“Don’t be duped”: Europe’s top bed-in-a-box brand founder speaks up on how the Aussie sleep market is changing rapidly

Emma Sleep

There’s no question that international brands entering the market when consumer sentiment is heavily backing Australian-made brands and products have their work cut out for them. 

Australians love local brands and in present times, the idea of Australian-made products and shopping locally is particularly attractive for consumers.

Founder of Emma Sleep Australia Benjamin Quiroga-Rivera says brands are required to think outside of the box when entering the Australian market. Emma has just launched in Australian, and is on track to achieve over €240 million globally by the end of year.

“You have to go the extra mile to compete with local brands, identifying opportunities to add value is critical to convincing Aussie shoppers to make the switch,” he says.

Since it’s launch in Australia in early 2020, Emma has continued to cement its position following an exponential growth quarter seeing company sales increase eight times over and is on track to surpass the current market leader’s growth two-fold.

How did Emma achieve this after only six-months? Quiroga-Rivera shares Emma’s approach to its Asia-Pacific expansion.

Be a problem solver

With the increase in demand for online delivery services, the bed-in-the-box has provided the perfect solution for people needed to upgrade an essential bedroom item. 

A good night’s sleep doesn’t have to be complicated. For a top-quality product at a price you won’t lose sleep over – try an Emma mattress.

“In the current climate, consumers are searching for a product that can deliver across multiple areas but still want a high quality product without a hefty price tag,” he says.

Quiroga-Rivera reveals that the sleep industry is particularly difficult to break into. There are less than ten players in the market and even fewer in the top ten are from overseas. The company had to carefully consider how it was going to gain traction.

“Unfortunately, Australians have historically grossly overpaid for mattresses, and this year has served as a wake up call for many brands that have become a little too comfortable,” he says.

Emma is Europe’s top bed-in-the-box brand because of its combination of sleep science, quality and value. The company has leveraged this to produce a quality product at a much lower price point, coming in at under half the price of major mattress brands in the Australian market.

Get people talking

“There is a prejudice against international brands that in order to provide a cheaper product – consumers believe they must be lower quality,” he says.

Even local favourite Koala has felt the sting after it announced it was moving its manufacturing to China, with negative sentiment towards the brand skyrocketing on social media jumping from 3 percent to more than 27 per cent in the days following the announcement according to data provided by SEMrush.

Unlike many other major competitors in the market Emma mattresses are German-made, which is renowned for its superior technical design and manufacturing industry.

“An Emma mattress isn’t made, it’s engineered. We have a multimillion-dollar research and development lab headed by neuroscientists and sleep experts to ensure quality and design match the latest in sleep science,” says Quiroga-Rivera.

He believes Emma is unmatched in quality, and these claims aren’t without merit as the company holds 30 international awards for its products as well as a recent CHOICE Equal Top Score award win in Australia.

“Our products are tried and tested. This has enabled Emma to achieve such a high quality product and level of consistency in what we are producing at scale.”

Be ready to ruffle a few feathers

Emma isn’t planning on slowing anytime soon and is on track to hit $52 million in the Australia mattress market by the end of 2021.

“We are applying our strategy that has been successful in 21 countries to the Asia-Pacific region and we expect Emma to be market leader in Australia within two years. It’s ambitious, but we’ve already seen an extremely positive response to our product in the market that we expect to continue,” he says.

By catering to a variety of sleepers with a single mattress, Quiroga-Rivera says Emma can reach a wider customer base and keep costs down by streamlining the design into a one size fits all offering.

While many just see another bed-in-a-box, Emma is doing things differently by placing a heavy focus on sleep science to create a mattress that is affordable and technically proven to provide a better night’s rest. 

And Quiroga-Rivera warns the sleep industry is about to get more competitive as consumers realise they no longer have to overpay for a quality night of sleep.

“Emma had to work extremely hard to prove our value in a market that typically doesn’t welcome outside competition. But our message for Australian consumers and businesses has remained consistent, don’t be duped by products that don’t live up to expectations or standards.”

Emma may not be made in Australia but the sleeping giant has certainly woken up the local mattress market as the company refuses to hit snooze on its APAC expansion.

Emma – The Sleep Company

Emma – The Sleep Company is Europe’s fastest-growing provider of mattresses, beds, and bedding. Founded in 2013, the company is based in Germany and operates globally. The portfolio includes the Direct-to-Consumer startup Emma Mattress, which quickly became one of the top 3 bed-in-a-box providers in Europe and is currently available in 23 countries. The company has won more than 30 awards globally for product excellence and employs over 400 employees globally.

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