When we think about Direct to Consumer (DTC) e-commerce companies, most imagine the household brands like Warby Parker, Barkbox, or Casper. As a branding agency ourselves, we take a natural interest in understanding which new companies are well positioned to succeed.
Our list below highlights those brands.
There are very real concerns that many D2C companies face. To name a few - copycat competitors and the transition from paid to organic traffic. Casper’s journey explains these issues well. Casper’s intention was to disrupt a complacent mattress industry that was too slow to move offerings online. They achieved that disruption.
However, this doesn’t mean they’re profitable. Why? Since Casper’s inception, another 175 online mattress retailers have ‘disrupted’ the same industry with the same exact business model.
A D2C business model is the first way many companies choose to differentiate. However, when competitors naturally move online in the coming years, that differentiation will disappear. What can they do to separate themselves from competition?
We firmly believe that branding is the most important way to differentiate any business. Branding shapes content. Content shapes the way you interact with your target market. It’s important to get it right.
Annecy’s selections highlight the brands we believe are getting it right. We hope these companies continue to expand in their quest to produce interesting content, relatable memes, captivating design and great products.
Starting the Bible from front to cover can feel somewhat daunting. Alabaster offers individual books of the Bible with aesthetically-pleasing photography alongside the text. It's a creative twist on traditional Christian reading
This simple organizational change brings modern clarity, making the Bible more accessible to younger generations. Alabaster refers to their product as “an exploration of creativity, beauty and faith”.
Allbirds designs environmentally friendly footwear. They use natural materials like eucalyptus tree fiber and merino wool to lessen their carbon footprint.
Allbirds’ take on lessening the carbon footprint is quite ironic. Prioritizing simple designs, Allbirds finds a way to weave recycled bottles and cardboard into a surprisingly comfortable shoe.
Baboon to the Moon is a producer of weatherproof bags meant to last through any adventure.
Baboon bags are incredibly distinct. Their ultra-bright designs and weird graphics embody the concepts that make branding so interesting. Meant to “survive a zombie apocalypse and that guy at the airport hurling your bag across the runway”, their products are directed at those who like adventure.
With the tagline “a new way to paint”, Backdrop is a paint producer that offers 50 different colors. They curate in-house and these palettes are a dream for designers.
Backdrop only offers a small set of paint colors. This removes the 'paralysis by analysis' we experience when choosing between the thousand colors on traditional color swatches. This makes decision-making easier. Backdrop took out a huge portion of the work that comes with painting. This product was created to enhance the life it surrounds, making it perfect for the modern, photo-ready life.
Bathing Culture is an environmentally friendly, all natural bath product line including everything: salts, soaps and sanitizers.
Bathing Culture products are about being clean - in body and spirit. They make the personal experience of bathing more fun. Their natural ingredients and refillable artistic containers make self-care sustainable.
Bearaby sells weighted blankets with a distinct large knit design made from natural cooling fabrics.
Bearaby takes the weighted blanket trend and makes it more. Emphasizing design, Bearaby blankets don’t sacrifice aesthetics for functionality. While more expensive than the normal blanket, their Nappers make it worth the price tag for consumers by promising a calmer sleep.
Billie is best known for their razors subscriptions meant for women and now include a line of products including lip balm and dry shampoo.
Billie is blunt about their products being specifically for women and women’s needs. The limited color scheme emphasizes the women using the product and femininity with no cliche. Billie customers trust the brand because they prioritize both the fun and the functional.
Biocol Labs is a modern pharmacy for those a bit skeptical of traditional medicine. Their health products are plant-based and exclude the long list of chemicals found in more traditional products.
Biocol Labs speak the language of the consumer. With product names like “something for a cactus throat”, they move past the pharma-speak to something understandable and relatable.
Blueland sells cleaning products that are actually eco-friendly. They're for refills, not landfills. Place a Blueland tablet in an empty container then add water and you've just created soap. They created a way to reuse the same bottle without ever needing to send it elsewhere for repurposing/recycling.
