The mattress industry in India has been moving out of the sasta-tikau selling point conversation for a while now. While branded mattresses are still some years away from acquiring the true mass consumption tag, there is a rough structure that can now be seen in the industry. As per TechSci Research, the mattress market in India stood at around $800 million in 2016. This market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 5-6% during the next five years and reach around $1,100–1,200 million by 2022. With lifestyle diseases on the rise and India featuring on the list of the most vacation-starved countries, products that fall into rejuvenating the body-mind space have ample scope to grow. Therefore, the wide variety of mattresses are now available in the market. While not a medical recourse, the category operates in a space where it can propose marked benefits to consumers to ease their daily lives.
The positioning, for most of the players in the space then, is about how a great sleep session actively (and possibly, tangibly) bumps up the productivity of the user the following day.
Consider the brand Duroflex. It currently has a portfolio of five ranges namely, Energise, Duropedic, PUF and Luxury, Spring and Rubberised Coir mattresses. While some of these ranges are staple and have long existed, the branding of the others as relief providers for certain orthopedic ailments or rejuvenators is a relatively new stance for the category as a whole. Duroflex’s overarching positioning currently is: Energise — Ready for Tomorrow.
Matthew Joseph, marketing director, Duroflex, says, “The first question the customer asks is usually the price. This positioning has made it easy for our retail partners to explain the products to the customers as the education in this category is very weak.” The target audience for the brand spans across NCCS A, AB and B. The brand’s products range from Rs 8000-80, 000 for a queen size mattress. The positioning has also opened up a new audience segment to the brand — the young population. “We were carrying the baggage of being a very old brand and the new positioning is helping ease that,” he says. Duroflex currently spends about 6-7% of its turnover towards marketing.
Peps Industries, on the other hand, had started off by bringing ‘affordable luxury’ to its customers. The overall portfolio starts at Rs 9,000 and goes up to Rs 2.5 lakh. The brand’s portfolio is spread across nine categories with premium denim mattress offering Zenimo being the latest addition. Zenimo has been designed for the audience in the age bracket of 35-45 years.
The brand’s positioning as Live the #PepsLife is a lifestyle peg crafted to cater to the premium image the brand now has. To aid product adoption and engagement, it has a retail presence with The Great Sleep Store, currently at 125 in strength across the country, that allow customers to
experience a wide variety of products —a luxury that multi-branded retail outlets cannot afford to any single brand.
For the well travelled customer that is looking for the same international comfort and quality back home, Peps Industries has the Restonic range; it also has the Spine Guard range for customers with back problems. K Madhavan, founder and managing director, Peps Industries, notes that mattress as a segment has lesser opportunities to interact with its consumers. “Making the positioning about the customer’s day, rather than just night-time sleep, has opened up opportunities to engage them in a conversation,” he says.
The positioning for another long standing mattress brand Kurlon is When a mattress begins to matter. Kurlon’s mattress range starts from the economy segment ranging to mattresses costing Rs 2.5 lakh — between categories from spring mattress, RC mattress, foam mattress and therapeutic mattress. The brand is working on creating an experiential approach with retail outlets designed to provide an experience, educate and facilitate customer interactions. The brand recently announced having touched the one million retail footprint mark.
There is now more to a mattress than previously thought. Functionality, in terms of building science into the mattress, is what the conversation is about now.
Rohitash Srivastava, national head of strategy, Leo Burnett Orchard, believes that while the forward-moving positioning is appreciable, the efforts to communicate this are lacking. He shares, “This has long been an unorganised, unbranded market. It is only recently that so many brands have come up. They are still learning the ropes of communicating with their audiences.”
As the consumer slowly shifts towards branded mattresses and with a huge scope for education in the category remaining, players are banking on a customisable proposition that helps ease the stress-addled daily life of a consumer.