Season 2 of “Just Stories with BT” features all Female Executive guests in the mattress/furniture space or other underrepresented industries!
These episodes focus on getting to know the amazing woman behind these roles and giving a platform to talk about getting our male dominated industries more balanced out!
Episode 18 features Reverie’s CMO Lisa Tan, who is an incredible executive who tells her stories of success and failure. She brings us behind the curtain into how we can create more diverse work forces in all of our industries! I was fascinated hearing about some of her early marketing campaigns and the struggles she was up against when dealing with the old guard in our industry. She also breaks down the importance of adjustable bases and settles once and for all what we should call them (adjustable, power, lifestyle). This episode is a must listen for sure!
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Brett Thornton: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of just stories with BT, the podcast. This is extremely exciting because we are continuing on with season two, which is focusing on just amazing different female executives, especially in kind of underrepresented leadership industries like the mattress and furniture industry, which we both work in. And so welcome Lisa Tan to the show. She is the CMO of reverie, we have met a couple times in market but I don’t know a lot about her. So I’m really excited to have you.
Lisa Tan: I’m excited to be here. Thanks, Brett.
Brett Thornton: Yes. So we are going to dive into stories. We’re going to get to know you a little bit. Here’s some of your successes, some of your failures. But first, I want to like just give the audience a little bit of backstory on you that way they can kind of paint a picture of you in their head if they’re just listening. Unless, of course, they’re watching on YouTube. And so I’m going to introduce you for you. Okay, sound good, great. Sounds good. And afterwards, tell me what I missed or how I blew it. Okay, so here is Lisa tan in like 60 seconds. So she was born and grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico. She grew up hiking, skiing, soccer, she was playing piano, and I love you said, and you did a lot of pretending, which I love as a kid So today, her first job was babysitting, and then she interned for local paper. She got to cover the rodeo, I’m gonna ask you about that. In high school, you played soccer, basketball and continue with piano probably amazing at this point. You had an older brother and older sister, but they were quite a bit older, which made you like a pseudo only child, by the time you got to school, you went to a really small college that’s not very credited called Princeton that no one’s heard about, which is an amazing school. And after that your first job was a research assistant for a psych professor. And then that rolled into you being an editor of books at for scholastic, which I’m going to I’m going to ask you about that in a minute. During that time, or after that time, you got married to an awesome guy named Martin, you have two beautiful little girls. And as far as your career at reverie, how it started was 10 years ago, you actually volunteered for a consulting project that obviously led to being reverie and where you are now as the CMO. And here you are, now you’re on just stories with BT.
Lisa Tan: Here we are, what did I know? I think you’ve covered almost everything. In my career. I was I was at scholastic books for a very brief period of time. Then I actually went to a PR agency. And then I spent about 10 years in management strategy consulting. And that’s where I would say I got a lot of my professional chops. And why it made sense for me to do a consulting project, which turned it into 10 years of being at reverie.
Brett Thornton: Yes. So before I ask you about that, I’ve got to ask you about scholastic because I have two kids. So I have a junior high or middle school now. And then my daughter is about to be in fourth grade. And I’ve obviously spent like a fortune on these stupid little scholastic things to get sent home because the kids like it’s [inaudible], you know, guilted into, and they’re like, brilliant, like, how they market everything and whatnot. It’s unbelievable. So are you responsible for some of this money I spent?
Lisa Tan: Well, yes, I suppose I am. And I mean, it is amazing that today, they still have the same like super thin tissue paper flyer with, you know, the same gimmicks. And it is amazing how that, you know, that business model continues in the digital age. But yes, I worked in book clubs. So what we did were these things called continuity, which is essentially a subscription to a book club. And we work with authors on original content. So my first project was for an activity book for second to fourth graders. That was based on peanuts, cartoon characters. So, you know, it was like Snoopy does math like Snoopy says, let’s make a you know, let’s make a craft. So that was that was fun, although, at the end of that, I really didn’t like peanuts cartoons anymore. And then after that, I worked on a book series called How to be great at everything. And that was a lot of fun.
Brett Thornton: Nice. Yeah. It’s funny because I grew up actually, my dad was an elementary principal. And my mom worked for the California Highway Patrol as a graphic artist. And so she did a lot of painting and a lot of illustration. And so like, kind of my whole childhood, every few years, my parents were released a new kid’s book. So I was always amazing. Yeah, I mean, it didn’t seem like a big deal as a kid, but like, as an adult. Now looking back, I’m like, Oh, this was incredible. You know, it wasn’t like they sold bazillions of copies, but they sold quite a bit and they had, you know, a certain amount of books and, and there was a few that were like, loosely based on some of the stuff that I did, or my sister did. Which was cool. You know, I mean, it’s fun to like, look back now and seeing like, what the kids read now, and versus what I read. It’s just a little bit different. I would say.
