Cover Story

Englander Reemerges As A Modern Brand With A Simple Message

By Gretchen Kast

Quality. Simplicity. Transparency. These are the guiding principles of the Englander brand of today. Under the leadership of new president and CEO Mark Kinsley, the company is doing its part to uncomplicate the mattress shopping process—and, in doing so, is reimagining its brand for the modern retail market. By zeroing in on the value propositions most compelling to today’s overwhelmed shoppers, Englander is offering a clear and straightforward message to consumers and the bedding industry at large: “sleep is not rocket science.” The company has leveraged its operational expertise to create a new nationwide mattress lineup that underscores the idea that true comfort is delivered through proven materials and time-tested components. In streamlining its program and clarifying its core values, Englander is reinvigorating the way it communicates with consumers about mattresses—and the way consumers think about them.


n industry staple since 1894, En- glander has weathered its fair share of ups and downs while never wa- vering from its commitment to comfort and durability. In today’s competitive marketplace, however, it is no longer enough for bedding manufacturers to simply offer quality prod- ucts and reliable service. The channels of communication and distribution have become increasingly crowded, and it’s harder than ever for mattress makers and sellers to really engage with consumers. Recognizing this as an important crossroads for both itself and the industry, the legacy brand is making bold moves to evolve beyond its status quo. In early 2019, the idea of redefining the Englander brand was top of mind for Kins- ley as he stepped into the role of president and CEO. The company had maintained its place as a top manufacturer in the US mat- tress market but had been slow to adjust to

the changing digital and social landscape. As the shifting industry tides continued to gain momentum, it became clear that it was time for Englander to evolve as well. “If brands don’t change in a rapidly devel- oping environment with many moving targets, you’re going to atrophy over time,” Kinsley explains. “Sometimes, when you’re estab- lished and doing something that is working, it’s hard to change. Operationally and interna- tionally, there are many things that have been working for the Englander company. But we were getting chipped away at by the chang- ing times. When that became apparent, that’s when smart people put their heads togeth- er and said, ‘Here’s what we need to do to fix this.’ Because Englander is still a relevant brand, it just needed reimagining.” The goal was never to toss aside the com- pany’s long history in favor of something trendy or flashy. Before setting any new ideas

in motion, Kinsley knew that he first had to get a clear picture of what the brand once was and how it was being perceived. He set out across the country to meet with facto- ry owners and retail partners, in addition to going through every customer service email and voicemail the company received. The aim, he says, was to “identify and address any themes, both good and bad.” When asking retail partners how they would define the En- glander brand, he heard a similar refrain over and over again: “It’s a great product I won’t get a phone call about.” This reputation for dependable service and superior manufacturing has endured over the decades and remains one of the biggest draws for many of its existing retail partners. But as Kinsley sees it, while a “great product you won’t get a phone call about” is the basis upon which a successful program is built—it is the bare minimum a company should do. 11

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