Innovation Aside, Eight Sleep Wants You to Snooze
Machine learning is here for mattresses.
Society might be waking up to the “future,” but Eight Sleep wants you to sleep better now. By integrating artificial intelligence in its “smart” mattresses (some named after planets including Saturn and Mars), the four-year-old company wants to tell a futuristic story. It’s not quite The Jetsons, but the co-founders raised funds on Indiegogo and designed the product to function with home assistants like Alexa. The company’s true origin is straight out of the standard start-up script: its founder couldn’t find what he wanted so he just built it himself. Quiddity spoke with co-founder Matteo Franceschetti about Instagram, innovation, and the struggle of insomnia.
How does your company’s heritage help you build trust with your consumers?
We've been in the market for quite some time, so we have a lot of customers sleeping on our products and spreading the word about what we’re doing and how the product helps them in terms of sleep quality. The more we build a community, we build trust in our product.
If you claimed one other brand as an ancestor, which would it be?
Tesla. I think Tesla disrupted the automotive industry through technology and a product that was very defined for many other cars at the time, making it cool and making it beautiful and one of the best cars through software and technology. All of the other players were doing the same over and over again without bringing any major innovation.
It definitely resonates with the consumer who’s looking for something different, not just in the product and design and material, but also in how the brand speaks to them.
How do consumers generally learn more about your brand’s heritage?
There’s a lot of word of mouth and paid advertising. Social media works really well for us. And all of the main channels where we sell.
Which platform, if any, are you focusing on to share your company’s story?
We use Facebook and Instagram, mainly for paid advertising and storytelling. Our product has a lot of different features and is different from any product in the market. Social media is the perfect tool to show customers what our product can do.
Because there are so many people who struggle to sleep through the night, I think that created an emotional connection.
What details of your founding story has resonated most with consumers?
Obviously, I think the customers from the beginning have been really impressed by this product. It went beyond their imagination. They also love that it's magical. You do nothing, and things just happen. This product makes such a change in how they sleep but they don't change any habits.
I think they [consumers] connect with how I got into sleep, because I have restless leg [syndrome]. I was up in the middle of the night and have problems with sleep. Because there are so many people who struggle to sleep through the night, I think that created an emotional connection.
What other consumer trends have influenced your brand?
Artificial intelligence. Amazon, Google, and Apple are investing so heavily in all this. Google [recently] announced the AI assistant can make calls for you, [for instance] to book your restaurants and haircuts. All of our technology is based in machine learning and artificial intelligence. That’s how [our product] works harder and takes actions.
How might you frame your company’s heritage differently for a first-time renter versus a young family?
The product works for all of them. This is a product designed for any human being in the world. Sleep is a means to let you have a healthy and happy life. Without sleep, you wouldn't have energy and you wouldn't be able to live your life as you want. It can appeal to anyone, and it can bring substantial value to their lives.
Writer & journalist based in NY.