Nick Bates

“We believe that we’re stronger as a group than

any one person and committees like these are only going to help us grow even stronger.”

both in-store and online. By integrating these methods into the company’s overall mission, Spring Air is investing in a long-term strategy that will support retail efforts for years to come. “It could be a month-long journey or it could be a three year journey—it all depends on the customer,” he says. “But through our progression of finding out what their problem is, how they’re sleeping, and their price point, we can direct them to a mattress that will bet- ter suit them.”

Once the consumer is ready to buy, they are

directed to the site’s Dealer Locator tool, which populates by zip code to show them nearby stores where they can try out the best mattress for their needs. This not only helps retailers in- crease foot traffic, but provides them with quali- ty leads with people who are ready to buy. For the final piece of the new vision, Bates set his sights beyond the traditional business model. “I looked back and said we sell a lot of mattresses and that’s great,” he explains, “but why don’t we look to elevate our social benefit philosophy? There’s so much good we could do to help people in need by selling the item we sell every day.”

More than just doing good for the world, this decision is another smart way to connect with younger shoppers. Research has shown that 70% of millennials are willing to pay more for products that give back to issues they care about. For a consumer segment that wields an estimated $2.45 trillion in spending power, companies can no longer afford to consider social entrepreneurship a lesser priority. It’s now an essential part of any business mod- el. Instead of simply donating to the charitable causes, Spring Air has developed a new pro- gram that puts the social benefit contribution at the forefront. The company recently teamed up with Love Your Melon, an apparel brand that is dedicated to supporting the fight against pediatric cancer, on a new line of Spring Air Back Supporter mattresses. With this new collection, Bates has created a valuable new sales opportunity for retailers. While consumers will be immediately drawn to the stylish mattress, their interest is further reinforced once they learn the story behind it and how this purchase will have a direct ef- fect on an important cause. It’s that kind of powerful story that transforms one-time cus- tomers into true brand advocates. In building this new vision for Spring Air,

Bates brought much more to the table than just his perspective as a millennial. While his understanding of the demographic group is a major resource for the company, so too is the diverse set of skills he cultivated through- out his time at Spring Air. Over the past eight years, Bates has had a hand in nearly every aspect of the brand. He began his career with the company at the ground level, joining the team as a Sales & Marketing Coordinator in 2009 before switching gears to focus on merchandising for Costco, one of Spring Air’s first national accounts. It was not long be- fore he transitioned into the role of Director of Corporate Accounts. As the leader of the Sleepy’s account, Bates was able to utilize the skills he had acquired in his previous po- sitions—from marketing and customer service all the way through merchandising—to help nurture this relationship into the company’s fastest growing accounts.

12 Sleep Retailer / Summer 2017

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50