Blueland’s brand is all about the straightforward - from the process of reproducing soap to the clear packaging on all their products. Blueland is targeted at consumers who lead clean lives - both environmentally clean and literally clean.
Bombas is an apparel company known for socks with a bee insignia.
Bombas is about comfort - whether you’re running a marathon or running around the house. Their mission is to match every purchase of socks and donate these pairs to homeless shelters. This reinforces the 'Comfort for All' belief. Bombas is for everyone.
Buffy is a home goods shop that sells temperature regulating bedding made from natural materials.
Buffy is about comfort - naturally. They do an exceptionally great job at conveying this comfort. Their font choices, their color palette, it all reinforces the idea that their bedding is ridiculously soft. They sell the products they make because they can guarantee their quality and the comfort of their customers. End to end they keep it cool - in their attitude and their product.
Cabinet is a Heath essentials commerce company that sells health kits. We personally believe these kits are ideal for people who would otherwise wait until they're sick to buy medicine.
The medicine kits of Cabinet are curated for preparedness. Now more than ever consumers understand the need to be as prepared as possible for all of life’s unpredictability. They bring peace of mind.
Chasing Paper sells wallpaper. Customers have to simply peel and stick to apply.
The aptly named Chasing Paper is about making a space truly one's own. The brand is about making the world you live in personalized. Their designs are much more tailored to the younger generations who are now in a position to buy their first homes. Other wallpaper companies are still stuck targeting older folk.
Christy Dawn creates sustainable fashion that meets at the crossroads of Little House on the Prairie chic and Bohemian.
Christy Dawn’s slogan “honoring Mother Earth” drips from every piece of clothing to the design of their website. The clothes are sustainable, but also in colors and fabrics that look like they belong in nature. The durability and timeless fashion will outweigh the price tag for customers who share their values.
Cotopaxi is a line of purpose driven adventure gear. They sell backpacks, sweaters, and outerwear.
The design team at Cotopaxi aimed to create products to help empower factory workers as makers. According to their website, they "had a bright idea, literally". They would use bright colored fabrics left over from other companies' scraps. They decided that factory workers should have creative control over what the backpacks look like. Each color combo listed is the brainchild of of one of these makers.
Counter Culture Clean is a line of cleaning products made of a probiotic tonic, backing away from harsh chemicals in typical household cleaners.
True to its name, this is the cleaner for those fed up with being calm. Who says your cleaner can’t match your personality? Hardcore families need clean homes, too. Abstract colorful bottle designs and the straightforward language of the brand exemplifies how culture can be changed by small acts of radicalism.
Curology creates a customized skincare subscription. Customers fill out their needs, then the info is sent to a dermatologist who then creates the specialized routine.
Curology sells simple skincare specifically made for each customer. The customized routine created by Curology isn’t just a one size fits all. They enable a personal touch through personalization and community.
Cult Gaia is a luxury apparel retailer that reimagines vacation-chic. With slow fashion pieces that are unlike any other, Cult Gaia invites you on their fantastical journey where everyday is a holiday in St. Tropez.
Earthy-patterns and natural elements seem to be a theme that threads throughout all of their merchandise. Cult Gaia is strangely unique.
Cuup is a bra and underwear shop specializing in unlined bras that fit women of all shapes and sizes.
The Cuup customer philosophy is that the bra should fit you, not the other way around. The fit should be perfect for the customer This attitude permeates their design and imagery. Every customer feels welcome.
Done with 2020 is a hysterical card game designed to alleviate some of the anxiety associated with "these uncertain times".
Far from a boring year, 2020 has been a miserable time for just about everyone in the world. This game offers an escape to laugh through the problems we're all experiencing together. A portion of every purchase will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the World Health Organization's COVID Response Fund.
Drunk Elephant is a cult-lifestyle brand that features skincare, hair, and body products. Earning fame and recognition from their Sukari Babyfacial, Drunk Elephant has become a favorite amongst Millennials and Gen Z alike.