Lisa Tan: That’s awesome. And not because I worked at scholastic, but because we didn’t I don’t think a kid can ever have too many books.
Brett Thornton: Agreed. Agreed. So tell me, you said in your. Oh, I said in your intro that you interned, you know, for a local paper, what was that, like, you know, as a young kid.
Lisa Tan: It was really cool. I think I was I was probably a freshman in high school. And my friend’s older brother had been an intern at the newspaper. And he was graduating, so they were looking for someone to kind of fill that intern role. And I had always been interested in writing, and maybe journalism. And so I was able, I was given the opportunity to be an intern. And in my first period, there, the sports editor, and my new Los Alamos is about 20,000 people. So there’s one high school, there’s one Middle School, and there’s one little town newspaper, which I’m not, I don’t believe even exists anymore. So the sports editor went out of town, and there was nobody to cover for her. So I got to, I got to cover some pretty awesome sporting events, including rodeo, which is a big thing in the southwest. And I did not have the lingo down perfectly. But I got, you know, I got like a two page spread for my, my first entree into journalism, which is pretty amazing. And, you know, rodeo is such a culture and it’s, it’s if you’ve never been to a rodeo, I highly recommend it. It’s a lot of fun.
Brett Thornton: Yeah, they’re really funny. We went to one and I was in Montana for my buddy. It was actually for his bachelor party, where my one of my friends has a big branch out there. And we went, and just random, we had no idea it was there. But my buddy was like, hey, the rodeo is actually on tonight, we should go. And we were like rodeo, it’d been like one of the funniest nights of all time. Like it was, it was much funnier than I thought, you know, like a lot of the deal stuff that happens between things. And yeah, it was really cool.
Lisa Tan: Yeah. It’s pretty cool.
Brett Thornton: I love what you said too, about, you know, the paper being smaller. And you know, you learn how to do different things. Because I’ve, I’m a big proponent of when people ask me, especially for like career advice, you know, I’ll speak at our used to pre COVID, I used to speak at the college I went to, like, every year, I’d go back and speak and, and people would always ask about, you know, career advice. And I always recommend, hey, if you have an opportunity out of out of school, to work for a smaller company, like do it because I always felt like you do a lot of things when you work with a smaller company, like you wear a lot of hats, and you learn so much you know, versus like going out of school, and I’m going to go work for you know, hertz rent a car and do just one little sales thing. And you know, work up the ladder, whatever it is, it’s cool. But you know, you don’t learn a ton. Whereas like when you’re involved in something where you get to do a lot of things, like you show up and you’re interning and all of a sudden you’re writing a paper on rodeo, you know what I mean? Like, get to it, I think it catapults people into a lot of really cool career.
Lisa Tan: it does. I mean, it’s a lot of fun. And you have to be, I mean, you have to be unafraid to jump in and fail. Or maybe not fail. But it’s Yeah, I agree. It’s, it’s nice to have a balance. And every person is different in the beginning of their career. I think big companies teach you to be a professional. But smaller companies definitely teach you to be resourceful and gritty.
Brett Thornton: Yeah, absolutely. So before, I asked you to tell a few stories, give the listeners for anyone who might not be familiar with reverie, you know, give us like the 10,000 foot, you know, 32nd overview on reverie and what you guys are all about?
Lisa Tan: Awesome. So I always like to start with our mission, reverie is on a mission to help people live better lives through the power of sleep. So everything we do is intended to help people wake up feeling amazing and ready to conquer their lives. Our primary products are adjustable power bases, and customizable technology like our dream cell mattress that really fits perfectly with an adjustable base. We do a lot to incorporate technology that users are already using in their homes, like you know, the Internet of Things, you know, Alexa or Google Home to incorporate into the bed so that you are creating as a consumer, the best possible sleeping environment you can have.
Brett Thornton: Nice and obviously, you know, we mentioned it upfront, but I was soon in the process of reverie, starting were you involved.
Lisa Tan: So reverie has its 18th birthday this month. So I’m kind of amazing that that we’re battled as an organization and as people I guess, I joined. I joined about 10 years ago. So the company was already eight years old. Martin had already cut his teeth in the industry and, you know, done a lot to grow the organization. And when I joined, it was kind of a pivot point to shift away from manufacturing, primarily private label for big betting brands to developing more of the brand name and relationships with individual retailers.
Brett Thornton: Nice. And so when you kind of think back over the last 10 yours. You know, I would love to know like, is there a specific time or story that you always remember? That’s really funny or entertaining that you’d love to tell?
