What Mattress Mack Teaches Us About Building Affinity | Echo Chamber

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to The Echo Chamber where James and Benji throw in their 2 cents on what B2B marketers are talking about on the internet. Today Benji reacts to hearing the story of Mattress Mack for the first time and the guys discuss lessons learned from the love he has received from the city of Houston. 

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Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is B two B Growth. Welcome back to the echo Chamber here on B TWOB Growth, where we throw in our two cents on what B two B marketers are talking about on the internet. I'm James Carberry and I'm joined today by Benji Block. We've got Denore on the other side of the mic producing the episode. And uh, Benji, we're doing this a little bit different. Uh So, there's a story that I wanted to talk about on the Echo Chamber and you actually I thought you would have heard this story by now, and you haven't, and so we're going to reveal this on the episode. But the story is about Mattress Mac. So, Benji, you you don't know anything about Mattress Mac. Correct. I have never heard of Mattress Max. So so film me in so particularly with you, just I mean with you being until a few...

...weeks ago in Austin. So this guy, Mattress Mac, he owns a mattress store in in the Houston area and he has put together this campaign for his mattress store. Maybe it's more than just mattresses, but I think it might be just focused on mattresses. Where anybody if the Houston Astros win the World Series this year, anybody who has bought furniture from Mattress Max store in in the year of so starting January one, he will refund them a percent of their money if the Houston Astros win the World Series. So you can imagine that. You can imagine that this is building massive affinity for this Mattress Mac brand locally right like where he needs to build affinity. He needs everybody in the Houston area to know and love Mattress Mac so that for their next Mattress purchase, it's a no brainer who they're going to work and what he's...

...done. He's also gone to I think like ten different sports books in Vegas and he's like bet ten million dollars on the Astros winning the World Series. So if the Astros win the World Series, that ten million turns into seventy five million, which he then uses to pay back all of his customers for the furniture that they've bought. In two. I heard that and I thought that is freaking brilliant. Apparently this year, I mean, because they've obviously been talking about it leading up to the playoff run, which is why I'm surprised you haven't heard about it, because they've been talking about this for I mean, I think he started it in January, so they've been talking about it leading up to the World Series that like, oh my gosh, this crazy thing that this guy is doing. And then the Astros actually like make it to the World Series, so it's like, oh my god, Like the the story of it is just so brilliant. This is it. This is like it's down to like the next few nights. Is this is how...

...did I was I living under a rock? Like where was I? Maybe I was moving across the country. James, This is totally a story that I would like get really deep into and maybe I just like heard mattress mackin because it's like baseball, It's like I care, but I don't really care, especially when like my soccer teams and like, I mean, I got other sports that I really care about. But this is incredible for so many reasons. And I finally I just pulled up the article too, So now I'm like trying to deep dive and listen to this at the same time. Okay, but so if they don't win, it was a great marketing play. But what happens like he's just out all this money. So there's a line in here in this article that says, even if the Philadelphia Phillies prevail, Mcinveil figures he'll still come out half a million to a million dollars ahead after paying out customer funds. Yeah, they've had apparently. I was talking...

...to my buddy about this last night. They've had their greatest year ever in terms of sales, and so I think they've done like fifteen million in revenue this year, of course, but to have to do fifteen million in refunds if your team wins because of this bet you've made would obviously put a hamper on the big year you've had. But then the fact that he's offsetting it with these bets where if they win, the bets basically cover it. It's so like, I'm like, this is next level brilliant. And what's another thing that's so brilliant about it? Like the likelihood of the story playing out this way where you make this bet in January and then the team actually makes it to the World Series probably not gonna happen again. I mean, I would imagine like the likelihood of it happening is so minuscule, but the affinity that this now builds in the Houston area around Mattress Mac, this guy is now going to be an icon for likely decades, for the rest of time. And so my buddy was like, man, you know, like even...

