Creating Focus. Going all-in on brand evolution

Which attribute can write the destiny of a Brand? Simple, just look at it from the consumer’s point of view.



EXPERTISE : Brand Strategy, Creatives, Advisory, Management


Sleepwell was launched in an environment where category of Foam for mattress was unacceptable by both retailers as well as consumers. Foam Mattress was perceived to be impractical in hot and humid conditions in our country. The mattress would get hot while sleeping as most homes in India did not have air-conditioners and long power-cuts during the night was a common phenomenon across the country.
Rubberised Coir was a universally acceptable product for Mattresses and almost all brands were using this material. Their sales were growing in a market that was largely dominated by traditional cotton mattresses and consumers saw value in Coir mattresses. There was a latent demand for mattresses as it went packaged with Double-beds.
Large number of retailers had practically rejected Foam for Mattresses. Sheela Foam were manufacturers of Flexible Polyurethane Foam and did not have rubberised coir manufacturing plant. So the company was in a dilemma as to how to increase sales and were of the view that the market of Foam mattresses had reached a point of saturation.

Strategy and Execution

When Springboardd (erstwhile Perfect Communications) came on board as creative agency, we put ourselves on the task of addressing the challenge of rejection through a sound strategy by positioning the brand and supporting it with a 360-degree, integrated communication package. We also brought the perspective of “Market potential” and that the brand had not even scratched the surface in terms of sales leave alone it reaching market saturation
When we looked at the attributes of Foam mattress, there were a number of benefits viz; light-weight, washable, rollable, ease of storage and many more. There was no consumer research / data available where we could study the category behaviour, consumer’s perspective, and relevant trigger points.

Springboardd instituted an extensive consumer as well as retail study for understanding the market, usage, consumer desires and expectations. Based on our study and consumer understanding we focussed on a singular proposition rather than multiple attributes and positioned the brand on the platform of durability. Durability served as a North Star for the brand, setting its direction and its purpose. It would also differentiate Sleepwell from coir mattresses which were weak on the attribute of durability as the mattress would go bad in 2-3 years time.

Springboardd created a holistic communication campaign led by Television advertising—the key message being, Sleepwell is a durable mattress and, it would last long. Really long. A creative anchor with 25 years guarantee served as a hook to draw the attention of the audience. The ad. film pivoted on the creative idea of Silver Jubilee—buy the mattress now and celebrate your silver jubilee on it.

Media planning through MeTSA and coordinated with marriage season was highly effective. The campaign hit the bull’s eye and Sleepwell was in the reckoning as consumers started noticing the brand. The brand instantly came into consumer’s consideration set.

Alongside the advertising campaign, we worked on packaging as well. A vibrant and colourful one piece sleeve for full-scale 6 feet x 3 feet mattress was developed. It was a first-of-its-kind innovation in the mattress industry. The Packaging was purposed to spruce up display and brand visibility on retail. Flex packaging of the mattress subsequently became the norm of the industry and almost every brand in the industry started packaging in the way Sleepwell was packed.

Strategic Communication established the category

Sleepwell was on a roll and the brand started getting acceptance from retailers and consumers across the country. Customers started coming asking for Sleepwell and retailers started stocking it. The strategy of packaging worked as Retailers proudly displayed Sleepwell Mattress outside their shops for visual impact and the packaging itself became an effective point-of-sale material.
Customers saw value in “durability” and sales started picking up. In the course we also repositioned Coir as a product going bad too soon and this eroded its value in comparison to Sleepwell.

Sleepwell – emergence of a leader

Sleepwell has since come a long way. Today, it is about a Rs. 1,000-crore brand and a market leader in the category. The brand has a level of recognition in the industry that few could claim.

Starlite – launch of a second brand

Sheela Foam launched a second brand called Starlite Mattress to cater to the coir segment which was a sizeable market. Springboardd advised Sheela Foam to launch a new brand instead of creating a line extension of Sleepwell. The reason for that was Sleepwell had been gaining traction because of the values of durability. Coir could not stand up to that value because the product inherently would go bad after a few years.

The biggest problem with Coir was that it would sag. The company addressed the problem with an innovation and introduced “sandwich technology” that would stave off the problem of sagging.
Starlite was launched with a proposition of “No sagging Mattress.” The launch of this new brand conceptualised and produced by Springboardd, happened in Film City, Hyderabad. Sheela Foam’s distribution fraternity from all over India participated in the launch event. It included more than 40 Distributors, hundreds of Dealers and the Media. The euphoric launch kickstarted an unprecedented support of trade in creating nationwide placements and subsequently pushing the brand sales.
Springboardd did the complete gamut of brand and communication works of Starlite starting from Brand strategy & positioning, Naming, Logo, Identity, Packaging, Label, Television Advertising creatives and production, Print Advertising, and Retail Advertising. Later, Sheela Foam merged Starlite in Sleepwell.

The company Sheela Foam Ltd. got tremendous impetus from the equity of Sleepwell that helped in catapulting it to a position of market leader in P.U. Foam industry. It has a dominant market share with 11 plants, 150 Distributors, 4,500 Exclusive Showrooms and over 6,000 Dealers across India—and 7 plants and more than 500 customers across Australia, New Zealand and Spain.