Drunk Elephant keeps customers coming back for more because their products WORK. Backed by dermatologists and a lot of R&D, Drunk Elephant aims to make skincare fun and effective.
Feals is a CBD company with a mission of making every customer feel better.
The small, simple, and sleek packaging of Feals CBD exudes everything that matters to the brand. A simple and small change to a customer’s lifestyle that can yield big results. They're positioning themselves as the small change that makes their customers reduce stress, get better sleep, and feel less overall anxiety.
Their products accentuate the customer's natural beauty rather than replacing said natural beauty. In an Instagram-crazy world where everyone is augmented by filters and fillers, ForChics offers their customers a way to feel beautiful - the natural way. They would rather show their customers off than cover them up. We think honest and value-driven brands like this are going to excel in the eCommerce space.
Glossier is a beauty brand that offers everything related to beauty. They largely invented the phrase 'dewy'. Glossier rose to fame as one of the early players in the Beauty e-commerce game. By creating a vibrant community of followers, Glossier was able to resonate with their market and create an incredible return customer rate.
Glossier is an e-commerce powerhouse and they don't seem to be quitting anytime soon. Led by the principled and adored Emily Weiss, this company has a cult following and is an amazing company to watch in terms of e-commerce trends.
Great Jones sells pots and pans of all shapes and sizes. They're prepared to turn anyone into a chef.
Great Jones believes anyone can cook, they just need the right tools to do so. Great Jones showcases recipes made by professionals and amateurs alike using their product. Their product is made to be used, not displayed - but their bright colors look miles better than any other kitchenware.
Haus is a naturally-made alcohol brand that aims to make more hangouts instead of hangovers.
Haus proudly displays their ingredients because they believe the alcohol you drink should be a delight, not a mystery. The brand mirrors the story of the founders - natural alcohol made by winemakers.
Haute Hijab is a hijab apparel store that sells modern hijabs of varying fabrics and patterns.
Their products meet at the intersection of faith and fashion. Haute Hijab creates hijabs that help women feel strong, confident, and empowered.
Hers is a women’s wellness brand that offers a range of products for hair, skin, and health.
Hers is a straightforward brand that is straightforward about targeting exclusively women. Simple and approachable, Hers presents health as something each woman should take charge of. Instead of scouring the vitamins aisle in a grocery store, they deliver it right to your doorstep with reoccuring deliveries.
The brother-brand of Hers is Hims, a wellness brand for men.
Hims takes on things that men might shy away from in a doctor's office - like hair loss and erectile dysfunction. Instead of visiting a physical office for these prescriptions and conversations, users can simply enter a chat room with a doctor. It takes scary topics and makes them approachable.
Hubble is a subscription service for contact lenses made from high-grade methafilcon A hydrogel material.
Hubble is about quality, ease, and biodegradable packaging. This brand follows the philosophy of their contacts - make everything clearer.
ILIA Beauty is a beauty brand that focuses on skincare-specific products. Just recently hitting our radars this year, Ilia seems to combine the dewy freshness of Glossier with the sophistication and refine of the older players (Chanel. and Elizabeth Arden).
Everything about ILIA is clean and transparent. Beauty is sometimes murky, but ILIA beauty is all about the clear. With 18+ skin tones, this brand is incredibly inclusive as well, and even offers you an online questionnaire to help you find your color.
Jot is a liquid instant coffee that's 20x more concentrated than traditional coffee.
Jot is an acronym for “Just One Tablespoon”. Their simple iconography speaks for itself. Each 200ml bottle holds about 14 cups worth of coffee. They sell the world's most concentrated coffee.
Judy is an emergency kit company that sells "bug-out bags" for every kind of emergency.
Judy is bold and upfront. The orange waterproof bags are bright to hint at the preparedness purpose behind the bag. For consumers in areas prone to natural disasters, Judy offers a direct solution for the unexpected event. With toilet paper shortages around America earlier this year, it's always vital to stay prepared.