Lisa Tan: This is a little embarrassing, but I think its Yeah, funny. I’ve done, I’ve done several things out of passion for promoting a brand that has, you know, really they make my face turn red at this point. But um reveries, you know. So we started doing PR shortly after I joined, we hadn’t really engaged with a PR firm or, or gone out there and try to get any, any recognition beyond the trades until about 2012 2013. So our first debut in The Wall Street Journal was actually this fabulous front page, personal journal article about working from bed. And so we had all these professionals talking about how they used adjustable power bases to work from bed at pretty awesome, and, you know, very suitable to the COVID world these days. Yes. However, you know, there was no mention of me in that article, my first named mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, and only, by the way, was an article asking executives about how they what they do to relax outside of the office. And, you know, this woman calls me and interviews me and I tell her all about how I love to wash the dishes. And her response was, wow, like, you’re so poetic about how you know, the waters running, and it puts you in this dense state, and you feel the sense of accomplishment. Oh, this is so poetic. And then, you know, the article comes out and I my phone is just blowing up with friends. You know, teasing me about how I love to wash the dishes. So it’s pretty funny story. Um.
Brett Thornton: I would put that in the paper too. You might be the only person. This could be one of like, 7 billion people in the world, you might be it.
Lisa Tan: right? Sense of accomplishment. So that’s my funny story.
Brett Thornton: I love it. Um, I always tell people, I have no idea why. I think it stems back to when I was a kid. But I when I do the dishes, I put everything away first, and then I go back and do the silverware. Like, put it away. And I’ve never not done it that way in my entire life. Never once and I don’t know, like, and I’ve even though like, I should just break this just to prove I can do it. And I can’t do it. So apparently, it’s some weird, like, odd thing. I think it was because when I was a kid, my parents actually used to divvy up like, the dishes between my sister and I like one of us was responsible, put all the silverware away, and one would do the dish part and I just hated. It was like, because my parents do this thing that I think is so dumb. And so if you do this, sorry, I apologize. But they have like two sets of silverware. But they use every day. And so then its like always mixed up. And I’m like, why not just use one set. Sounds like such a hassle. So anyways, there’s my OCD, you had to parse out which that was which I Yeah, and it’s like, reading a word ghost was always just like chaos, you know? So anyway. So tell me, when you um, your first Wall Street Journal, though, that talked about all the campaign with what people do? Was that a successful one? Because obviously, like basis have come so far over the last decade, you know, because it was hospital beds, you know, that we had to kind of, for anyone involved in it’s like, you had to overcome that kind of thing. And then it was like, oh, it was right. Elderly, then you had to overcome that, then it was like, no, it’s for everybody.
Lisa Tan: Absolutely. And I mean, I would say it’s still a very, you know, that the category itself is not well known outside of the industry. And there’s so many consumers to this day, I think, you know, this is this is referencing a fairly old study at this point, but 30% of consumers have never heard of an adjustable bed before. And they might make that association to hospital bed. You know, only 9% of consumers are sleeping on adjustable bases right now. So there’s still this huge opportunity in the category itself to get people to understand why an adjustable base is so amazing. For people that aren’t, you know, post-surgery or having trouble getting out of bed, because they’re of a certain age. So yeah, I mean, it was great, because, you know, you were interviewing all these or we weren’t, but the Wall Street Journal was interviewing lawyers and you know, other professionals that maybe they were in their office all day sitting at a desk, when they get home, you don’t turn off as a lawyer, spending some time in bed or on weekends working now, it went over really well, like really well received. And it was it was an awesome way of kind of pushing, you know, adjustable power base conversations into the public domain and into a lifestyle domain, which is where we try to live not the hospital realm. So yeah, that that turned out pretty well. You know, since then, we’ve kind of you know, it’s this balance we play between, yes, use your adjustable bed, it’s going to make whatever you do in bed more comfortable and really, you should have a very Clean bedroom where you’re not working from bed and you’re not sitting in bed watching TV, but you know what putting your head up to read totally fine.
