Purple Innovation, Inc.: The Online to Offline Marketing Challenge
This case focuses on Purple Innovation Inc. (Purple), a company that started out in the Direct to Consumer (DTC) mattress space. After a successful launch and IPO, with sales predominantly originating from its website, in late 2018 Purple was looking to sustain its growth momentum by partnering with traditional bricks & mortar players, such as Mattress Firm and Bed Bath and Beyond. Although the move had the promise of expanding the relevant customer base, it presented a marketing challenge: Could the company continue to rely on its previous digital advertising approach to drive offline sales? If so, how, and, if not, what other media outlets and messaging should be considered? The case forces students to analyze the digital strategy the company had previously used to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in online sales, and then propose a communication plan for generating 30% of sales offline. In doing so, students grapple with delineating the customer journey for buying a mattress online and in stores. The case can also serve as a vehicle to discuss the scaling challenges many disruptor DTC brands face.