Jungalow is a home decor seller that features products such as bedding, wallpaper, and tabletop ceramics.
Every product on Jungalow is wildly unique. The brand radiates that wild style with their muted Jungle colors. The distinctive range of products allow consumers to curate their own wild jungle at home
Kaleidoscope Labs produces organic CBD-based fast acting capsules.
Kaleidoscope Labs looks as futuristic as the product they’re presenting. Clear language about the benefits of CBD is welcoming for both those familiar with the product and for those learning about it for the first time.
Kin is a beverage company that sells a non-alcoholic party drink called Euphorics. Unlike other non-alcoholic spirits, these are made of adaptogens, nootropics, and nourishing botanics.
Kin is an alternative nightlife drink meant for those who don’t desire the negatives of alcohol but still want a nightlife libation that helps them feel more connected. Kin cocktails ensure the drinker will have just as fun as anyone drinking alcohol without having to ever verbalize their sobriety to people at the party 5 times a night.
KNC Beauty is a black-owned K-beauty inspired beauty brand. Their packaging features the recognizable KNC eye and lip masks, and Beyonce even gave them a shout-out this year.
KNC Beauty's quirky masks make skincare more than a leisure activity. They have reimagined face masks and are being rewarded handsomely for it!
Lemon Aid is a digital doctor’s office and pharmacy. They offer around 30 different common prescriptions, all available online. You can purchase anything from COVID-19 At-Home test kits to prescription medicine for hot flashes.
LemonAid makes it easy to find the right service each person needs. Their branding makes healthcare welcoming and bright.
Magic Spoon is a keto cereal that’s High-Protein, Low-Sugar, Keto-Friendly, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, and Wheat-Free.
Magic Spoon clearly states they are a delicious, childlike cereal for grown-ups. Their visual aesthetics clearly speak to that childlike brand focus, but their nutritional information makes consumers completely forget that they’re paying $10 for a box of cereal.
Mirror sells a mirror screen that streams live and on-demand workout classes for your home.
Recently acquired by Lululemon for $500 million, Mirror is increasingly seen as a competitor to companies like Peloton. The New York Times called it the most "narcissistic exercise equipment ever" - but that was before we were all stuck inside our homes with limited access to gyms.
Modern Fertility is a fertility test that can be taken at home so women of any age can take charge of their fertility.
Modern Fertility makes it clear that fertility doesn’t have to be something mysterious that only doctors understand. The company branding makes it clear they are user friendly, user focused, and user specific.
Monday Swimwear is a swimsuit retailer that produces unique designs and comfortable fits for all body types. With high-quality materials and timeless designs, as well tops that accommodate up to E/F cups, Monday Swimwear is impossible to ignore.
The women who own Monday Swimwear require that each design is fitted 3-5 times, and on many different shapes, before it can be sold to consumers. Their meticulous design process and the unique designs that they create are what make them standout against the other swimwear e-commerce brands.
Molekule is a high-tech air purifier that destroys bacteria, going further than the other air purifiers that just collect said pollutants.
Molekule is sleek, modern, and above all, clean. Their powerful technology make it easy for those with asthmatic symptoms to fight back against their spring sneezes.
MUDWTR is a coffee substitute for those who crave a coffee-like focus but dislike the anxiety, jitters, and beehive feeling associated with too much caffeine.
Lions Mane + Chaga mushrooms are surprisingly effective tool for concentration. Mushrooms are porous. As such, it can be challenging to stir the powder in a way that truly removes a chalky taste. Your first purchase includes an electric frother to solve that problem.
Myro is a natural aloe-based deodorant made with bacteria neutralizing probiotics. They place the product in reusable cases unlike other deodorants on the market and provide refills through a customizable subscription service.
They emphasize the personal in personal hygiene. Myro has the ability to customize a normally mundane part of a consumer’s day while being eco-conscious.
