Live Client Sprint
Sprint cycles and methods
Digital product innovation
How does an industry disrupter move beyond the category they helped reinvent?
Six years ago, Casper introduced its first foam mattress and flipped the traditional mattress industry upside down. As with any successful disruptor, imitator brands appeared almost overnight wanting to in on this new exciting billion-dollar industry. When Casper began in 2014 they were one of only a handful of bed-in-a-box brands on the market and immediately dominated the market with their meticulously planned consumer experience. Since then nearly 150 new imitator brands have entered the market, all with nearly identical product offerings, leaving Casper virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the category it originally helped transform.
In January 2019, Casper approached VCU Brandcenter for a sprint competition comprising 10 teams over three days, culminating with a live client rapid pitch.
Their ask: "How can Casper evolve our brand from being associated with beds and boxes to one associated with sleep as a whole?"
Shift brand perception from
mattresses and bedding to sleep as an entire category.
How does a mattress brand market sleep while avoiding physical product association?
Expand Casper into an entire new category that does not require physical products to be experienced.
With only 72 hours until the pitch, our team knew we would
have to hit the ground running, and get scrappy with our
Our immediately realized we were in unfamiliar territory and knew our first task was to rapidly familiarize ourselves with the current landscape of using the classic 4 C's methodology.
Casper as a company
D2C mattresses as a category
Sleep as a culture
'Americans' as consumers
Now armed with a slightly better understanding of the macro landscape, our next task was to throw everything we knew out the window and start from scratch.
Our team utilized classic design sprint methods and toolkits to envision a wide range of possibilities for the future of sleep. Keeping the process as product-agnostic as possible was a key priority, our team choosing to deliberately uncover as many as our own biases as possible, in addition to our common threads. After multiple rounds of ideation and refinement, we consolidated our ideas into a handful of new physical product and service offerings we believed could help push Casper into even more bedrooms than ever before. But our excitement came to a scream when our team realized there was one crucial shortcoming: these products could only change sleep for Casper customers, excluding the rest of the population in the process. If it's only changing sleep for a select group of people then we can't say that we are changing sleep as a whole.
We flipped this product truth on it's head and had uncovered our key insight:
Everybody sleeps...but not always on a Casper product.
In order to be seen as the sleep company, Casper has to expand their impact beyond their existing customers.
How can Casper build brand loyalty without consumers buying a Casper product?
Current Consumer Behaviors
Casper is playful
Casper can meet these people on the platforms they are already using
equity is strong
People are already using streaming content to help them fall asleep
Casper is qualitative, never quantitative
They can be stationary in their homes or portable in their pockets
Today's digital users can become
tomorrow's physical customers.
WE DO THIS?
Casper Studios | Sleep Entertainment
Casper Studios is...
Click to hear 'Art for Your Ears'
Positive News Network
Watch lions sleep together and learn about the sleep routines
of your favorite animals.
Asleep in the Animal Kingdom
Discover worlds first exclusively positive news network featuring heartwarming stories from around the world, 24/7.
Enjoy hypnotic audio and soothing visualizations through a relaxing meditative journey created by
Casper sleep scientists.
Click thumbnail to experience (with sound)
Casper expanding into content creation gives them a free, massively scalable opportunity to reach everyone who ISN'T currently sleeping on a Casper product.
Making it easier for ALL consumers to fall asleep creates positive long term brand associations that can convert into new customers when the time comes and they are ready for their next mattress.
What was the outcome of our sprint?
In April 2019, a few months after our sprint, Casper brought our platform concept to life
in the form of the 'Casper Sleep Channel'.
Alex Glaum - Creative Brand Manager
Joelle Halle - Experience Designer
Brit Kern - Experience Designer
Kyle Stolcis - Strategist
During the course of this sprint,
our team decided to work as title fluid and output agnostic as possible.
The one role I specifically owned was concepting and producing the creative used to demonstrate
potential platform content.