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How Simba Sleep Built a Global E-Commerce Empire (and You Can, too)

(Featured Image – insert up-close, high-quality image of a large bed with fluffy, white pillows)

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs feel the need to get ahead of the competition and carve out their share in the market space. With new ideas always emerging, it’s perfectly normal to feel passionate and aggressive about your job ideas.

However, if you’re unprepared, jumping in too quickly can land you in a never-ending cycle of failures, scrambling from task to task only to end up inefficient and in a state of constant stress. 

Sure, there are sometimes hot streaks or spurts of intense drive and determination. But the long-term effects of haste can be detrimental to your brand and your future career.

It sounds ominous, but many young businessmen have unfortunately fallen victim to such tendencies. In the modern business world, it’s important to keep the “marathon, not a sprint” truism in mind — and to illustrate that point, we present Simba Sleep. 

On the outside, Simba Sleep could be labeled as just another mattress-in-a-box company. However, closer inspection reveals how the brand has carefully and deliberately conducted its growth strategy to become a global mattress empire — without giving in to the “rushed” business culture.

Since its launch in 2015, the company has already surpassed $100 million in sales and sold products in multiple currencies across a dozen countries. But their road to getting there was by no means hasty. 

Here’s how Simba Sleep found global success through a slow and steady approach:

Spotting a Challenge

In an interview with Gentleman’s Journal, Simba’s co-CEO, Steve Reid, details how the company got its start. “We were looking for a real-life problem to solve. The market was utterly archaic, unfair to the consumer, and ripe for innovation.” 

Together with James Cox — Simba’s other CEO and Reid’s fellow co-founder — the duo set out to create a pioneering product. With already high margins and consistent traffic, the question was never whether or not the pair should enter the mattress market — it was how they were going to compete with large competitors. 

Established mattress-in-a-box companies like Leesa and Casper already had received a head-start, but Reid and Cox didn’t let this dampen their efforts. Maintaining the “less is more” mindset, the founders designed their prototype and took their product to the global market. 

Developing a Deliberate Growth Strategy

Almost immediately after the brand’s launch in 2015, Simba Sleep quickly consumed the U.K. market, as the tech mattresses found their way into high-end retail stores across the country. 

Reid and Cox knew their next step had to be deliberate. With hopes of expanding to France and Germany, the pair conducted thorough research on new markets, sent company representatives across the world, talked to potential buyers about their preferences, and collaborated with retailers who were interested in stocking their mattresses in-store. 

The strategy was by no means rushed. According to Reid, the company spent nearly two years marketing and selling just a single mattress design. While some may have judged them for their slow approach, the founders knew precisely what they were doing and where they were going. 

After expanding the business into France and Germany, Simba opened additional online storefronts for their new regions, each with its own messaging, product images, and checkout systems which allowed shoppers to buy in their currencies.

“You just have to do the research,” Reid tells Shopify.

“We operate on the assumption that we don’t know anything about any new market.”

Carefully Expanding Their Global Presence

Following outstanding success in the U.K, France, and Germany, Simba Sleep was solidified as a reputable mattress brand. But Reid and Cox weren’t done yet — they wanted to take the company a step further. The duo began carefully selecting new markets across the globe to potentially open a storefront, each with its own unique, intentional launch strategies.

“We concentrated on creating a robust system of processes and ways of working, whilst simultaneously building a brand,” continues Reid. “It’s enabled us to make our business more complex internationally and with more products. We’ve achieved scale and success much quicker than if we’d tried to do it all at once.” 

After just three short years, the company reached over $100 million in global sales. Simba then launched more than ten worldwide online storefronts and began designing additional sleep products to complement their innovative mattress. 

Today, the company still takes this approach, using an expert in-house team to research new regions and gather the most advanced market data — to the point where no detail becomes too minute.

Don’t Run Before You Walk

For Reid and Cox, there’s been no rush to get where they are today. Rather, the duo focused on how their growth occurred. The brand’s ability to deliberately and carefully push new storefronts has allowed them to become an international force to be reckoned with — and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

With transactional storefronts in nations like Israel, Sweden, and the Netherlands already in the works, Simba Sleep looks to take on the Asian market next. 

Now, what once started as a simple idea to innovate the ordinary mattress has turned into a multi-million dollar global corporation — and Reid and Cox got there by carrying out the same philosophy all the way through: don’t run before you walk. 

“Many companies spread themselves too thin with too many different stores and worrying about too many different metrics,” says Reid. “We very much focus on winning. It sounds ridiculous, but we win by listening to our customers, and by only going into those markets that we believe we can execute in.

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