Brett Thornton: Yeah, it is tough, you know, like I, I can relate to that, for sure. Especially like where I’m at avocado, you know, everything we do is organic and sustainable. And so, you know, we’re very much trying to figure that out as well. Because at the end of the day, you know, like I talk to people, when I talk about adjustable bases, you know, I always let people know, because I’ll be able to understand that, you know, if you elevate your feet and your back slightly so that you’re, you know, your feet are above your head and your blood is flowing really easily, and you turn on them on the massage so that your blood starts flowing naturally, without your heart pumping. That’s what slows your heart rate down and makes you relax. So technically, it’s a really natural way to relax yourself. But it’s just weird thinking like, I’m going to use a pass something that I’m plugging into the wall, and then think natural, you know, it’s like a weird kind of thing. If you think about this is a stat that blows my mind. You may have heard about it. But so obviously our industry is what like 17 $18 billion in the States or something as a whole. But I heard a couple years ago from this pharmaceutical guy that basically we in the United States alone, there’s over $40 billion worth of sleep aid sold every year. Yep, prescription drugs flea bay stuff, you know, so people are popping pills three times as big as the industry, you know, like, so they’re just putting the band aid on instead of actually trying to figure out like, Why aren’t I sleepy? You know, which is horrible.
Lisa Tan: Yep. No, that’s totally right. And it’s not just sleeping aids, it’s also things that are even further afoot like coffee, right? We are as a as a nation as a world very sleep deprived 75% of Americans are not getting the sleep that they need to be highly functioning. And we don’t address the preventive issues, right, we address you know, we’re putting band aids on left and right with sleep aids, you know, with coffee with all sorts of other things to stimulate us and pull us out of that exhaustion every day. So when I start getting super passionate, it’s always about helping people understand sleep itself and what it can do for you, if you really spend some time focusing on it. There’s no point in going to the gym, if you’ve only had four hours of sleep, it’s not gonna make you healthier.
Brett Thornton: Yep. Yeah, I was actually just reading this article yesterday from this guy, he’s like one of these famous, like, you know, workout influencer guys, or whatever, but he had this, this, he put this whole programme together, he’s been doing studies for like, 15 years, you know, on all these different body types and metabolism and you know, what you eat, and all these different things. And, and he puts, he just put out this big report that was like, you know, this big article. And it just said, like, all of this is pointless. If you don’t get a good night’s rest after your workout, he goes, it’s completely a waste. So he’s like, it doesn’t matter. So he’s like, if you’re only sleeping four hours, or if you think, you know, you can get up at 4am to get your workout in, but you don’t sleep. He’s like, all the benefits are gone, because all the muscles aren’t regenerating while you’re sleeping. So he’s like, what, you know, what are you doing? So it was a really good article, because that’s, there’s a lot of people in that rat race of like, Oh, I got to get up super early, so that I can work out then go to work, but then they stay up late doing all these other things. And then it’s all not productive, you know?
Lisa Tan: Right. No, I mean, there are there are at least three pillars of health and wellbeing and there, you know, their fitness, nutrition, and sleep. And arguably, sleep is the most important and sometimes I’ve seen a fourth pillar thrown in which is stress. And, you know, you can you can adjust the other three to address the stress, but they are all interrelated. And I think nothing that we do can be isolated. And so often people forget that sleep is a critical pillar. For sure.
Brett Thornton: So, so tell me, you know, especially and it can be before, but especially at reverie over the last 10 years, you know, and becoming the, you know, the chief marketing officer in an industry like ours, you know, do you Did you ever come across a time when, you know, you had a big setback or a failure, you know, and you know, what could you tell us about it?
Lisa Tan: Sure. I mean, I certainly, I think we fail every day, to some extent. And, you know, it’s been such an amazing ride the past 10 years at reverie, but there, there are so many failures that I could talk about that I’ve learned from one in particular, though, that I think, you know, applies to the industry and kind of the, you know, the idea of representation in an underrepresented industry is in 2015 2016 we were doing a photo shoot, and I was really excited to pull this photo shoot together that was really intended to showcase the way you feel when you wake up after sleeping on reverie. So, spent a lot of time working with an amazing photographer in in California. Yeah, putting together a talent pool that would be representative of waking up refreshed and representative of the customer. So we had some interracial couples, we had some mixed race models, and put together this gorgeous photoshoot, I was so proud of it. And then as we started to roll these assets out, we encountered some pushback from some of our retailers who said, well, we’ll that’s sure progressive, or oh, we’re not going to use those photos. We even had somebody adjust the skin color of the models in the photos. And I was shocked. I was shocked, I was disappointed. And I was frustrated, because we were trying to create, you know, a campaign that was going to be representative of the population and of potential customers. And we were dealing with some people with very traditional sense of what an advertisement should look like, and who should be representing an aspirational lifestyle. So, to me, that was a, it was a setback, and it felt like a failure at the time to be trying to not even push something just to be, you know, showcasing a belief in representation, and have and have that much pushback. You know, that was 2015 2016. I think that we’ve come away since then. But it’s a good example of some of the challenges that we face in understanding who our consumers are, and in speaking to them in a way that’s going to make the experience of shopping an inclusive one.
