onto the scene
Dormeo revolutionised the bed industry last autumn with the launch of what seems to be the next step on the evolutionary scale for beds, the Octaspring. Renowned for selling memory foam mattresses, Dormeo UK was launched by Slovenian-based holding company Studio Moderna in November 2009 to replicate the success that the behemoth had already had with the Dormeo brand in Europe. Led by managing director John Bramm, Dormeo UK has grown considerably in the past two years and now boasts a multimillion pound turnover. While this is exciting news in itself, this seems to be a drop in the ocean of the success Dormeo looks set to experience through the Octaspring, which launched last October. Seeing the potential of the product, Studio Moderna purchased the rights to market Octaspring last year, with Dormeo UK, subsequently, being given the rights to sell it in the UK. Realising that it would need
someone adept in introducing and marketing new products in the bed industry, Dormeo UK appointed industry veteran Jim Harrower as commercial manager in June 2011. Managing director at Sealy UK for 10 years, Jim was heavily involved in the introduction of new technology throughout the Sealy business and was the ideal candidate for spearheading the retail launch of the Octaspring brand in the UK. But what is an Octaspring? The simplest way of describing it is a spring that is made from memory foam.
For more than a century, bed manufacturers have produced beds using metal spring mattresses. While satisfactory in their comfort levels, modern technology has highlighted the limited adaptability and flexibility of these mattresses. The introduction of memory foam – invented by NASA when man first went to the moon over 25 years ago – resulted in a bed that would mould to your body, helping relieve pressure points and prevent sores. However, the inherent drawback of the dense foam and the subsequent airflow restriction was that it made
the body hot, and could cause a disrupted night’s sleep. Although many mattress manufacturers have incorporated new technologies to reduce humidity in memory foam, to resolve the issues both spring and memory foam beds have, designer Willy Poppe created an innovative eight-sided honeycomb design, which he aptly called The Octaspring. The Octaspring works in exactly the opposite way to metal springs. Where the traditional springs push up, resisting the force that is applied to them, each Octaspring accepts the force, to conform and cradle the body. As a result, the technology provides three-dimensional adaptability and different levels of support to the body where it needs it, encouraging optimal circulation around the body and a comfortable sleeping position. Each Octaspring mattress in the collection of five consists of a single or multiple layers of Octasprings, each with innovative air-mesh sides that will
You may have seen an advert for it on the television, but what is an Octaspring? Cabinet Maker speaks to Jim Harrower, bed industry veteran and commercial manager at Dormeo UK, to find out more about it
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release the hot and humid air that gets trapped inside other mattresses, letting in fresh air and giving the whole mattress a ‘clean sheets’ feeling. While the concept may sound strange, Jim says that it is this sort of innovation that sets it apart from other premium bed products on the market. “The uniqueness of the Octaspring is in its design, offering a unique sleeping experience with the honeycomb design moving air through the mattress resulting in a positive ventilation system, which encourages healthy sleep because it eliminates hot spots on a mattress. “Traditional metal springs can create quite a lot of pressure points. Octaspring not only moves up and down but moves threedimensionally and supports each part of the body, giving perfect support and comfort. We have also tested the springs for durability and we can ensure a 20-year warranty.” To achieve maximum comfort, each model has 9cm of memory foam and it is the body zones and base support that differs depending on the model. “The base model, Octaspring 5000, starts at 20cm and the mattress thickness goes up to 30cm on the Octaspring 8500. The layers of Octasprings also differ model to model. “The starter model, the Octaspring 5000, will have one layer of Octasprings and the top of the range, Octaspring 8500, has three,” adds Jim. 22 | www.cabinet-maker.co.uk | 02 March 2012
consumer television advert campaign to support the launch of Octaspring. However, understanding that some retailers may be hesitant to stock a brand that effectively competes with its stockists, Jim knew that, if Octaspring was going to be taken up by retailers, they’d need to protect the interests of their customers. “The website is transactional and the public can buy the beds online from us, but we would never undersell our retailers. More and more consumers are going online to see if they can buy something cheaper.” To counteract this problem, the price that consumers will see on Octaspring’s own website will always be the ‘consumer price’. Jim explains: “We price the bed The beds also have body zoning, at the ‘consumer price’ and then which Jim says “is very difficult to the retailer is free to discount achieve in a conventional memory from the consumer price and foam bed”. still make a healthy margin “Bed manufacturers that offer from it. We see the website as a zoned memory foam beds usually marketing tool and a portal for have to drill holes in the foam or consumers to learn more about cut sections out of it to create the the product. feeling of a zoned mattress. “All of the retailers we’ve been “Octaspring uses five different in talks with are happy about densities of Octaspring to give this, and they love the Octaspring the different levels of support; story as we’ve given them a there is nothing else like this on product that they can talk about the market” to consumers. “Our target is to have national SUPPORT coverage with a network of good To assist the product launch, quality distributors by the end of Dormeo UK moved into a the year and we already have half new premises in Bourne End, of the number we want.” Buckinghamshire in October Wanting Octaspring to be as 2011 that includes a purposewell known among consumers built showroom. Furthermore, as the likes of brands such as well versed in ecommerce Silentnight and Sealy within five and advertising campaigns, years, Jim says that Dormeo UK’s Dormeo UK will invest in a £1.2m television advertising campaign is
the first stage of establishing the brand in the consumer’s mindset. Retailers may have already seen the first campaign, which happened prior to Christmas, with the second currently underway, and already showing promising results. “We’ve already had over 4,000 enquiries from our television advertising and, while they may not all translate into sales, this is a very good response. The other benefit of advertising is that it is establishing the brand in the consumer’s mind. So, if some people aren’t looking for a new bed at the moment, by the time they do need one and they go in to a store, they’ll be well acquainted with the brand and take a closer look. In addition to support through advertising, Octaspring is offering an attractive in-store display package to retailers. “There’s an impressive bed display unit that acts as a backdrop to the beds that stands 1.5m high and is heavily branded. At the foot of the bed there is a unit with a touch screen tablet computer explaining the concept, which is supported with POS materials, hanging banners, headboard sashes, fabric swatches and cutaways of the various mattresses, to show the internal structure of the product.”
THE COMING YEAR
2012 has already got off to a great start for Octaspring. Following a successful show at Interiors 2012, Jim says that the response from retailers in the USA at the Las Vegas Winter Market was “amazing”. “The number one retailer on the east coast of America and the number one retailer in Canada wanted the range exclusively, so there has been huge demand. Dormeo are also in talks with retailers in Japan, so it looks like Octaspring is going to be an international hit.” says Jim.
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