June 17, 2016
After Brendan Rice and Russell Suskind sold the name of their company to a group of entrepreneurs, they spent about two weeks thinking of a new name for their business and discovered it in one of the most unlikely places: on an ice hockey rink in South Florida.
“One of the players on my team recommended we call our company Doze. We asked around for people’s opinion on the name and everyone seemed to love it,” said Suskind,who coaches a 13-year- old hockey team.
Doze, which originally launched as Tuck Beds, started in August 2014 with only $10k. The company offers one 10-inch memory foam mattress that is sent in a small box via FedEx straight to the consumers’ door. By selling exclusively online, Doze is able to eliminate the high markups and inconvenience traditionally experienced in retail mattress stores.
Doze was in the early stages when Suskind and Rice made the choice to rebrand, making it easier for the company to effectively transition to a new name.
“We found a domestic manufacturer in Baltimore to make our new beds, launched a new and improved website, and started building a brand and product we really believed in made right here in the USA,” said Suskind who has been a Venture for America Fellow since 2014.
Find Doze on a College Campus or Music Festival Near You
Doze’s target demographic includes college students and graduates who are entering the work force. With this in mind, Doze tested their target market at Syracuse University last Spring to help spread the word about its product. Suskind himself is a Syracuse graduate and said:
“We arrived on campus during finals week and sponsored a bar tab, hosted a napping center at the business school with milk and cookies, and had a study break on the quad with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation.”
In addition to visiting SU, Doze will make stops at various universities across the country as well as music festivals nationwide.
“We find that when people are able to feel the product and interact with the brand, they are much more likely to purchase,” said Suskind. Not only will the team focus on face-to- face events with potential consumers, but it will also hire 15-20 brand ambassadors through its brand ambassador program over the summer. “We figured that current students know their individual campuses better than we will ever be able to.”
Additionally, the Doze team will continue to focus on its rebrand this summer as a member of the Venture for America Accelerator Program hosted by First Round Capital in Philadelphia, PA.
“The program will run through the end of August and will provide our team with a great opportunity to be in a high tempo environment during the summer months,” said Suskind.
Reflections on a Successful Relaunch
While the Doze rebrand is off to a good start, Suskind explained that there were a number of challenges the team had to face such as alerting their customer base about the changes, temporarily shutting down operations and not always reaching its target sales numbers.
“I think overall when rebranding you have to have a purpose. For us, it was more than just a new name. It was a new manufacturer, new website, and a new look for the business. The changes we made were based off of feedback we received from our early customers.”
Photos provided by Doze.
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