Brett Thornton: Yeah, it’s so sad. Right. You know, and I think that was one of the reasons why I think our industry in particular was so right, to have people come in from the outside and just pick it apart, you know, like, because, etc., brands weren’t industry folks at all right? They came from, you know, so, you know, the Bay Area in different you know, in New York and these different places that are much more progressive and like, So the great thing about their companies is they’re very diverse, they’re very, you know, you know, from everybody, male, female, how you look where you’re from. And I think that one of the reasons, you know, we talked about from an advertising perspective, you know, I think they resonated so much more with the daily consumer than the old school brands did, because they were just getting left behind with these old ideologies. You know, I can remember in a similar case, when I was living spaces, we had a so they still have a partnership with the designers, Nate and Jeremiah, not sure if you’re familiar with them, but they had like shows on HGTV or whatever these great designers, so they launched an exclusive campaign living spaces and made the TV commercial and obviously in so that so named Jeremiah are married. They’re like a married gay couple. And they ran these ads everywhere. And I remember we had a meeting like the next month, and they were going over supply chain, all this different stuff. And we they broke out where Nate and Jeremiah were selling and where it wasn’t. And they started showing the responses we were getting when the commercials ran. And this isn’t that long ago, this was maybe like three years ago, four years ago. And I remember just feeling like, Oh, my God, I thought as a society, we were a lot further along. You are in some places, I was shocked. I mean, shocked at some of the stuff people were writing, it was just awful, but credit to the CEO, Grover, and everybody and he said no, you know, this is the direction we’re going. And they, you know, kept that relationship strong. And, you know, it just is what it is, you know, but over time, hopefully, like some of that stuff gets better. But it really is opened your eyes, you know?
Lisa Tan: Absolutely. And I think the takeaway from it, which I you know, I did make a mistake, maybe a couple years later on a different campaign where we were, it was, it was all about new moms. So guess who really benefits from an adjustable base, a pregnant or new mother, because it’s hard to get out of bed, your body changes drastically where you feel pressure and pain changes, and then post birth, the recovery can be significant. So an adjustable base is perfect for that audience. And there were really No, no campaigns at the time directed to new moms or pregnant moms. So we put this campaign together and launched it and you know, it was well received. But what I realized after the fact is when we were trying to figure out who the actual target was, was it? Was it the mother herself? Was it a second time mom, who’s already spent a lot on the bassinet and all the you know, the outfitting of the baby room and realized Oh that was kind of a waste. Is it the mothers? Is it the mother’s parent? Who is it? And I was it at the time. And so I think that the takeaway for me, which is a similar takeaway to a lot of advertising is, it’s never about you, you never know who the customer is, you have to go out and learn who the customer is. But you can never, you must always separate your experience from the customer experience no matter who you are, to get it right. And that’s where it’s awesome to see again, with DTC brands, how testing has evolved over the past, you know, five to 10 years, as far as I’m going to understand my customer by testing every possible iteration of, you know, of a campaign. And that’s how you, that’s how you learn in real time. But you know, for me, that was that was something where I learned wow, you know, I, if I had approached this in a slightly different way that wasn’t so personal, we would have gotten to our answer a little bit faster.
Brett Thornton: Yeah, no, I love that you said that. Because I think it’s a lesson that everybody kind of has to learn on their own, you know, as they go through business, but especially in marketing and sales training, I think it happens a lot to where, you know, we see things out of our scope. And so sometimes it’s, it unfortunately gives you a little bit of blinders, you know, and you think, right, this is what the customer is understanding, or this is what’s resonating. I remember with one of my previous companies, you know, we had redone this brand and two years, and we thought, oh, man, everyone knows it. And they know our brand story and all these things. So we did one of those, you know, advertising marketing things where you bring in the 40 people, and we put them in four different rooms, groups of 10. And they, they had to put these different brands up on the wall and say all this stuff, and you’re behind that glass just watching you and you can’t interact. It might have been the most painful two hours of my life. Like out of the 40 people, no one remembered anything we had done, none of our advertising, like nothing, you know, and in some of the people even though they did and would explain someone else’s brand story or whatever. And you’re just like, oh my god, like I really I was really off here. Yeah. Um, yeah, it’s funny. I had a really a great mentor of mine, this guy, Matt Anderson, when I was developing training back in the day, I used to do training development for like 10 12 years. And I remember I had a course one time that didn’t get great review or didn’t get great results after I’d done this big training initiative. And he looked over the materials and he said, you know, what the issue with this is, is that you design this for you. Right, like, this is how you sold, you know, this is your personality, you’re very outgoing. You can talk to anyone, you can make jokes, you do really different things he’s like, but when you’re designing training for a whole organization, he’s like, you actually have to design for the seed student, so that anyone can do it. And make sure you do small chunks with a bunch of practice on the basics. He goes your top people will be good anyway. He’s like when you can’t make your training for the light. a plus person because that’s only a certain small percentage, you know, and it was like, but it was a great learning for me because I Ever since that happened was like, you know, 15 years ago, like I’ve always thought about like, Okay, how, who’s this actually for? How do I learn? Like you said? And then how can I make it so everyone can understand, you know what I mean?
