Think of some of the more recent companies – those that we call "competing brands." He praised the categorization of entire groups, changing the way traditional commercial marketers think about their business and changing the way people shop. Beyond Kaspersky and Barbie Barkers in the world – yet, do not forget those names yet – new companies like Hims, Everlane, Brandless, Allbirds and Otherland capture Instagram channels and win new customers.
These names may not yet be familiar, but they soon become popular trademarks with the ensuing cult, especially among younger generations. Perhaps the most intriguing of the new bereaved brands that have gained new consumers is the reason that many of these brands have the same feeling. They have a clean brand, attractive names displayed in modern lines, and are usually contaminated with bright colors or soft floral colors and elegant lamination. When you look at the design of these brands – Think of Harry or Glossier – and how they are marketed to the world, it is clear that there is a common aesthetic.
Is it any surprise that you know that there are only three brand stores supported by a small group of VC companies that are responsible for marketing, design and helping launch a number of these competing brands?
Red Antler, Partners & Spade and Gin Lane were established within months of each other (the first two in 2007 and the second in 2008) with slightly different goals. Red Antler started to work only with start-ups, while Partners & Spade began its fashion business, helping J.Crew open the first men's boutique in Liquor Store in Tribeca.
"It's an incredibly small group of people who have done a lot of work on many of these brands," explained Jesse Derris, founder of Public Relations and Communications, Direys, who works closely with the three stores and their clients.
Today, all companies operate with a similar customer base and sometimes operate on the same brands. For example, Partners & Spade and Gin Lane are credited with helping Hims, an e-commerce company for men's well-known for subway advertising that is characterized by the production of cactus. Partners and Spade contributed to brand name, visual identity and brand identity, while Jin Lin worked on brand strategy, web design, technical direction, packaging and marketing.
By March 2018, Hems had already sold nearly $ 10 million worth of products, according to Wired, and the valuation was $ 200 million. To confirm: Hims launched in November 2017. Marketing and design may not be all about when it comes to creating a successful brand, but it seems to play a big role in helping competitors move the whole categories.
"These brands have an aesthetic appeal to the millennium generation," said Allen Adamson, brand consultant and co-founder of Metaforce. "It's a clever design without boasting or arrogance, all of these products are elegant, and do not necessarily capture class signals, they pick up the language of design that surrounds young people today."
So what is the secret? How can these three stores take startups and turn them into household names virtually overnight? And how can they even find their customers, who have never been seen at times when design stores sign up to work with them?
Companies that need to know
In 2007, a number of industry veterinarians – Emily Hayward, JP Osborne and Simon Andres – decided to break away from the world of traditional agencies. The three founding partners Red Antler opened the idea of working with entrepreneurs to help them introduce and develop new brands. Of course, the knowledge they gained from working with major brands in higher agencies was essential.
"We took the parts that we thought were very important and stripped us of a lot of things that we felt were impractical to make things really," said Osborne, co-founder and chief executive of Red Antler.
With this approach, the team soon signed on to its first client, a network of creative professionals called Behance. When they did, there was no company that spoke about them exactly. Instead, three people were in the process of launching a network. But Reid Antler saw it as an opportunity to learn about startup from the ground. Osborne recalled the experience of "[an] An amazing opportunity to see within an emerging company, be within the company while building the company.
"I think this has helped us to truly empathize with what the founders are going through to get a business in the world," he said.
This story is typical of the way Red Antler deals, even today. While the company will work with well-established brands that are looking for full-fledged companies or at an early stage in need of assistance to enter the next stage of growth, much of what the team is doing is working with startups before starting. Red Antler helps in everything from brand name to package design and even marketing strategy assistance.
Take Casper. Red Antler worked with the mattress brand directly to the consumer early when the company did not collect much money and did not have a name.
"Help us create a complete identity system," explained Heyward, co-founder and strategic expert at Red Antler. Heyward worked on everything from a box-like box to what the brand would be like and "all the initial photography and the first few assurances of the site," she said. All those polished and distinctive subway ads you might have seen at Casper? Those came from the red horny.
Jin Lin began with a similar approach in terms of customers. The company will have projects from well-established brands such as Nike and Hall Foods, but has also worked with companies such as Check Shack and Bonobos at an early stage of growth. At present, Jin Lin is mostly focused on this third Aquarius, the brands it launches in the market. Some of these products include Harry, Hem, Halo Alfred (a company that allows you to hire people to do your work for you) and, most recently, a line of sparkling water known as Recess and Noken. Overall, Jin Lin said he launched more than 50 startups and created nearly $ 10 billion of market value.
"Our approach has always been to be lean and mediocre," said Emmete Shine, CEO of Gin Lane. "At this stage, 100 percent of our work with startups is at an early stage, we do not do stadiums, we do not do auctions, it saves us time and resources because we will not go out and try some big jobs for Heineken or Nike."
Developed by fashion designer Andy Speed (Kate Speed), Barton & Speed has first reached the start-up area after working with J-Crew on its men's work. From this project, Spade and partner Anthony Sperduti met the founders of Warby Parker and began to help the brand with social media, brand books, and ad campaigns, and eventually helped design its first retailer.
