Is there anything that keeps Matt Hayes, Head of Marketing and a founding team member of hugely successful mattress company, Leesa, awake at night? Absolutely not. I caught up with the born-and-raised Virginian to find out how he deals with the competition, working with world class swimmers, and when things are just meant to be.
Disruption often happens to the things that you thought couldn’t be disrupted. Not even ten years ago, to think that mattresses could be anything other than an awkward purchase - having to test it in a showroom, maneuvering a great wobbly object up stairs and through doorways, only to find that it wasn’t quite what you remembered it would be - but in recent years, the industry has come leaps and bounds. You only have to take a ride on the tube, listen to a podcast or scroll through Instagram to see the mattress revolution in full swing.
With ultra-competitive advertising across many spaces, how does Hayes stay ahead of the curve?
“I’m fortunate to touch a lot of areas of the company - everything from looking at revenue performance, analytics and numbers, to mapping out campaigns, helping with our media planning, developing our marketing stack and building out our partnerships - which I’m happy to announce now includes Michael Phelps.”
Seal of Approval
Ah, Phelps… Arguably one of the greatest athletes in the world. Also an ambassador for Leesa. “With Phelps, we’re really trying to make the connection between sleep and human performance; and the idea that a good night’s sleep is crucial to rest and recovery.” Above the line ideas like this is what keeps Leesa ahead of the curve now, but at their inception their key message was, and still is, honesty and authenticity straight to the eye of the buyer.
A cash constrained start up in the early days, they knew that to change people’s minds about mattresses, they had to ensure that the experts, reviewers, movers, and shakers were talking about their product.
“We knew if we could get our products into the hands of influencers and industry experts, it would be great because they drive a lot of authority and a lot of search traffic. So to be able to get our product seeded with that audience right out of the gate was super important, and it remains important still today.”
So from cash strapped startup, to Olympian swimmers. It’s clearly been quite a journey. I ask Hayes what drew him to a mattress start up in the first place; After all, it might not seem like a natural step for an MBA graduate with a background in IT consulting who managed large scale software development projects. But, in his own words;
“Don’t be so cautious, make the leap, definitely learn from your mistakes but don’t be scared to fail, and fail fast. I think I was a little hesitant and cautious in my early career, and when I decided to make the leap it turned out to be well worth it, just trust in yourself to make that leap.”
Part of the founding team borne out of innovation agency, BrandJourney, he describes the coming together as serendipitous, a mixture of e-commerce experience, mattress experience, branding experience and of course, innovation; a perfect blend of skillsets to produce a new way of buying mattresses. Vive la revolución.
You can find out more about Leesa mattresses on their website.