Case Studies

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Private Equity-backed producer of bedding products addresses barriers and aligns on path to accelerate growth

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A Private Equity-backed manufacturer and marketer of bedding products, SleepInc*, faced numerous threats to their market position. They had acquired another firm boosting annual revenues to ~$500M, and with it, created a new leadership team. This new team had conflicting priorities and limited resources, along with a declining cash position. Charged with finding growth, the leadership team instead faced challenges in pricing, supply chain, planning, and labor costs.

SleepInc turned to Pinkston Strategy to help set strategic direction and translate that strategy into action. The strategic direction needed to address challenges and chart a path for growth. Strategy activation needed to be streamlined and efficient to work within existing constraints.

The Pinkston Strategy Approach:

Pinkston Strategy recognized the client’s desire for immediate impact and separated our approach into three efforts: 1) Remove Rocks: Assess and prioritize barriers to success, 2) Define The Path For Growth: Develop Growth Strategy for short and long-term value, and 3) Align & Activate: Win support for the set of priorities to allocate time, money, and resources and build the execution program to deliver.

Remove Rocks

Pinkston Strategy quickly led executives through a workshop to align on mission and vision. Pinkston Strategy then distilled the highest priority issues by turning anecdotes into facts, synthesizing leadership interviews and analyzing data for insights, and identifying cause and effect relationships. Working with the leadership team, Pinkston Strategy assessed impact and prioritized the most important barriers to address.

Define The Path For Growth

With clarity on vision and confidence that priority barriers were being addressed, Pinkston Strategy helped SleepInc create focus and define strategic growth for the next 3-5 years. Pinkston Strategy developed a portfolio of complementary and reinforcing growth plays based on assessment of customer segments, products, and differentiators. To gain alignment, Pinkston Strategy facilitated a workshop to answer questions in four areas:

  • Brands: What set of brands support good, better, best in each segment? Where can we rationalize and consolidate? Where do gaps exist where we have license to play? Where can partnerships and private label provide additional value and access?
  • Channels: What customer segments and distribution channels should we target? How do we maximize profitable channels and maintain volume for big box retail within existing capacity? What investment is required to accelerate the shift to eCommerce?
  • Pricer Tiers: How do we remain price competitive without driving commoditization of sleep products?
  • Innovation: How do we create an innovation engine to stay ahead of the curve? What materials offer value in sustainability, cooling, and warming? Where can manufacturing innovation reduce cost structure and improve service?

Align & Activate

With leadership aligned on the Path for Growth, Pinkston Strategy worked with SleepInc to create action plans and prioritize initiatives. Pinkston Strategy supported Board reviews for necessary approvals. The execution program was designed to be streamlined, removing bureaucracy while creating accountability and a cadence of progress. Metrics were defined and teams were resourced. Pinkston Strategy supported the CEO to communicate to the broader organization and kick-off execution with an extended team.


Pinkston’s collaboration resulted in strong alignment and buy-in for a focused, streamlined plan that addressed immediate issues and kicked off a new wave of growth. SleepInc’s vision, mission, and strategy created needed clarity. The Path for Growth detailed strategic choices to define what SleepInc will and won’t do. The activation plan created the momentum and organizational alignment needed to execute, track progress, and adjust course as needed. As a result, SleepInc has accelerated growth and operates as one team working in a common direction.

*We hold our clients’ confidentiality to the highest respect. Though the names may be artificial, the impact is tangible.

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Scott McEwen
#1 New York Times Best-Selling Author