Portland Mattress Store Matches Message to Market

When I consult with local business owners around the country about their advertising, I advise them that their message must be distinctive and meaningful — they need to say something that nobody else in town in saying, and it needs to be of value to their target.

Here’s a great example of this from my hometown of Portland.

Mattress Lot is a small, family-owned mattress retailer on the Northeast side of town. There’s a lot of competition in this category here — multi-location chains such as Sleep Country and Mattress World have large advertising budgets. Going after the mass market, they’ll drown out anything a small operation that Mattress Lot could put out there.

But Mattress Lot has discovered a very interesting niche. Portland has a large, loud, and passionate bicycle community — the kind of community that speaks up, and gets a lot of attention from city government. The kind of community that just might devote its dollars to a local business that speaks its language.

So Mattress Lot is now delivering mattresses by bicycle:

Marketing guru Chris Lytle likes to say that the human mind is a card file, and most consumers only have room for a couple of “cards” in any category. If you’re the fifth place a customer might think of in your category, you’re often out of the running.

Mattress Lot may never be one of the top two cards in the general mattress category. But if they do this right, they have a chance to become the first place a Portland bicyclist thinks of when it’s time to buy a new bed.

They have created a new category, and have a chance to own it.


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3 thoughts on “Portland Mattress Store Matches Message to Market

  1. You know that in Vietnam one guy delivered our mattress and bedframe in one trip by cyclo – plus it was 100 degrees outside?!