...if he loses his shorts, has to give back all the money to clients. I mean, what this does for him from a top of mind, I mean everybody in Houston and everybody, even if you're not a baseball fan, when you're living in the city and that and that team goes to the World Series, you become a fan because you pride in your city and all that stuff. And so the affinity that people are going to have towards wanting to buy their Mattress there just because he's this likable old man you see him at the games. I'm seeing all these like memes and videos of like and last night's game, Bryce Harper, like I think it was in the first inning hit like a two run homer, and there was just this video of Mattress back on the sidelines, like like sitting in his seat face aalt troop and like, Dad, I mean, I've been watching some of the playoffs, but I did not I like did not see last night's game, and now I'm like, I'm literally like, should I just go back and rewatch...

...all of the playoffs just so I can see how they've been talking about this guy? This is his quote is like iconic. He says, I'm reading the article. I have no fear in me. I have a high tolerance for risk. If I lose, there's always another day. Like put that on billboards all across Houston right now, Like that is just that is too good man. And this is the best example I've seen who doesn't want Yes, this is affinity over awareness at like a hundred and fifty, Like this is what we should be talking about as marketers and in the B two B spaces like these type of examples, because you can get examples from this from anywhere really, but like when this is such a good affinity play and it's obviously also like a local like what you're bringing up, James, Like the Houston area is just gonna love this guy and love this story. But this is totally doable in other ways. It doesn't just have to be sports, but sports is so perfect for this. Yeah, I think about the seven year old who is growing up right now in Houston experiencing this crazy story and...

...that seven year old is gonna be twenty seven one day. And the long game play of this I don't think can be understated when you're talking, But that's what happens when you focus on affinity, when you do things that make people have an irrational bias toward you. These mattresses could suck like they lumpy, crappy mattresses, and that's not going to be how they win long term, obviously, because you have to still have a great product. But you just get so much grace from the market when you've done things to make the market fall in love with you. And this old man is running the playbook with this particular campaign to freaking perfection. Yeah, this is the story. Like this is a story that people fall into, they find themselves into it, and then they have like this, I want to be a part of...

...the story. So I want to go buy a mattress. Like if they had gotten out in the first round of the playoffs, it still would have been like, oh well, like, man, I'll always remember the year I bought that mattress because like I could have got a ref you know what I mean, Like you still could tell that story even if you never got the refund and you're catching people. That's that's a great way. This is such a good example of like how you do actually build affinity. You do that by helping people find themselves in the story, Like how are they invited into the story that you are telling? And there's this participation because mattress is like they don't have to be high end expensive, but they're not small purchases, you know what I mean, Like, it's not like he's selling this just it's not a burger, it's not other things we've talked about here on other Echo Chamber episodes that like influencers sell, mattresses are a bigger purchase than that. But because of the way he's doing, anyone that's in the market to buy a mattress and some people that are like my mattress is a little...

...uncomfortable. Now they're in the market because the story is just so good that they want to participate. And uh, man, I'm not an Astros fan. I actually really don't like them. And now I'm like, do I cheer for them or do I cheer for everybody to get a refund? So so yeah, I just think this story is fascinating and it reinforces our our core belief here that it is all about affinity. This guy could plaster mattress mac billboards and get all kinds of awareness by being on all the busy highways in Houston or you know that that's how you get awareness. You just gotta be in front of people where they are. And I'm sure he would do okay, But when you focus on affinity over awareness, it ends up creating such massive awareness and awareness that is so much more effective because it's awareness coupled with someone having a deep love or interest in you. And I love what you said, Ben you about people seeing themselves in the story of it.

And even had they not had this world series run, it would still like the moment you have with your kids on the couch watching the game being excited because it's like, oh, we like, we're gonna get our bunk beds refunded if if they win this game or if they get to the next round. Like it creates, it creates micro moments, It creates stories for probably tens of thousands of people, and the after effect of that is going to be such unreal amounts of affinity towards this man and this and his company in a way that I literally don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Alright, So that wraps it up today for this episode of the Echo Chamber. Remember there are a lot of ways to win. Commodity content is the enemy. And if there's any other story in the world to illustrate the fact that you should be focusing on affinity or awareness, it is the story of Mattress Mac. For all things b twob Growth, go to Bob a Show dot...

...com. Connect with us over on LinkedIn. We're out. We're always excited to have conversations with leaders on the front lines of marketing. If there's a marketing director or a chief marketing officer that you think we need to have on the show, reach out. Email me Benji dot Block at sweet Fish Media dot com. I look forward to hearing from you.

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