattress may feel com- fortable in store, that does not guarantee that it is providing the right kind of support for your body type and sleep behavior. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find the right level of support just by feel alone—and yet it’s the most important aspect to getting the best night sleep. “It’s not about soft, medium or firm,” Oex-


man explains. “It’s about the right support for your body type and pain.”


“ It’s simple, . . . we’re using scientific research to develop beds that will help people achieve better alignment and better sleep.”


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