Lisa Tan: great lesson totally, totally makes sense. And I mean, that’s really what it’s about with everything. I think a lot of the a lot of the failures that I’ve experienced every over the years all ultimately boil down to, are we giving our customer the best experience possible? And actually, that’s where I’ve been spending a lot of my time over the past two years is really focused on the customer experience, how can we make sure that whatever, whatever we do internally, well, that we’re delivering it in a way that’s going to resonate with the customer, and that we’re designing in a way that’s going to resonate with the customer? Because, yeah, it we may, we may have super high tech beds, but when our customers are 75 years old, and calling in to do some troubleshooting, are we giving them the right experience? And you know, in many ways, it’s similar to your example, it’s so important to think from somebody else’s shoes.
Brett Thornton: Oh, for sure. So tell us a story about success. You know, what, when was a time when, you know, you maybe after something happened, you sat back, and we’re just like, I, I can’t believe this is happening. Like, this is amazing.
Lisa Tan: Um, well, I would say, you know joining the industry and joining a company that, you know, my husband is, as co-founder has co-founded and running, it was a bit daunting, you know, I had worked for a much larger organization. So when we talk about, you know, the difference between learning in a small environment versus learning in a large environment, you know, I came into the role really, you know, tackling something I’d never really experienced before, I didn’t have a playbook. And so I mean, I can’t even tell you how much I learned how steep my learning curve was, and I would say, still is, in many ways, we never stop learning. But you know, maybe a few years ago, it really hit me that what makes success for me and for what we’ve done, is thinking about how the product we sell is just part of the story. And what we’re really are doing is helping people live better lives, we’re able to deliver on our mission through what we do. And that’s partly through the product and how we design the product and how we think about it and how we’re focused on the customer. But it’s also on some of the ancillary content that we create. So I go back to the three pillars of health. And thinking about the missing component in some sales conversations, which is when we think about why a customer is coming in to purchase a new mattress, it could be for a variety of reasons. But often, an underlying theme is that they’re not sleeping well. So we built up this programme called sleep coach, which has gone through several iterations over the years. But ultimately, it boils down to working with our advisory board of sleep scientists to develop some curriculum that we use internally, to train our, you know, our sleep specialists who are on the phone, maybe selling our service team, you know, our wholesale sales team, so that when we have these conversations with customers, we’re thinking about the environment, we’re thinking about sleep habits, and we’re thinking about the product and how they all work together, to provide and to deliver on our mission. You know, so that was a really, you know, I think when we got to that point, I kind of felt like, I’ve been working on all these things, and they’re all starting to come together into this beautiful place where I understand that we really are delivering on this mission that we talk about every day. And any of that’s an amazing feeling. And I think that helps the team carry through difficult days. And, you know, get over challenges that you know, some it’s easy to get lost in the weeds, it’s easy to get distracted by supply chain challenges. When you think about what you’re delivering here, you know, what you’re delivering, you’re actually here. I mean, yeah, we’re not we’re not saving lives every day. We’re not out there on the you know, we’re not we’re not first responders, but being able to do something that’s going to help people be healthier and more comfortable is really something that I’m proud of. And I’m proud that we’ve taken it to that next level where there’s an educational component with everything that we do.
Brett Thornton: Yeah, that’s awesome. I love that. I remember I saw that market a couple years ago for the first time and love the concept. You know, I think that what’s cool about what you said from a success standpoint, is that, you know, I feel like great brands and great organizations understand that if you really want to deliver a great experience to your guests, it can’t just be a and be like, here it is you bought it. Here you go and it’s over. You know, like it really needs to be more experiential, and the process needs to loop around and in our industry, you know, it’s funny, because to me, because it really is an interesting cycle, you know, and explain a little bit more on the sleep coach, how does that work?
