We live in very interesting times of new brands and new approaches to business. This process is especially noticeable in the United States, where over the past few years many new companies have been born that have occupied their own unique niches. Both in technology and retail.
The Insider Picks team has done its own research on countless new products, learned the stories of many new and established brands, and measured the growth of dozens of companies, both long-established and recent, but already beloved by consumers. 2018 has been a very interesting year for US retailers for a number of reasons - great products have been launched and great social initiatives have been launched with far-reaching effects.
All of the companies listed below are excellent examples of what a modern brand should be like to become truly successful. An example of the fact that it is important to have not only a good product, but also your own mission, that not only high-quality branding is important, but also a unique approach to each client.
It is still a young company that started its journey in 2010 as an online store for men's clothing. The uniqueness of her approach lies in the fact that Everlane managed to find a way to reduce prices without reducing the quality of products, thanks to well-established supply chains that exclude intermediaries. The company also became famous for its openness - consumers are always aware of the cost of the products they purchase.
Everlane pays a lot of attention to various green initiatives. So, in 2018, the company allocated $260,000 to clean up coastal areas across the country from debris. Several collections of clothing created exclusively from recycled materials were presented. And 2018 was also marked by the appearance of the first Everlane offline retail stores.
This brand, which specializes in women's bags and backpacks, managed to make it to the list thanks to the quality and convenience of its products, original, albeit very simple design, and exceptionally thoughtful marketing. The company is gradually but very competently increasing its presence in clothing stores and fashion boutiques. Consumers are gradually getting used to the fact that Dagne Dover is fashionable and cool. Well, having tested the company's products in action, they become its fans. Rarely does an experimental startup manage to reach such heights.
The main achievement of this not the youngest brand (it exists since 1989) is its contribution to the preservation of the environment. The company is committed to using recycled materials, making efforts to reduce pollution, and is also the founder of the 1% for the Planet movement, bringing together a wide variety of people. In 2018, she donated $10 million to support environmental activists. Also this year Patagonia took an active part in various social initiatives. For example, on Election Day, the brand's stores were closed to remind citizens to vote rather than shop.
A company that specializes in bras and other underwear stands out with a 30-day Try Before You Buy program. Thanks to her, customers can choose the most suitable model for themselves without overpaying for experiments. The returned bras are distributed to women's charities. In 2018 alone, the company donated over $4 million worth of bras, including to victims of the recent California wildfires.
The company has also expanded its bra size range to 70 sizes, up from an industry average of 30.
There are many manufacturers of travel bags and suitcases in the world. And competent marketing techniques help the Away brand to stand out among this variety. The company's products managed to break into the tops of sales and become desirable for many people fascinated by the romance of travel. In 2018, the brand managed to attract additional funding, as well as conclude a number of lucrative contracts. The growth in popularity of Away products is facilitated by the periodic release of exclusive models produced in small runs.
This manufacturer of women's sportswear was originally famous for paying a lot of attention to the rights and opportunities of women. In 2018 Athleta made several significant steps in this direction. The company introduced several unique products, such as the Empower bra, designed specifically for breast cancer survivors, and also participated in the PACE program, which provides educational opportunities for working women. However, the company paid a lot of attention to marketing, presenting several new designer clothing collections.
Allbirds is committed to creating the most comfortable shoes, created exclusively from environmentally friendly materials. In 2018, she managed to significantly expand the range of products offered. And also to attract new investors. The popularity of the brand has also grown noticeably (by the way, it is still very young - it appeared only in 2014), the loyalty of consumers who already had experience in purchasing Allbirds products has increased.
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Tommy John. And she managed to adequately celebrate the anniversary by presenting a new line of underwear. And if before that the brand specialized exclusively in men's underwear (which managed to become famous as very comfortable and stylish, although not the cheapest), this time solutions for women were also presented. Good sales showed that the new line was very favorably received by customers.
Rent the Runway
Founded in 2008, the service offers users the opportunity to rent designer clothes, including from fashion brands such as Jason Wu and Rebecca Minkoff. In 2018, the company managed to reach the figure of 9 million users and get new impressive investments. Rent the Runway perfectly understands the needs of its customers, thanks to which it can make new decisions that allow the company to gain a stronger foothold in the market.
This Illinois brand specializing in grocery kits and food delivery managed to strengthen its position in 2018 thanks to a competent expansion of the range of products. True, in the same year, Home Chef lost its independence - the company was absorbed by a large supermarket chain Kroger for $700 million. However, this only benefited the brand and the range of services it offered expanded.
A very well-known distribution network in the United States that is just beginning to capture foreign markets. This is the oldest of all the brands presented here, its history began in 1903. Nevertheless, despite its considerable age, the company remains young at heart and knows how to follow the trends of the time, and is not afraid to experiment. While her competitors struggle to survive target managed to increase in 2018 the total sales figures immediately by 5.7% and online sales by a fantastic 49%. And this is in a crowded US market. The company expanded its range of services and added new formats of small stores, which allowed it to capture new territories inaccessible to classic hypermarkets. Also, more and more attention is paid to the Internet and new technologies.
This womenswear brand made the list thanks to the introduction of a new collection that is designed for sizes 00-40 (US standards). That is, absolutely all women are covered, from very thin to obese. The main emphasis is on the fact that, regardless of the figure, Universal Standard clients will be able to purchase the same fashion item. Prior to this, very overweight women had to visit exclusively specialized stores, far from the world of fashion. The company also managed to attract a number of large investors and sign contracts with famous designers.
It is noteworthy that many of the companies listed above are not yet well known in Russia and Eastern Europe. But everything is just beginning, there is no doubt that in the very near future they will win the hearts of many of our consumers.