The Innovation 50: How Casper's mattresses disrupted the entire sleep ecosystem

The Innovation 50: How Casper's mattresses disrupted the entire sleep ecosystem

Did you sleep well last night? If not, then Casper – the mattress company, would like to help. Launched in 2014 (in the UK two years later) with a unique, single product offer of a bed-in-a-box and a 100-night money back guarantee, Casper gave other mattress companies sleepless nights.

Now, the brand focuses on the overall issue of sleep with the grand aim of offering a tired world a good night’s rest.

Mattress retailing had not been disrupted for about a century when it set out to re-engineer the sector seven years ago. The way Casper’s marketing strategy pulled it off has won it a place in our Innovation 50 list.

Trend leader and disruptor

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Casper’s ground-breaking 100-night mattress trial with money back guarantee has been emulated to some degree across the mattress category ever since.

It was also possibly the company that started the ‘unboxing’ on YouTube phenomenon that is now common for iPhones, children’s toys and other categories. Its extraordinary compression technology that allowed it to pack a mattress in a box had never been seen before so unpacking it online was a case of ‘seeing is believing’.

One of its key early differentiators was the fact the product offered a new experience. But Casper’s experiential marketing approach has taken the company even further.

In its early days, it tackled a culture that said you’ll have plenty of time to sleep when you die by making sleep inviting, engaging and something people should think about more deeply.

One way the US-based company did this was to put beds into 4x4s and conduct ‘nap tours’ so people would see sleeping as fun or even interesting. But more importantly, Casper wanted sleep to be included as a topic in the wellness discussion just as diet and exercise has been for years – by coining terms such as ‘a life well slept’.

Direct-to-consumer

In 2018, it took a new turn in its disruptor marketing strategy by acknowledging the power shift away from retailers towards shoppers.

Old-fashioned retail experiences offered by its retail partners were the target of the strategy. The pressured salesroom experience was ejected across the company’s newly-launched US chain of stores in favour of a more restful environment where shoppers could try the mattresses in a relaxed atmosphere – take a nap even, if they wanted. In fact, it was all part of the brand’s ‘obsession’ with finding great sleep solutions, personified most obviously by its Casper Labs R&D function that takes a scientific approach to the challenge.

Innovating in its category has been a constant for Casper. Since 2018, it has been growing beyond its single product mattress offering into a range that has included bedroom furniture.

More recently, launching new brand platform ‘Love Your Tomorrow’, the brand has launched innovative products such as cooling mattresses, sheets and other bedding products, for people who overheat at night. ‘Love Your Tomorrow’ includes a creative broadcast campaign to bring to life the idea of a better night’s sleep leading to a better tomorrow.

It will probably lead to a better tomorrow for the brand too.