Q & A

With the bedding market more crowded than ever, it can be a challenge for brands to make sure their products stand out on the retail floor. Creative product design and eye-catching packaging can play a major role in driving sales numbers. Successful brands have found a way to seamlessly blend form and function, using inventive looks to draw the customer in and explain key features and benefits. We’ve turned to some of the industry’s most forward-thinking creative teams to learn more about their process and inspiration when it comes to designing products that make an impact.

Where do you get your inspiration when designing new products and packaging?

JOSH FENNER SENIOR BRAND MANAGER OF STEARNS & FOSTER For any new design to be successful, it has to start with the consumer and helping her bring her dream bedroom to life. Our process begins with a search across the globe for upcoming design trends. We send our team of in-house designers to furniture and fashion shows in Europe to get inspiration and

preview what is coming next in home design. From there, we translate those upcoming trends into beautiful, premium and timeless designs that we believe our core consumer would appreciate. We also build our new designs from the ground up to stand out on the showroom floor and to help lead the industry in new directions. The results are beautiful, iconic designs that can simultaneously pay homage to the 172-year history of the brand while remaining relevant and exciting to new generations of Stearns & Foster owners.

OLIVIA GODFREY GRAPHIC DESIGN DIRECTOR OF MALOUF At Malouf, we are always innovating. That means working to identify the story behind a product, high- lighting key features, using materials and design to reinforce that story, and then showing them in a visu- al way. Our goal is to create a memorable retail expe- rience for end consumers. Inspiration comes one day

at a time. We focus on keeping an open mind when traveling or shop- ping. Our team visits tradeshows often to see what is working well and to discover emerging trends. While it can be easy to research online for new ideas, physically interacting with innovative products and packag- ing is essential. Look to new industries. See what tech, travel, automo- tive, and entertainment companies are doing. Look at product design, color trends, limitations. Spend time researching what consumers are looking for and why. Find out what needs drive them. Informative, at- tractive, well-designed packaging can be the key retail partners need to win over customers and improve sales. Iconic brands are more than a product. They come with an aspirational vibe, a lifestyle. Creating consistency and a strong story within your brand is the goal that we work toward every day.

OZGE SAYAN CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF BEDGEAR As out-of-the-box as BEDGEAR’s creativity can be, we are very strict when it comes to the source of our inspiration and stray away from other brands within the home furnishings industry. BEDGEAR’s creative team is driven to constantly innovate and push the boundaries for every touchpoint in the brand’s omni-

channel approach–from online to in-store and beyond, to shock and inspire the industry and win the attention of consumers. When it comes to our fabrics and patented technologies, we often find inspiration in athletic and performance clothing, as those products not only function, but are also fashion-forward. Along those lines, we keep a pulse on the trends in fashion and try to incorporate that into our work, especially when it comes to bright colors and fun designs. Bringing all of these different elements together creates a new experience for the consum- er each time they come across BEDGEAR and delivers on our brand promise of uncompromised comfort and tireless innovation.

MARTIN RAWLS-MEEHAN PRESIDENT AND CEO OF REVERIE Our product design team starts with a scan of cur- rent trends across industries—everything from auto to fashion to consumer products. We try to reach as far out from our industry as possible for inspiration. Then we layer in the practicality of what works, trying to make function seamless and intuitive.

NICK BATES PRESIDENT OF SPRING AIR The first thing we do is venture outside of the bedding industry. We look into home fashions, post design, inte- rior design and women’s wear. Our industry tends to be stale and regurgitate the same ideas. We’re keen on looking at companies like Nest, Apple and other lead- ing consumer brands for ideas and inspiration. Consid- er how luxury purse companies present their product: there’s a nice box, a high-end storage bag and a note from the craftsman about the hand- bag. We’re constantly looking at leading consumer brands for inspiration.

Visit /,,,, 16 Sleep Retailer / Winter 2019

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