Nanit is a baby monitor smart system that connects phones with cameras and helpful data. Akin to a FitBit, they offer helpful monitoring system - a wearable breath tracker so parents can have peace of mind without interrupting the sleep patterns of their child.
Nanit takes everything technology has to offer to make parenting a little easier. They increase peace of mind while decreasing the overwhleming urge to become a helicopter parent.
Nuggs are chicken nuggets without the chicken. Made from soy protein, they mimic the texture and taste of animal-based nuggets without the meat. Their branding is bold and properly fun. I mean - who else is getting chicken nuggets in the mail right now?
Nuggs allows modern consumers to enjoy the childlike nostalgia and taste without any of the guilt. Traditional chicken nuggets aren't exactly world-renowned for their health. In a world where more consumers are hesitant about consuming animal-based foods, Nuggs is providing a vegan replacement without sacrificing the tastes we know and love.
Number Two is a DTC brand for bamboo fiber toilet paper. Simply subscribe to a reoccurring plan and you never have to remember to buy TP again.
The website URL 'www.gono2.com' largely captures the mood of the brand - they're out there. They are helping earth-conscious consumers make the most eco-friendly everyday choices (even when it comes to butt stuff).
Nurx is a healthcare service that delivers prescriptions and test kits to users doorstep. They work to minimize the cost of healthcare for all users.
Nurx is about taking control of your body from your home. Their offering of sexual and reproductive health products to the users door takes the hardship out of getting necessary healthcare.
Ollie is a personalized dog food service. Customers input information about their dog (age, weight, breed) and vet-crafted recipes are made specifically for your pet.
Ollie makes it clear they understand that dogs are family and that they deserve high quality food. It'd be a very painful existence to only eat one dry kibble for the entirety of your life. Ollie somewhat resembles human food delivery services. They assure the consumer that this food is high quality and professionally made.
Our Place is a kitchenware retailer that produces their signature Always Pan, a pan meant for the work of several pieces of traditional cookware.
Our Place embodies a certain homely feeling. It’s practical, simple, and wildly aesthetically pleasing - just how cooking should be. The Always Pan saves a considerable amount of cabinet space for consumers.
Outdoor Voices is an activewear company that encourages all wearers to always be #DoingThings.
When I go for a half-mile jog, I don't need elite performance gear meant for an Olympian. I just want something comfortable and practical. When Outdoor Voices say they empower people to be Doing Things, they mean it. Outdoor Voices makes activewear fun, encouraging, and less intimidating.
Parks Project is a clothing retailer that uses specific collections to fund specific national parks.
For Parks Project, it’s about more than just creating clothes that people can wear while exploring. Adventure loving consumers appreciate Parks Project because they can rep their favorite spot in style while keeping it protected. The gift shop at Yellowstone National Park isn't exactly known for creative design - but Parks Project is.
Raised Real is science-backed organic food company for babies and toddlers, shipped directly to the door of parents.
Raised Real goes farther than organic baby food. It’s the stepping stone for healthy habits that will carry on into adulthood. Realness comes from every angle, from the ingredients in the food to the straightforward process. A new parenting trend is pushing adventurous little eaters to try 100 different foods by their first birthday. Raised Real makes that sound somewhat possible.
Ripple is a line of single use diffusers meant to replace nicotine products like the Juul. Ripple contains zero nicotine and is actually a plant-based inhalant with 4 different flavors.
Ripple keeps it real about the dangers of nicotine while providing a fun, healthier alternative. The modern, clean aesthetics ensures that no one will confuse Ripple with the harmful chemicals in nicotine products - but will still give them a relaxing, peaceful feeling they love.
Seed is a science-based collective that researches healthy bacteria and microbiome to create products like their Daily Synbiotic. They combine probiotics and prebiotics for system health.
What makes Seed different from others like it is the absolute earnestness they use to approach health and science. The science behind their product is complicated, but the way they care for the user is obvious. They even explain how to read their label. Seed helps turn in a complex, important subject into something simple and attainable.
