It has only been three and a half years, but already Casper has disrupted a $7 billion industry. The mattress industry has been the same ever since mattresses were a thing.
There were a few big players, there were stores (or middlemen, as I like to call them), and there were people who would go down to those stores and lay on a mattress before buying it (I mean, why would you buy a mattress without laying on it first?). Then along came Casper. Five men with an idea. An idea which would shake up the online mattress market.
The Warby Parker model
Anyone who follows the Warby Parker model is basically creating an online business with low overheads and a cool brand identity, which allows them to offer similar products to their competitors, but at less cost. This is exactly what Casper did.
Of course, there was a possibility that no one would buy and mattresses (I already talked about trying before you buy). That possibility was soon buried. Shoppers are becoming savvier. They know where their money is going. Why should they pay more for a mattress to be shipped to storage facilities and showrooms?
Last year they had sales of over $200 million.
An idea, not a product
Casper taps into the idea that mattresses are not just a thing we have to have, but an idea which applies to all of us. We sleep, on average, 8 hours a day, yet we often buy a mattress without a second thought, and without checking out reviews (like those at Topmattress.com).
Casper wants to give their customers better sleep, which they say is ‘the foundation of a great life’, and that sums up, in part, why they are taking cash from their competitors. They are selling a way of life. They care about their customers, and it shows in their marketing and service support. They are focused on the benefits and values, not the features. People love this.
Going the extra mile
One of the things I love about this company is their willingness to go the extra mile. They connect with their customers and care about them. The five founding members are extremely busy now, but when the product was launched, you go to the website and chat with one of the founders. In fact, in the early months, the founders often chatted back and forth with their customers.
When the first mattresses were shipped, they were shipped with a vintage book in the box too. When demand became too high, they shipped airbeds from Amazon for customers to sleep on until the production caught up and the mattress was delivered. It is the little things in life which people appreciate.
With all of that being said, an idea can only get you so far. If you want to shake up the online mattress market, you had better back your idea up with a solid product. And Casper has done just that. A 10” memory foam mattress packed inside a small shipping box, which is shipped to your door at a low price. The middlemen have been cut out, and the savings have been part passed onto you and part put into creating a great mattress.
Their ideas and ways of doing things got them into this market, but their physical product is what has kept them there. Year after year they are taking their core product and making it better. The product is already a winner, but that is not stopping them from developing the mattress until it can be developed no more.
A market dominated
Five men saw an industry which was over-inflating its product. It was an industry which benefited the sellers of the product and not the buyers. Casper is creating an online marketplace which benefits both. The question is: have they been successful?
You only need to look at the number of copycat companies which have popped up to get your answers. A resounding yes.