This relationship with Warby, said Sperduti, opened the doors for Partners & Spade to find its great power: marketing and launching startups.
Find the right customers
So how exactly do these companies find brands working with them, especially given that their clients often have a business idea drafted but no company is talking about?
"We are often seeing opportunities before investors," said Osborne of Red Antler. "Our founders have ideas that reach us and then we must have a process to be able to filter out these opportunities and verify them."
This is why agencies such as Red Antler and his peers are referring to this feature and know all these brands before anyone else because of the relationships they built in the New York startup community.
For Sperduti and his team at Partners & Spade, he works as an expert at the Warby Parker creative agency for almost eight years, when many new start-ups are introduced as Warby Parker of X, helping them find many new customers. Because of that relationship, the two companies were lucky enough to meet many of Warbi's investors, and many other start-ups that they liked and needed help with. "
After working with Warby Parker, Partners & Spade established a relationship with the Dari brand in DTC (prior to launch), Shinola, Hims and Peloton. For a brand already known as Peloton, Partners & Spade worked on its first national advertising campaign, but for a brand like Harry's, the company started early and helped launch the brand for the world (since then the secondary brand For women's Flamingo).
The relationships in startup were critical to the success of the three companies.
"We spend a lot of time understanding the scene, being part of a community, and identifying the right people, be they founders, investors or entrepreneurs," Osborne said.
Another point of discrimination is that companies will often do justice to the clients you choose to work with. For some, it's a "cost-bearing" way companies can deal with them when working with customers who do not have much money for marketing and branding, Derris said.
In the past, Derris acquired a small amount of shares, but in August 2017, Amity Supply, a $ 10 million fund, was launched to help support these types of customers. Derris works closely with Warby Parker, but has also worked with the likes of Everlane and Harry's.
Gin Lane's Shine estimates that the company has shares in between 2 and 13 of its customers, but has not identified any of them. Red Antler also takes stock of many of its clients, some of which have continued to make huge valuations such as Casper's $ 170 million.
(It is unclear whether Spade Partners also takes shares in customers, and the company did not respond to a request to comment on equity rights.)
Creating signs of the future
Many of the time, these companies with a brand of getting going. They have seen the work plan under implementation, they work together with the founders to see the brand objectives and how to create a brand voice. It's a unique location, as many advertising agencies that work with major clients do not have access.
While each company conducts its own research on the target audience and comes out with a design and marketing strategy for customers, the common theme (and perhaps why many of these brands end up looking and feel) is that these companies believe that the design of an unknown brand should be clean And simple.
This simple design is possible thanks to the brand distribution model, according to Metaforce & Adamson. "Their basic distribution is direct, so they do not have to scream at their design," said Adamson. "They can talk to people and use a quieter design.All the products that these companies are sabotaging are designed to fight shelf wars when there's no online.
Take Keeps, the brand of hair loss properties for men, launched in early 2018. Knowing that there was a market for hair loss products targeting men in their early thirties was the first step. But how can they talk about hair loss without embarrassing their target audience? No one wants the room or neighbors to share local tablets or treatments to prevent hair loss. This means that the funds in which the products are shipped need to be confidential (ie mention of the brand in the shipping box) as with the packaging.
Hair loss is also a puzzling subject for some of the people many men need to learn about, says Steven Goetting, co-founder of Keeps. Some believe they can reverse hair loss once they start, which they can not do. So it must be quite clear in all areas, on its website and in marketing, that these products should be used early and often.
Staying closely with Red Antler in advance to help, "We woven this clear message and experience everything we do," the site, marketing, and unboxing experience, said Gutenag.
However, not all new brands sell products that are sensitive in nature. Some sell shoes, some market candles, while others disable the area of consumer packaged goods (see Brandless) by selling everyday items – such as coffee, kitchenware, facial scrub and tortilla chips – for only $ 3. The brand's strong focus, according to CMO Aaron Magness, brings back to the community (for each online order, Brandless donates one meal to Feeding America) as well as the use of premium ingredients in all products.
The brand communicates with these two key business values, with the help of Red Antler, with a simple white delivery box logo. Inside this box is the product name (dish soap, organic sunflower oil and so on) and several check marks that include all components listed (or not included) in this product. "The red company Antler has helped create a distinctive brand look that seamlessly communicates with the benefits of the product.
Since many of these brands are new and unknown to shoppers, Gin Lanes in the world must be absolutely certain that the brand they create will appear. People should be able to see the brand's product or ad, either on social networks or subway ads, and be able to understand what the brand sells and what it represents within seconds.
"For many of these brands, advertising is actually the first time people have been introduced to this company – it's not as if they're thinking," I remember I like this soda, let me go to the store and get it. We really have to tell a more detailed story that inspires massive behavioral change, "Hayward said.
While the simplified design strategy is working well for now, some in the small community are well aware that it can become old and fast. But this is the benefit of working with startups – they move quickly, adapt and change all the time. As well as the design companies that work with them.