Seedlip produces non-alcoholic distilled spirits.
Seedlip looks as natural as it is. It’s cool and sophisticated. It ensures that the consumer won’t miss out on the depth of taste that comes with drinking just because they aren’t drinking alcohol. Their website has dozens of mixologist-inspired drink recipes meant to ensure you feel swanky while you drink. Non-alcoholic drinks are becoming rather popular in certain demographics.
Spero is a dairy-alternative to cheese made from sunflower seeds and superfood ingredients. They make alternative flavored cream cheeses, alternative goat cheese, and alternative eggs.
Spero is incredibly fun and vibrant. The colors are futuristic, exhibiting the world that their futuristic product is helping consumers get to. Spero makes a dairy-less world look like an exciting one.
TALA is a sustainable clothing retailer that offers an environmentally friendly blend of active and casual wear.
These clothes are for the active - socially, physically, and environmentally. TALA’s dedication to sustainability sets it apart by putting their mission to make thoughtful clothing front and center.
Tanrevel is a self-tanning mister that uses a cruelty-free, paraben-free, PFSA-free, vegan formula.
Tanrevel is about sophistication made easy. It's self tanner made simple. The product's sleek look reflects a modern technology that will hopefully make harmful fake baking obsolete. Tanrevel looks as lustrous as it wants customers to feel after getting a good, natural tan.
Tea Drops is a line of bagless dissolvable loose leaf teas that simply need to be dropped in a cup of boiling water.
It’s so easy that anyone can make a great tea in seconds with vibrant colors that make your tea a bright spot in the user’s day.
The Sill is a plant retailer that offers a wide variety of babies for plant parents. While many struggle to keep a plant alive, The Sill has the intention of making it possible for anyone to have and care for plants.
Their customization for specifications also ensure that every plant fits the life (read: watering habits) of the consumer. What’s great about the Sill is their belief and support that literally anyone can have a green thumb.
Tushy is a line of bidets and bidet attachments/accessories, making the intimidating European cleaning technology now accessible to everyone. Think a bidet is gross? That's fine, go back to using your hand and a small sheet of paper, you primitive animal.
Tushy keeps it real about having a butt. The forward friendliness of this brand normalizes talking about the backside.
Universal Standard is a clothing retailer that focuses on size inclusivity. They define their sizes based on the bell-curve of real women’s sizes - meaning a medium is a size 18-20.
Universal Standard makes it easy to shop no matter your size. Inclusivity is everything - in the sizes, the photos, and the styles they carry. Universal Standard refuses to allow anyone to feel excluded because everyone deserves to love the experience of buying clothes.
Winc is a wine club membership that makes users take an introductory quiz. Your answer choices help the Winc team curate and suggest bottles that fit your flavor profiles and personality.
The purpose behind the Winc membership is to make wine more accessible. Wine can be intimidating for those who don’t feel like experts but Winc makes it simple. Winc is welcoming to winos of every knowledge level. No need to judge a bottle by the label.
Windmill is an eco-friendly smart air conditioning unit that can be installed by the user and controlled with a phone.
Windmill is making A/C more user friendly and earth friendly. Windmill focuses on one product and one mission - to make everyone’s life cooler.
Wone is a brand of luxury activewear.
Wone focuses on the performance capabilities of its fabric and design over everything else. Activewear that is also minimalist and edgy makes these clothes worth the price for those seeking sleek athletic clothing.
Youth to the People is a skincare brand that offers products for all different skin types. Everything is made from vegan ingredients.
This brand offers exactly what’s in the name: Youth. Youthful skin, attitude, and ideas surrounding what can be done to make the world a more sustainable place.
Yumi is an organic baby food service that has recipes and formulas to match each stage of development.
The thing that helps Yumi stand out from other baby foods is their sincere belief in helping babies grow into the best people possible, starting with what they eat. Yumi is more than a baby food, it’s a support system for the growth of a wonderful little human.
Thursday, June 25, 2020