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Sealy Chief Marketing Officer Jodi Allen said Little, which has roots in design, was instrumental in changing Sealy’s in-store approach through a successful “relaunch” of the brand that brought the “product story” to life through innovative headboard displays, point-of-purchase information and other pieces that helped the sales force peddle mattresses.
Little Chief Executive Joe Cecere said: “Top brands such as Sealy, working with the nation’s leading retailers, struggle to reach the consumer with a simplified, consistent brand story every day. Using our design principles, we were able to break through the noise, engage the sales force, and deliver.”
Several Twin Cities marketing firms have national mattress accounts. This is no sleeping matter. Little, with about 20 employees, has seen revenue grow from about $3 million a decade ago to an estimated $10 million this year.
• Robert Buss of Diversified Growth Investors reports that 150 investment professionals, up from 120 last year, are signed up for the Aug. 1 InvestMNt 2013, the second annual bazaar that will bring together several dozen Minnesota public companies and their managements with investors. The CFA Society of Minnesota, the sponsor, last year brought back the sort of regional investment conference that hasn’t occurred often since the days of Dain Rauscher and Piper Jaffray and the former IDS Financial Services, which had their own versions of regional-company conferences. However, this conference is not a brokerage-sponsored conference, limited to client companies. It’s sponsored by the local investment society to put public companies in front of professional investors for a small fee without a third party and without the pressure of commissions, Buss said.
• Social entrepreneur Jim Rettew has launched www.barnraisings.com, which has been described as a Kickstarter-type crowdfunding approach for nonprofits. Rettew said he got the idea from the Amish tradition of mobilizing neighbors to build a barn together, as well as the cooperative approach to building a house by Habitat for Humanity. This promising work in progress features an initial group of about a dozen nonprofits and microbusinesses trying to fund projects. Barnraising charges the recipient 6 percent of the money raised.