Sleepwell is a flagship brand of the Sheela Group, India’s leading manufacturer of Polyurethane foam and an ISO 9001 certified company. It has 10 state-of-the-art manufacturing units, strong support of over 100 distributors, and over 8000 dealers in India. A market leader in India with almost 50 years of experience, a pan India distribution and manufacturing network, a diverse product portfolio, and robust R&D capabilities, define this pioneer in the business of comfort.
We live in a world dominated by hustle culture, and sleepless nights often turn into badges of honor, and unhealthy sleeping patterns are getting internalized within generations. As per a 2019 study conducted by a tech giant, Indians are the second-most sleep-deprived people in the world, with an average person clocking in around 7 hours and 1 minute of sleep regularly, at least an hour less than ideal. And this is creating serious issues with the health and wellness of the young generation. Sleepwell, as a brand has been an agile and resilient player in the industry. It has been a part of generations of delighted consumers over the last five decades and it continually strives towards attaining a perfect balance between the latest technological advancements and the demands and luxuries of the modern consumer.
Vishal Sharma, Head of Marketing, Sheela Foam Ltd. an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U talks about the growth, their marketing initiatives, and much more…
It has been 50 years since you have been in the business, how has the journey been, and what have been the challenges?
Being the first mover into branded retailing, Sleepwell continues to do extremely well for itself as a pioneer in organizing the industry and has brought in various new concept-based products. They have also forayed into not just mattresses but also new categories like branded furniture cushioning, home comfort/furnishing products. The brand was quick to adapt to the fast and evolving environment and found new ways of reaching consumers through the digital medium or at-home services, etc. Consumers today are highly aware of the importance of good sleep and a healthy lifestyle and are willing to bear a premium cost for the same. Customers have started to adopt digital means to discover research, compare, and only then buy from a platform that is convenient for them.
In today’s stress-filled life and lifestyle, most are sleep deprived as a company what are your ideas and products to enhance better sleep?
Sleep deprivation should not be taken lightly as it can lead to long-term effects that are not pleasant. A good night’s sleep is extremely important. The brand offers luxurious bed sheets, pillows, comforters, blankets, mattress protectors that not only boost your sleep but also provide you with comfort.
Today many brands are experimenting with consumers and promising sound sleep. Your thoughts?
There have been several brands that have entered the market and we do see it as a positive step with the industry getting more organized and innovative. However, our brand & product differentiation come from the several firsts that we introduced to the industry. We have garnered deep understanding and insights to cater to an Indian consumer base for the past five decades, making sure to bring just the right products and offering to the consumer keeping in mind the changing lifestyles. We went ahead to introduce innovative concepts like products that help focus on health through NeemFresche technology, India’s 1st customizable mattress – Cocoon, At-Home-Trial & Buying process etc.
Over the years what have been your marketing strategies?
We have pivoted completely from being physical 1st to being digital 1st in the last 12 to 18th months. That meant overhauling our processes, team strengths, bringing in digitization in the way we reach out to consumers, in the way we even service our consumers. We also have been able to build a hybrid physical channel to cater to our customers. We moved to a strategy of conducting quick prototyping and pilots of customer initiatives, services, new products, category launches, and even our campaigns with A/B testing. The learning from them is then quickly incorporated in the plan for scale-up and larger rollout. We are ready with exciting consumer offers, launch and scale up our Omni-Channel initiative, roll out an exciting new category all of which will largely ride on digital for reach and narrative building on a national level, supported by offline media coverage & retail branding for micro market coverage. We also started various digital campaigns for educating the customer on the importance of good sleep for good health. Customers have appreciated our initiatives and have shown appreciation on our social media handles that also show high customer satisfaction scores relative to the industry.
The pandemic crisis set many businesses back, how did you personally and as a leader cope with the situation?
As a leader, it was important for me to be there for my team members. Be it daily calls with the management, addressing concerns that the team was facing, regular calls with the team to help them at a personal front are few of the things that helped cope. While dealing with a crisis that is unknown and unmeasurable, I realized the best way to move forward is to look around and understand that its not just you who is facing this challenge but everyone else as well. Taking small steps while keeping the big picture in mind became a motto. The pandemic also taught all of us to be more patient, show compassion, and emerge stronger together.
Can you take us through your new campaign?
We recently launched our Cocoon Mattress campaign. Cocoon from Sleepwell is India’s first customizable mattress that caters to the unique comfort needs of each partner and gives the woman the power of choice to choose her comfort separate from her partner. This one-of-a-kind, equal choice, personalized mattress lets consumers choose between Ortho Firm or gentle firm side of the mattress, whichever suits their comfort needs and sleeping style. The mattress is protected by Sleepwell’s patented NeemFresche technology. It protects from dust mites, skin & breathing disorders. Therefore, customers can rest assured of a safe, healthy, and comfortable sleep.
What is the message you want to give your consumers when it comes to getting good sleep?
Sleep plays a crucial role in achieving an overall state of wellness. People have always talked about good nutrition and good exercise but seldom do people talk about the importance of good sleep which is considered the 3rd vector that completes the wellness triangle in one’s life. The pandemic has been our greatest teacher that taught us the importance of achieving an overall state of wellness. Sleepwell, with its years of customer insights that help deliver the right products and services, is trusted by customers in their changing and evolving lifestyle needs.