All companies generate action, but relatively few are truly inspiring action. That distinction seems to make a great deal of difference in both results and impact.
Here are the ten criteria we use to determine whether an organization is inspiring action:
1. Have an “inspiring idea” above commercial intent.
Casper promises their customers “better sleep for brighter days.” Sure, this is a for-profit company, but it’s also a company that understands the importance of sleep. They understand that lying on a mattress for five minutes cannot emulate the type of sleep you will experience over the course of three months. The Casper mattress was engineered for a bedroom, not a showroom, and that is why they offer a 100-night free trial. It’s a company promise that displays confidence in their product while also showing that they are considerate of their consumers.
Casper is trying to change the way young adults look at mattresses. Mattresses have always been fairly inconspicuous household items, and most people are completely uninterested in what kind of mattresses their friends and family sleep on. Casper is attempting to make us “covet what was previously perceived as mundane,” at an affordable price, and without the hassle of shopping, testing or shipping.
2. Define the alternative future they exist to prevent.
Casper is trying to take on a multi-billion-dollar industry currently dominated by a few giant brands in Tempur-Pedic, Serta, Sealy and Simmons. Before Casper had come around, the idea of an e-commerce-only mattress company may have seemed ambitious. However, Casper’s superior manufacturing technology has allowed them to create a mattress that can be compressed and packaged, enabling them to operate without the 3rd-party supply cost of a Sleepy’s, and sell their mattress at a much lower price.
3. Discover what the people they serve aspire to be and do.
Casper knows that their target audience consists mainly of millennials who view themselves as young and progressive individuals. The company know that these 20-somethings jump at the opportunity to be a part of a greater change, and feel as if they have the capacity to do so. That is why Casper’s bicycle delivery system in New York City was a savvy business move. It resonates with their eco-friendly target, while simultaneously establishing their brand as cutting-edge, cool and trendy.
4. Know what your devotees love about themselves with them.
Casper has really capitalized on the tech-friendly environment that we currently live in. In a world where consumers can get almost anything at anytime delivered to their doorstep, this strategy hadn’t truly been established in the mattress industry. The company’s locations (NYC, Austin, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.) target the young urban professional. Casper knows that these individuals work in finance, advertising, technology or politics and spend long hours and late nights in the office. They are ambitious and hard working and therefore value their sleep, as it may directly affect their performance. Casper is capitalizing on this demographic by offering a high-quality mattress at a great value, and differentiating themselves from competitors by providing a simple and seamless customer experience that avoids adding any more stress to their customers’ already hectic lives.
5. Have dramatized the inspiring idea through a small number of iconic actions.
The snooze bars are a perfect example of an action that is iconic, yet still delivers the brand promise of providing unmatched services. Casper also recently finished a “Nap Tour”, during which they drove around to different cities in a “napmobile” that transforms into a mobile pop-up store. The Nap Truck has four pods, and is eye grabbing and bizarre. All pods are outfitted with a phone for a bedtime story. (Pictures below.)
6. Understand what actions drive the creation of organizational value.
Casper has created organizational value by hiring full-time journalists and gearing up its own stand-alone web publication about sleep. Understanding that sleep is a growing subject that lacks a true editorial authority, Casper sees an opportunity to provide content marketing in a way that produces a loyal audience.
Casper sees beyond being an industry leader of mattress distribution; instead, they want to own the conversation of sleep. The senior executives at Casper have been clear in their intention to position themselves as trustworthy thought leaders. They are committed to expanding into other products and devices that can actually influence and improve customers’ quality of sleep.
7. Have mapped the pattern of behavior that you wish to change.
Casper has done a fantastic job of tackling the problems associated with buying beds.
First and foremost, they offer only one style of mattress (in three different sizes). This solves the customer frustration of having to decide between an excessive, and often overwhelming number of mattress choices. Additionally, by only selling the Casper mattress, they strengthen and improve their brand recognition amongst competitors that have long lists of varying styles.
Delivering the mattress in a box, to your bedroom, resolves the nightmare of lifting and fitting your mattress through tight stairwells and doors.
Last, their 100-night free trial addresses the understandable skepticism that customers may have about ordering their mattress online.
8. Help people interrupt and redirect behaviors into habits.
Casper realized that even though they are a business rooted in e-commerce, they needed to establish some type of offline experience that was consistent with the cutting-edge persona of their brand.
Casper has recently opened up “snooze bars” in San Francisco, Austin and Washington, D.C. Whether you simply stroll in or book an appointment with the concierge, you will be offered gourmet waffles, cocktails (depending on the time) and different types of pillowcases upon your arrival. Napping is completely encouraged. Though it’s too early to tell if it’s truly causing a ripple in behavior, it has garnered rave reviews and is a clear attempt by Casper to offer a more luxurious, customer-focused option than going to a retail store.
9. Use technology and system to shorten the cycle of test and optimization.
Casper’s technology has allowed them to package their mattresses in a medium-sized cardboard box, giving them the unparalleled industry power to ship their product directly to their customers. Their unique bicycle design has helped the company gain positioning as an eco-friendly and trendy option, while enabling them to do next-day deliveries.
10. Put the inspiring idea into action throughout the organization.
If a customer receives a mattress that has a rip in it, a Casper employee will pick it up and replace it free of charge. Additionally, they will donate the ripped mattress to a charity of your choice. Actions like this are what separates Casper from industry competitors, as they can transform an otherwise dreadful experience into one that inspires and contributes to a good cause.
Pictures are from:
“Casper Nap Tour.” The Nap Tour. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
Shontell, Alyson. “There’s A ‘Warby Parker Of Mattresses’ That’s Shipping Fluffy, King-Size Beds In Boxes As Small As Golf Bags.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.