If there’s one thing the RH Strategic team loves, it’s working with innovators and disruptors that aim to change the market they operate in for the better.
Historically, sleep has been misunderstood and its importance underestimated. This was complicated by the inability to properly measure this key component that is vital to our health. These challenges kept product innovation in sleep relatively stagnant. They left consumers unaware of the importance of sleep and created confusion around the effectiveness of products.
It’s an industry with a clear need for disruption. One third of adults fail to get the recommended seven hours of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and many suffer from sleep disorders. That’s why our client, the National Sleep Foundation, aims to wake people up to the changes in the sleep industry and the latest innovations that can help them improve their sleep. These are the sorts of things that get us up and out of bed in the morning!
The sleep industry has seen significant advancements over the last decade, from smart beds that make it possible to ask “Alexa, how did I sleep last night?” to sleep robots designed to help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up refreshed, to apps that allow you to minimize jet lag. The latest technology advancements allow us to regulate temperature, light and sound, all with the goal of helping people to catch more or better Zzzz’s. Sleep-tech products even got their own marketplace at the 2017 Consumer Electronic Show, signifying the official arrival of sleep technology products into consumer consciousness. Companies, researchers and media are prioritizing the industry in a way they never have before, and that attention shows no sign of slowing down.
Even the way consumers buy sleep products has changed. Decades ago, when we thought of buying sleep products we pictured the traditional buying experience of heading to a big box mattress store to walk down aisles of beds and lay on each to test the firmness. But over the past decade our vision quickly shifted to the bed-in-a-box revolution that has moved the purchasing of most sleep products online.
However, while online shopping has made it easier to purchase sleep products, the advances in the sleep industry have created a need for consumers to experience first-hand the new products and solutions available to help improve their sleep.
To address this challenge, the National Sleep Foundation launched Sleep Show in Houston, Texas, to provide consumers with a one-stop shop for all things sleep while furthering its mission to improve health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy.
What does Sleep Show indicate about the future of tech? It’s a great example of the evolution of an industry that began centered around a physical experience (like mattress shopping), expanded online, and then benefited from an increased understanding in sleep that resulted in a wave of new products that require a multimodal sales approach. Today we’re seeing online retailers like Amazon begin to test brick-and-mortar shops across the nation to ensure people have physical locations to learn about and experience new products. People want to touch and test products in person; the National Sleep Foundation knows that goes for sleep products too.
At RH Strategic, we create strategic communications solutions every day, but it was truly a dream to help bring Sleep Show’s story to life!
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, public sector and healthcare markets.