When I first got into this business, I worked for Stearns & Foster, which at the time was owned by Sealy but had its own sales force and product development team. We sold Correct Comfort products with 390 12¾-gauge innersprings. This was a problem because at the time, Sealy (our sister company) and other leading brands were selling mattresses with 660 coils, although the gauge of wire was much thinner. In training meetings with RSAs, we used to say, “stronger wire, less coils is just as good as thinner wire, more coils; it really is six of one, half-dozen of another.” Then the industry moved away from any conversation around spec or coil counts with Nat Bernstein’s Comfort Selling program, which we launched at Sealy. (There may have been other similar training out there or people doing it before we did, but Sealy was THE leader back then so I am pretty confident this led the rest of the producers.) With this approach, we took as much focus off the components as we could and simply sold the comfort of the product above all else. It was easy. It was effective. It worked.
Times have changed. Consumers are not as easy to sell to; they are more educated than ever with the Internet, they are sick and tired of the lack of transparency in our industry, and selling comfort only just won’t get it done in many cases. All of that to say, COIL COUNTS MATTER! Yes, I used to work for a spring producer, so it won’t surprise you that I am taking this position, but hear me out on my list of seven reasons to focus on the count and construction of the innerspring:
- There are many (notice I didn’t say all) consumers that just want more information about what is inside the bed. YOU may not be the spec type or need to have a breakdown of the construction, but do not make the mistake of assuming those people are not out there. If you live in Clear Lake, Houston, you know exactly what I am talking about!
- If there is a $300 difference from one bed to another, telling them that comfort is the reason for the jump just won’t get it done. The consumer needs you to JUSTIFY the higher price with other reasons in order to believe.
- More coils can in fact mean more comfort and more support. If you take similar constructions and decrease coil count, it is going to have a direct impact on the feel and likely the durability of the mattress.
- With the new micro coils from Spinks/Hickory Springs and Leggett & Platt, this new sleep tech delivers a great story for the RSA to share with the consumer.
- Look at Europe. Coil counts are marketed very successfully and it helps them drive consumer interest.
- Some may say that speaking about coil counts or construction could complicate things at the point of sale, but I strongly disagree with that. In fact, I think it’s just the opposite; it makes things SOOOOO much easier for the consumer to understand. If you SIMPLIFY the experience for the consumer, you will win. Explaining that more coils are better than less coils is pretty much a no-brainer.
- There is a discernible comfort difference in testing an average bed versus one with 50% more coils in it. If you can deliver a selling point that is experiential for the consumer, you will get that sale.
So have I convinced you? Tell me in the comments section.