Lisa Tan: Well, I mean, how it works now. And you know, really where it’s landed is we have an advisory board of, you know, sleep scientists and doctors and other people who have an interaction with sleep, right? They may be in a sleep lab, they may be a sleep doctor, or they’re interacting with people that may be using our product every day and are coming in with sleep issues, just to really understand, right, what are the sleep issues out there? And how can we, how can we tie them back to our consumer? And so from there, then we develop content in various formats for you know, for our internal team, and for our essays. To just understand the basics of sleep. And then how do those basics of sleep tie back to a conversation with somebody who’s walked into the door to buy a new mattress? And it can be, you know, it can be a small part of the conversation, but sometimes it turns on a light bulb? Wow, you know, people aren’t going to come in saying I’m here because I’m not sleeping, well. They may say I’m here because my mattress has is sagging, or, you know, I’m here because my mattress is old. And that, you know, that often has a strong correlation to I’m not sleeping well. Yeah, so being able to ask a few questions to kind of pull out what is what is really troubling the customer is important. And we’ve also seen that when we have a team that understands the science of sleep, and how it impacts their daily lives, they’re going to start making changes in their lives to and when you start seeing, you know, team members come in or saying, Oh, I’m not going on that coffee run with you, I have a caffeine cut off of two o’clock, you know, how does that how does that translate into, you know, the, the wellbeing and the happiness of our team, and you do start to see it, especially when we go you know, periodically we’ll go through a push or a challenge around sleep. And it’s a great way of building a team, it’s a great way of building a culture, and it’s a great way of helping to define that our product is so much more than just an adjustable bed. To the to the partners we’re working with them with to the to the end consumer.
Brett Thornton: Oh, for sure. Yeah, I think that the beautiful thing about what you guys are doing is that, you know, it’s kind of like we talked about earlier with, you know, you don’t want you know, a mattress or adjustable base, or any product for that matter, you know, to be a band aid. So if the reason someone’s coming in is because their bed is really old, and it’s sagging is lost is the port, well, that could just be the reason why they’re not sleeping good, because they’re their back screen, but a lot of times, it’s other things. So it’s like, oh, they just didn’t understand, like, you know, what, you know, what’s your room environment like, Oh, well, I’ve got the TV going for I go to sleep, I got all this light over here, you know, maybe they don’t know, they, they haven’t heard about blue light before bed or whatever it is like there could just be these things that are really right making you so they’re not sleeping well. And then you put on a bad mattress on top of it. So it’s, you know what I mean? So it’s one of those things where, you know, you’re trying to also talk someone through the root cause of, hey, why aren’t you sleeping well. And here’s some tips, which I love. So, I’m going to shift gears a little bit, you know, obviously, this evening to is just focusing on, you know, these amazing different, you know, female executives, entrepreneurs, you know, and one of the things that I admire about reverie is like, you know, if you just go on reverie, and you look at LinkedIn, and put reverie and pull it up, and you look down your list of, you know, all of your kind of top people is how LinkedIn kind of does it. You guys look, at least from the outside to be very diverse amongst your leadership, and seems like you’ve done a really good job. But as you know, when you walk around market in Vegas, our industry is not very diverse. You know, it’s a bunch of, you know, a lot of guys that look more like me wearing big box suits, you know, so, you know, what has it been like being, you know, a female executive in our industry specific? And can you talk to that, or any hurdles you’ve had, or any weird, you know, or anything that’s, that’s kind of stood out to you about that?
Lisa Tan: Certainly, I mean, yeah, it’s just going from, you know, going from a trade show, wheel, or in my previous world, right. I, I was in New York City. I worked under international teams, or very female heavy teams. So to shift to an industry that’s, you know, that’s primarily white men, is definitely a change. And I think, you know, it comes out in some of the examples I alluded to earlier, where, you know, if everybody around the table is trying to innovate, and they all look the same, and they all have similar backgrounds, it’s just not happening. Innovation happens when you when you bring together teams that have had different experiences, and therefore have different perspectives. So you know, that’s always been the focus, with our team building and our staffing is we want teams that bring a diverse set of back rounds and experiences together because ultimately we want to innovate, to make customers lives happier and healthier. And it is it is challenging. I mean, I think I, I bristled initially it at the environment into which I was thrown, and, you know, some of the interactions in those early market years, you know, because it is it is much more homogeneous than other industries. However, I think, you know, you have to get below that layer, and I love what you’re doing here, Brett with this podcast. And I think it all starts with awareness and recognition. And when we get to the point where we’re able to have awareness, and we are able to recognize where we have an opportunity to change or grow or learn. That’s how we, that’s how we progress. And I think the industry has come a long way, thanks to efforts, like your, like your podcast, and thanks to some of the, you know, proliferation of, of brands that are not traditional industry brands, you know, starting to appear and interacting with it with the end consumer. So, yeah, overall, I think, yeah, it’s been challenging at times, and I’ve seen, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve witnessed negative comments for, you know, like, I know, there are some amazing women out there that that are, that are buyers at large, you know, large retailers, and I’ve, I’ve seen them, you know, fill roles that were previously occupied by somebody that would be more of an industry stalwart. And really struggle at first with, you know, with just the level of confidence they have in a woman. And, you know, that’s, that’s disgusting. And I’ve celebrated, you know, they’re the achievements of these women to overcome it. But it, you know, it’s frustrating that they had to take the time and energy to overcome unfair perceptions, versus be able to go in and, you know, and do the amazing work they do and contribute right off the bat. So, you know, again, I don’t have a solution. I’ve seen it, I’ve witnessed it, I’ve experienced it, but the more that we can, as a, as a team, create awareness, and be open to having these conversations, the farther we’re going to get faster.
