The mattress industry is kind of a big deal with Americans spending $25 billion per year just on their beds. In 2014 Casper set out to disrupt the mattress salesman model by selling to consumers directly from their website.
In April 2014, Casper was off to a running start selling $1 million worth of their “outrageously comfortable” mattresses in month one. The mattress fits into a box the size of a mini-fridge and is delivered directly to the consumer’s door. Since then the company sprang to a $555 million valuation thanks to celebrity investors like Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Levine and Canadian Steve Nash.
Casper has a lot more in common with technology companies that you might guess, representing a unique intersection of technology, design and innovation. Much like Uber, Casper identified a product segment that was underserving consumers with overpriced products and a poor customer experience. They created a competing product and leveraged technology to give consumers a simple sales channel, opportunities to engage with the brand, and control over the customer experience end-to-end.
Starting in a small office in Lower Manhattan, customers were immediately intrigued and would end up knocking on the door of the office for a test-nap. This inspired the addition of a bedroom showroom in that office, which is still in operation today. The company has since moved its headquarters to Park Avenue but keeps the original office as the official New York City showroom where you can book an appointment or drop in to test “the perfect mattress for everyone”.
The Casper HQ sits atop the 230 Park Avenue building at the south edge of the Flatiron District. Taking over the 32,000 square foot 13th floor, plus the rooftop penthouse and garden, it’s a sprawling and charming space where Casper’s adorable brand touches are found in every corner.
The space was designed by Brad Sherman to grow with the company and accommodate a wide variety of working styles. For this reason there are mostly open-concept workspaces plus living-room style meeting areas, sound-dampening cubbies, a library and even three nap-pods equipped with bed-side lighting. Each meeting room is given its own breakfast-inspired name including ‘Pancakes’, ‘Waffles’ and ‘The Continental’. If the Sunnyside room is taken, then Eggs Benedict should have some space.
We don’t have any specific things that we do that sets up our culture for success over someone else’s. Sure we have a roof-deck with a view and sparkling water, but people would say with conviction that it’s a natural authentic culture to work in. – Luke Sherwin Casper CCO and Co-founder.
Casper has about 200 employees globally, 130 of which work out of Manhattan including software developers, a creative team and a robust business management crew. Among other perks, each new employee gets their very own Casper mattress, sheets and pillows ordered to their doorstep on day 1. Outside of their daily duties, staff can volunteer for new product testing: Casper pillow testers take home a new pillow every week and complete daily wake-up surveys about their experience.
Casper doesn’t just want you in their sheets – they want to make their brand synonymous with sleep and wellness. This health-driven ideal is most strongly represented with their adoption of an incentive program which rewards physical activity. By using fitness tracking apps and hardware, Casper will award staff cold-hard-cash for each time they workout, incentivizing not only having a gym membership but also using it to pay off the expense. This applies to fitness classes or just earning based on miles ran. Staff are also active in the rec leagues, including their reigning championship basketball team the ‘Nighty-Knights’.
You are never too far from the kitchen at Casper as there are three of them spread across the office stocked with coffee, filtered and sparkling water, beer, fresh fruit and cereal–go figure. Each Tuesday and Thursday the staff sits down for family style lunch and camaraderie.
When the San Francisco product teams are in town, staffers join lunch n’ learns on cotton testing, product engineering and the like. Each quarter the entire company flies to New York to celebrate the wins and dine out in style. This is all meant to galvanize the teams and help everyone to do their jobs just a little bit better.
As a contrast to the hustle of the Manhattan streets below, the Casper office is an oasis. The entire staff is clad in Casper branded cotton t-shirts and hoodies; warm blues, natural materials and copper finishes intrinsically ground the space and you forget that you are in Manhattan at all.
And everyone seems to have an oddly-charming obsession with breakfast.
Whatever is in the secret syrup, it’s working. Casper has been able to create an environment where people are motivated, healthy and happy to stick around for board games, watch sports and play corn-hole on mini-casper mattresses. The rooftop deck isn’t so bad either.
The Casper office was featured in a recent Casper promotion. Watch it here:
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