Sealy folds PR into overall strategy

TRINITY, NC: With a new communications team in place, Sealy has placed a greater emphasis on integrating PR into its overall marketing strategy.

TRINITY, NC: With a new communications team in place, Sealy has placed a greater emphasis on integrating PR into its overall marketing strategy.

“A huge focus has been integrating all of our different marketing elements together,” Jamie Piper, director of marketing communications for Sealy, told PRWeek. “So we are becoming more consumer-focused by better integrating PR into the entire marketing mix. It is less about it being a separate entity.”

The more integrated approach reflects a new internal and external communications team at Sealy, led by Jodi Allen, who joined as chief marketing officer in August 2009 from Whirlpool. She then hired Piper in May 2010. Piper had also previously worked with Whirlpool as a senior sales manager on the Home Depot account. The communications department later recruited an interactive digital specialist, Hillary Lowles, who previously worked in the home-building industry.

Sealy also recently changed agency partners, hiring the MSLGroup on the PR side.

“We have a pretty new team in place,” Piper says.

That team introduced a new positioning strategy for Sealy's flagship Next Generation Sealy Posturepedic mattress line earlier this year, built around the tagline, “Whatever you do in bed, Sealy supports it.”

The new approach focuses on uses for a bed besides sleep, such as a place for reading to one's kids or working on a laptop. “We wanted to communicate to younger people in a different, more approachable, and hip way beyond just talking about back support,” Piper explained.

“Back support is still important to us, because that's the heritage of the brand,” she added. “But while we have a large range of consumers, our number one age group is actually 25 to 34, so we want to be sure we're also being relevant to them.”

Piper said they uncovered the sweet spot of Sealy's target market during segmentation research conducted in June of last year.

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