Brett Thornton: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, to your point, you know, one of the podcasts I did earlier this season, I think it was with Katy law, she’s got a chain, you know, but she had, she mentioned something about just that people attract people. And, you know, and whether that’s, you know, from how you think, how you act, but at the end of the day, I mean, she was saying my solution, as simple as, I’ve got a lot of amazing females around me, and I think because of that I’m starting to attract more females, you know, and because it’s an industry that, as you mentioned, you know, it’s just not something that I think anyone really grows up thinking, like, I want to sell mattresses, so already it has that scale. And then you’ve also got the fact that it was just such an old school, you know, you know, there was a study done, this is a while back, it was like 10 or 15 years ago, but it was like shopping for used cars. And then shopping for matches was like just above that, you know what I mean? Like, that was the scale. And I think it’s come a long way, you know, but I still think there’s some of that ingrained in society. And so I just think it’s not raining outside looking in, like a super attractive place to work, you know, for anyone that matter. So I think that’s kind of all of our jobs now is like, hey, how do we, you know, showcase ourselves and the industry in a way that is appealing for young talent to come in no matter how, you know, whether it’s male, female, no matter ethnicity, whatever, like and be like, hey, I want to be in that industry, because it seems progressive. And it’s cool. And it’s changing. And because that’s the reality is that it is, and that’s the you know, it’s actually a really fun industry, every but a lot of people knows each other. It’s in a lot of companies, it’s very fast, rapid changing, and there’s a lot of opportunity. And I think that if more people knew that, we’d get a lot more, we get a lot better people. But unfortunately, it’s just kind of a little close thing. So I guess that’s what I’m also trying to figure out too, is how do we broadcast out to these to the, you know, to young people looking for careers to say like, Hey,
Lisa Tan: this is actually a cool place to be. Yep. Well, I think that goes back to making sure that the people who are who are doing the recruiting and, and being the face that a representation of the industry reflects who young talented professionals would aspire to be. And that’s, again, why representation matters so much. So if it’s, you know, if we’re pushing, you know, conferences where all the speakers are male, and I’ve seen that happen, I’ve been at a conference and industry conference where there are only two women that spoke during the whole time. This was two years ago. That’s not that’s not okay, right. That’s not going to attract diverse talent. So I think, you know, we have to be very intentional in how we go about recruiting and in how we represent ourselves, I mean, often the least sexy places to be, have the most opportunity. So for, for, you know, professionals that are looking to make a change. Well, while we have a lot of opportunity here to do so. And I think that’s the other side of the story. And if we stopped talking about how this is a stagnant, you know, you know, industry and we started talking about how this is an industry where opportunity is right, and where there’s, there’s this undercurrent of desire for change, then we can really have, we can have an amazing decade ahead of us.
Brett Thornton: Yeah. I love that. I love how you said that. I think that’s gonna be the trailer for the podcast right there. Mark done the time. So last thing, I know, I said, half an hour, 45 minutes. So I’m already at my over my time limit, but you know, so somebody wants to get in touch with you. So two different things. So first off, I have, you know, a lot of awesome managers, most of all, which are female, and they’re looking for mentors in the industry, you know, so I’ll definitely they’ll listen and I’ll connect them with you. But when it comes to people like wanting to reach out about reverie, what’s the best way to you know, to do that, and get in contact with you or people at reverie?
Lisa Tan: Yep. So I mean, you can visit our website. You can you can reach me on LinkedIn, that’s probably an easy way for people to search and then you know, direct message me on LinkedIn, or you can email me at Lisa@reverie.com.
Brett Thornton: Nice, awesome. So last question, since you’re an adjustable base expert now after 10 years. So what do you believe down to your head is the best way to describe a base as adjust adjustable base lifestyle base to power base, I’ve heard them all. So what do you think is the best way to describe?
Lisa Tan: I say its power base and that’s because power of sleep is contained in this amazing product.
Brett Thornton: Yes! Okay market patent power base. Awesome! All right Lisa Thank you so much for your time. I really enjoyed it and um hopefully I’ll see you next month.
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