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Marketing, as most retailers know, is a tricky thing. We all want the most bang for our buck, but where should we spend that buck? With all the advertising options available today, it can be tough to find the ones most appropriate for your business and your community. We’ve put together this module to share our experience with you in the hopes that, together, we can help each other.

This module will explore the following areas of marketing:

  • Local Marketing – Ideas and success stories from Dominick Palamenti, manager of our Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom store in Berkeley, CA.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – An introduction to the basic ideas and tools of this critical, yet ever-changing, field.
  • Social Media – A brief look at the platforms we recommend and how to use them to build your business.
  • Branding – Who are you? How are you different? Answering these questions will help you meet your marketing goals.
  • Bartering – An oft-forgotten way to accomplish your business goals. We’ll show you how.

Local Marketing

From farmers’ markets to house concerts, Dominick has had success with many types of local advertising efforts since moving to Berkeley and opening one of our four Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom stores. In this video, he shares some of his most successful ideas.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) brings traffic to your website from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. In the following video, we’ll go over some basic concepts and best practices of SEO.

Note: This video has no sound. Need more time to read each slide? Simply press pause and start again when you’re ready.

Social Media

Social media is a wonderful way to connect with customers. A successful social media profile (or more) boosts your business and your search engine rankings. Social media also helps you share your store’s personality. “Like” and share others’ content, then share your own.

Hosting an in-store event? Put it on Facebook. Read a good book about healthy homes? Tweet it. Took a fantastic photo of a Savvy Rest mattress? Post it on Instagram or Pinterest. A little time invested regularly will build your following on all your social media platforms.

But social media can be challenging. Here are some tips we’ve collected.

Note: This video has no sound. Need more time to read each slide? Simply press pause and start again when you’re ready.


We all have a story.  We came from somewhere, have been inspired by something, and have goals and aspirations.  Authentic branding is simply an extension of that.  It’s the story that you tell about yourself and your business that sets you apart from your competition.  This story is told on your showroom floor, on your website, through your social media and advertisements—it’s simply a projection of who you and your business are.  (Of course, you could brand yourself as something you’re not, but we’ve found that our customers are smart people—truth and authenticity resonate.)

So if you haven’t put much thought into your store’s brand, where should you start?  Here are a few steps to consider:

1. Discover your story.

How did your store get started? Why does it exist? What are you trying to accomplish by selling the products you do? How are you different from your competitors? If you can answer these questions, then you’ll be well on your way to finding your story. Once you have it, everything else becomes easier.

2. Who are your customers?

Are they older? Younger? Educated? Not? By getting a sense of the types of customers you serve (customer profiles are handy things!), you can tailor your messaging to influence those customers. Older customers, for example, will respond to different messages—and different channels—than your younger audience will.  In our Charlottesville market (where our home office and flagship store are located), we target several different channels and the audiences they cater to. For example, we underwrite a local NPR radio station and donate to their fund drives (in an effort to target our older, affluent, educated customers) and we run ads through trendy weekly publications to target a younger demographic.

Other questions to ask: Do you customers have any preconceived ideas about your business or what you sell? Do they know what organic mattresses are and how they’re different? Do they know where to find you?

3. Advertise!

Quiet word-of-mouth advertising is very effective, but most businesses need a bullhorn.  Whatever your marketing budget is, do your best to tell your story to as many people as you can as often as you can. In Charlottesville, we’ve found that online, radio, and television ads have been very effective at driving traffic. Print ads, not as much. Social media has also been very important to us, not only for building our brand but for connecting with our customers.

Different markets will offer different means of advertising. Experiment! Once you find affordable channels that allow you to reach your audience (negotiation is key), stick with them. Tell your story over time. Let them get to know you and your products well.  Such repetition is critical for products like ours. Not everyone needs a new organic mattress immediately, but when they do, your store’s name should be the first that comes to mind.

4. Keep an eye on your competitors

Is there another store in your area that offers similar products? If so, keep an eye on them. How are they enticing customers? What story are they telling? Your story is unique to you, so leverage it to offer your customers something your competition cannot. Whether it’s a commitment to a local non-profit or your superior customer service, offer your customers clear reasons for choosing your business. 

5. Walk the walk

As mentioned before, authentic branding comes from within. It’s much easier to be who you are than to pretend to be someone else. Be proud of your store and your products. Create a culture of warmth and service then share the culture you’ve created through your advertisements and social channels.  Your customers will notice. Other businesses will, too. 

There is no one thing to do create a brand. It includes everything your customers see, experience, and hear about your business, from the ad they hear in the car to the service they receive in your showroom. If you keep your focus on your story—and share it on the channels that reach your customers—you’ll be set up for success.


Money talks to pretty much everyone, but in many cases, so does free stuff. Both nationally and locally, we’ve had tremendous success trading our product for the things our business needs. Often we barter for print or online ads (since the prices of such ads are highly negotiable), but we’ve given products to radio DJs, bloggers, video producers…you name it. Why barter? Because it allows us to trade the retail value of our products for other products or services. Since we’re using our product’s retail price, it costs us much less than paying cash.

Here are some tips for using barter to improve your marketing:

  • Identify local bloggers/vloggers/radio hosts/influencers in your area. What do they typically charge for their services?
  • What kind of following do they have? What portion of your customer base could they influence?
  • Contact them with an idea that will appeal to their audience. Offer free products in exchange for exposure or reviews.

This sample barter proposal will get you started.


A complete list of the links and resources referred to in the videos above.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

1. http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo

2. https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research

3. https://moz.com/learn/seo/internal-link

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Alternative_text_for_images

5. http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/07/24/follow-nofollow-links

Social Media

1. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/new-facebook-insights/

2. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-pages-to-watch/

3. https://moz.com/blog/hacks-for-content-creation

4. https://moz.com/blog/facebook-graph-search-guide

5. https://www.postplanner.com/4-fill-in-the-blank-posts-for-facebook-pages/ 

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