In Penelope Green’s article “Lights Out, Game On” from the New York Times, the bedding and mattress industries are creating new products in order to help their consumers increase the benefits of sleeping. These brands include Sheex, Blu-Tek, and Magniflex, just to name a few. Sheets made out of athletic performance enhancing material, mattresses with cooling gel, and calming pillow covers with the scents of chamomile and lavender are some products that these companies hope will become a household commodity.
These industries have grown dramatically within the last few years. The increasing thread count, sleep-aiding vitamins, and pillow sprays were only the beginning. Sheex are sheets made out of the same material as athletic performance gear. While it seems like the target focus group for this product would be athletes, the article mentions that non-athletes like moms need performance enhancing sheets in order to be more productive on the following day. After visiting the Sheex website, the product looks much more appealing to athletic men and women with the pictures of NFL star Steve Smith and pro golfer Diana D’Alessio. The marketing technique to entice consumers to buy in order to be as successful as their favorite athletes may be enough to convince some consumers. When discovering that that average cost of one set of sheets is about $200, the testimonials (only positive) on the homepage make it feel like it will be money well spent. However, the comments on reviews from buyers on Amazon.com have a different opinion on the item. With review headings such as “wanted to like them” and “not worth the money”, Sheex seem to have multiple cons which turn off potential buyers. The problem of the sheets getting tangled and scratching the dry skin on buyer’s feet seemed to be the main problem, but price was also a big factor. These two problems were also frequently mentioned in positive reviews of the product also. While the creators of Sheex, who are both previous college basketball coaches, try to break into the industry with their innovative new product, the cost and overall message does not appeal to enough consumers, especially in a recession.
The Blu-Tek mattress and Magniflex CoolMax pillow covers also featured in this article appeal to similar consumers of Sheex. The Blu-Tek technology uses gel under memory foam in order to cool down and move with the body. Magniflex Coolmax pillow covers are infused with lavender and chamomile to help consumers relax, but like Sheex, both of these products are mainly marketed to young, athletic consumers. However, this targeted age group does not have the money to spend on $200 sheets or a gel-infused mattress. Consumers, especially those in the this age group have learned to cut back and not spurge on expensive items during this time of recession. These companies should be trying to expand their business to appeal to the older generations that can afford these kind of luxuries, and could potentially benefit from them as much as a younger group would.
Green, Penelope. "Lights Out, Game On." New York Times. (2011): n. page. Web. 21 Sep. 2011. <http://tinyurl.com/3mzszek>.