Sloom, an innovative disruptor and manufacturer in the South African bed industry, needed an affordable way to strengthen and expand their digital marketing channels. They turned to advertising innovator and disruptor MotionAds and proved dreams do come true.
Sloom’s origin story began five years ago by one man with a savings fund payout and a vision to shake up the traditional way people buy a bed. Over the past five years, Sloom has grown to a team of 21 and is making waves in bedding.
Rudo Kemp, the founder and CEO of Sloom, comes from a long history of bed manufacturing and sales. “My goal was to create a brand that was innovative and modern, that would shake up the South African bedding industry and give consumers an easy way to buy quality mattresses and beds online.”
Their unique business model allows customers to buy the exclusive Sloom mattress brand directly from the online store. This is revolutionary, as most brands only sell to retailers, and don’t typically own any retail outlets.
However, logistics soon proved to be one of the biggest challenges the startup faced. With no access to a national delivery network that could cater to the mattress size, the dream was starting to turn into a nightmare.
“The idea to compress the mattress and ship it in a box with couriers around the country was always the idea,” says Rudo, “but back in 2016 no supplier had a machine like this and I also did not have the capital to buy one myself.”
Another frustration in the early days was the complete lack of funds for marketing. “As an online exclusive mattress brand,” says Rudo, “that was like having an amazing showroom underground that nobody knows of.”
The website was good and contained everything the customers needed to know to make an informed buying decision, but no budget meant no marketing, which meant no sales. “As a last resort I took out a loan in my wife’s name,” says Rudo, “and spent it on marketing: Google ads, Facebook ads and a MyBroadband published article. Thankfully, this was enough to get the ball rolling.”
Sloom Dreams are Made of These
Things started to look up when, in 2018, Rudo met with a South African Foam Supplier that invested in a compression machine and manufacturing of the original Sloom-designed mattress and box shipping began.
This opened up the target audience from just Cape Town to the whole of South Africa.
Setting the Wheels of Outdoor Advertising in Motion
Jon Berkowitz, co-founder of MotionAds - a nation wide provider of advertising space on delivery bikes - reached out to Rudo. “I first found out about Sloom when I was paging through a Khaluma magazine while commuting between Cape Town and Joburg ,” recalls Jon. “I immediately contacted Rudo.”
“When Jon from MotionAds called me, I liked what I heard and saw right away,” says Rudo. “We had a lot in common: at that time they were also a new ad small business with a unique and new solution. I could relate to them. They offered a marketing solution that was affordable and something other than digital marketing, where most of my marketing budget went.”
“We were excited to add another valuable marketing touch point for brand awareness in Sloom’s sales funnel,” says Jon.“We started out with three bikes in Joburg in September 2019, and this quickly increased to 10 branded delivery bikes as Rudo saw immediate value.”
By December 2020 there were at 10 branded bikes coupled with pamphlet distribution, quickly joined by an additional 10 bikes in Cape Town. By the end of 2020 a new pamphlet roll out was launched to drive lead generation and sales with a discount code in addition to with comprehensive bike tracking.
“With 20 bikes on the road, every day of the week, twelve months of the year, Sloom’s brand and message now reaches their target LSM at their homes, with the associated convenience and comfort of food and takeaway delivery,” says Jon.
When asked what it has been like working with MotionAds, Rudo’s response is confident, “Jon and Elan are very professional and maintain good relationships with their customers. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone who asks.”
The Future of Sleep in SA
With plans to continue changing the way the bedding industry serves the South African market, Rudo alluded to the potential of expanding into showrooms that support the online business model.
Whatever the future holds, the dynamic team at Sloom are keen to continue to invest in risk-free, innovative ways to reach their target LSM, with MotionAds.