My Wife and I bought a Mattress Based On Recommendations from our Friends

In the last few months my wife and I have noticed our old mattress needed to be retired. We’ve been sleeping awful and we knew it was time for an upgrade.

I was tired (literally) of sleeping horribly and wanted to get a replacement in quick. I had of a lot of my friends who’ve mentioned a Purple mattress and I mentioned to my wife, “Let’s just buy a Purple. It’ll be here in 22 minutes (not really but they do ship quick) and we can start sleeping better tonight.”

Her response to that statement is the reason I do marketing.

“I don’t want to buy a mattress just because they have funny YouTube videos and are good at marketing. I want to make sure we’re buying a mattress because it’s the right one for us and we talk to our friends first.” — Lisa, my wife

This right here is what I believe companies have to understand as they plan out their content and advertising budgets. When people make substantial purchases, like a $1,000 mattress, they want to talk to people they trust before they buy.

Call it being frugal with your money or that consumers want their products to last longer and not get stuck with a bunk product fueled by fake reviews. Call it consumers having more control over brands than they ever have. Call it whatever you want; this is the state of the current buying experience.

Brands must understand that consumers are shopping this way. They need to make sure they have a strategy in place to listen and respond to how their customers are recommending their products.

The Facebook Post where I ask people to get personal

I was still sold on a Purple and honestly just wanted to get done with this buying process as fast as possible. My wife wasn’t happy about the call out on Purple. #notsorry

We took to Facebook to invite our friends to get a little personal and share what mattresses they like. When you think about it asking your friends about what they sleep on is pretty weird. Then again so are big red glasses so I’ll roll with it.

By asking my friends on Facebook what mattresses they prefer, I was banking off the fact that I have a lot of friends that travel and try a lot of different mattresses. I was hoping for a wide array of opinions so that we could quickly determine which mattress we were going to buy and get this thing ordered so we could sleep better.

I was basing my decision off the Marketing Trust framework which is:

  1. Proximity — I’ll ask for recommendations and people will actually respond.
  2. Honesty — When people share a recommendation they’ll be real with me and not pressure me into buying a certain brand that may not be a good fit for me.
  3. Expertise — My friends may not be mattress experts but I would say that humans in general are experts in sleep. By having them share their experiences with their mattresses I can make an informed decision.

Then the Comments Rolled In

Props to Dan Morris for providing my favorite comment in the bunch and kicked off the discussion with some much needed humor.
A few comments in and Purple is getting some love. Fine with me. Whatever gets us to order that mattress sooner.
Will shared a review on Casper. I have heard of Casper but from his review I’m not considering it as an option. Pass.
We were not alone in our search for a new mattress. Nice to hear what others were looking at. Although — I could never wait a few months to decide. My wife and I are way too impulsive.
My friend Vin sharing a brand I’ve never heard of. Interesting. *quickly google searches Helix Sleep*
Then we start getting brands from all over the place. Later on we see more from Tuft and Needle. I begin to spend more time on their website. A day has gone by and I slept terrible. Wishing this would go by faster.

Things get a little interesting.

People throwing mud at Purple. I google the powder Jed is talking about. I can’t find anything. It then reminds me of powdered donuts which I hate but then I think of powder skiing in Utah and I’m happy again. Overall these comments produce a net neutral result for me. Still considering Tuft and Needle though because Andy is my boy.

Then people starting digging in deep and sharing their experiences.

I love Deb’s comment — this is what I was banking on.

Then I got one of my most favorite comments ever to support my Purple mattress purchase from my friend Lexi.

Lexi shares her honest opinion about the pillow. It was also nice to see how the interaction went with customer service. Again, if I’m gonna drop a grand on this giant piece of foam I want to know what it’s like to call their 1–800 number.

After sifting through the recommendations from our friends…

I searched for the other brands that people had mentioned but it seemed like a lot of the people commenting on the post had either tried Purple and didn’t like it or currently use it and love it.

We ended purchasing a… *drum roll* Purple mattress!

I did have the benefit of sleeping on one just a week before we started this research which really helped my decision. Given that most of the recommendations had some mention of Purple we decided to try them.

Now, I know what you’re going to say — “Well Adam, advertising is important because Purple was highly mentioned from your friends on Facebook. So viral videos are important and your theory is bunk.”

I get it. Purple was mentioned a lot in the comments and when you back track up the funnel from there it probably was because they produced an awesome YouTube video garnering a lot of awareness and moved people through their sales funnel.

I get it.

Remember though — not all brands can or plan to partner with someone like the Harmon Brothers to produce a video like Purple did. The Harmon Brothers do incredible work and brands need to make sure that months and even years later they are still engaging with their customers who’ve used their product to stay top of mind.

What does this mean for brands?

As brands build out their influencer marketing and social media strategies they need to ensure they are working to build trust with their audience rather than fill up the social newsfeed with ads.

A lot of brands rush into influencer marketing thinking that’s the golden secret to business success. However if an influencer doesn’t have the three keys of Marketing Trust (Proximity, Honesty, and Expertise) their content becomes another ad in the newsfeed.

As brands plan out what content they are producing on social media they need to make sure they are upholding those three principles of Marketing Trust so that they are engaging with their audience, sharing real information, and leaning on stories and experiences from their super fans.

Like it or not, this is how people shop now. Consumers are even questioning reviews they find on Amazon because can those reviews be trusted?

Some reviews I see on Amazon are only one word or talk more about the box the item was shipped in rather than the actual product!

What your thoughts on how people buy products? Have you ever reached out to your network for recommendations before making a purchase?

About me: I’m Adam Buchanan and I help outdoor companies grow sales and loyalty by infusing more trust with their audience because I believe trust must exist before a transaction takes place. If you’d like to hop on a free strategy call with me send me an email at adam@adamcbuchanan.com. You can also connect with me on twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook if you’re into that. You can also sign up for my email at adamcbuchanan.com.

** I’m also offering to select brands a Marketing Trust Content Assessment where I produce a brief report on how you’re doing with your content strategy as it relates back to your goals. Contact me if you’d like to apply for this at no cost to you.

Marketing and Business Consultant | Public Speaker | Influencer Marketing Strategist | Author | Beekeeper