Three industries for the price of one. If you see me speak, you will know that ‘collaboration’ is a common word in my vocabulary. You may have a lot more opportunities with businesses in your neighborhood than you realize. If you are in the hospitality industry renting out rooms, or a retailer selling beds, or a bed manufacturer, this blog is for you.
I and other members of my family are in the market for a new bed. I believe my bed is over ten years old and I have had a number of back injuries over the years, so getting the right bed is very important.
The problem is, when you go to a retailer like Harvey Norman (only mentioning them because I have tried beds there, although I haven’t purchased yet) the sales people will obligingly let you try various beds, starting at the mid price range, then let you try dearer ones and cheaper ones and by the time you have been on half a dozen beds you are totally confused with independent coils and chiropractic society recommendations, whilst tempted by 5 years of interest free finance. That was deliberately a long sentence by the way, as can be the result of buying the wrong bed. Once you’ve made the decision, you are the proud owner of a second hand bed, worth about half of what you paid for it, assuming there is nothing physically wrong with the bed.
This doesn’t make it easy to sell beds and as people don’t buy them very often this is a tough industry for manufacturers and retailers as well. Over the last year I have stayed in several apartments and hotels in New Zealand and in the USA. When I slept in beds which were both comfortable and good for my back, I made a note of their brand. One that came up often was Beautyrest. It seems they sell a lot to the accommodation industry and I was pleased to see that they are for sale in New Zealand and at Harvey Norman, although the model names don’t seem to be the same for the consumer market.
I had a particularly good sleep at the Anchorage Apartments in beautiful Mt Maunganui in New Zealand aka The Mount. Sure enough it was a Beautyrest bed. I can’t confirm whether they have the same beds in each apartment because they are individually owned.
So how to sell more beds and more bed nights. Here’s the collaborative strategy.
1. Bed Manufacturers. Offer a special deal to hotels, motels and apartments on your high quality product. Make sure it is a product that consumers can buy, not something made especially for the hospitality industry. As part of the deal, promote the properties that have your quality product on your website to encourage people to try the beds for a couple of nights. Negotiate a special discount rate for people who register at those properties in order to try the beds. Combine that with a coupon that customers can take to their nearest retailer of your brand. Find a way to be able to upgrade those beds every time you bring out new models, perhaps selling them to other hospitality businesses or perhaps retirement villages while they are still in very good condition, with a warranty.
2 Bed Retailers. Find out which hotels, motels and apartments in your neighborhood feature current models of the beds you sell. When people are struggling to make up their minds, provide them with discount vouchers for a weekend’s accommodation at a property close to the store and a special deal if they come back and purchase within 7 days of having stayed at that property. On a $2,000 bed, you could easily refund the price of the full accommodation cost in co-op with the manufacturer if they buy within that period of time. Remember many people only buy a new bed every 8-15 years. Get them while they are hot.
3. Hotels, motels and apartments. Here’s a new way of getting customers, without giving away massive discounts to one-day deal companies, reservation engines and travel agents, while getting a great deal on one of the most expensive and important pieces of furniture in your rooms. These are customers you wouldn’t have had otherwise, especially if they are local. This is also a great way of developing relationships with local people who may need to find accommodation for friends and relatives when they have special occasions, or even just as referees. I often get asked about good places to stay in my neighborhood and most of the time I can’t answer the question because when I am in my neighborhood, or sleep at home.
If local retailers or bed manufacturers aren’t offering deals like this in your area, and they probably aren’t, go and see the sales management and make it happen. Local collaboration is a powerful way of doing business. Everybody wins including the consumer.
If you follow this advice, leave a comment and let me know. If you have experienced this sort of marketing already, share your experience. Bought a bed recently? Are you happy with your purchase?
Want more location based marketing ideas? Follow this blog, or drop me an email. I have no skin in your business and can therefore be objective. Often I can see the obvious because I am not working in your business.