Obsessed

Building a Brand People Love from Day One

Emily Heyward

Portfolio, June 2020

The cofounder and chief branding officer of Red Antler, the branding and marketing company for startups and new ventures, explains how hot new millennial brands like Casper, Allbirds, Sweetgreen, Everlane, and more successfully build devoted fan followings right out of the gate.

We’re in the midst of a startup revolution, with new brands popping up every day, taking over our Instagram feeds and vying for our affection. Every category is up for grabs, and traditional brands are seeing their businesses erode as hundreds of small companies encroach on their territory, each hoping to become the next runaway success. But it’s not enough to have a great idea, or a cool logo.

Emily Heyward founded Red Antler, the Brooklyn based brand and marketing company, to help entrepreneurs embed brand as a driver of business success from the beginning. In Obsessed, Heyward outlines the new principles of what it takes to build and launch a brand that has people queuing up to buy it on opening day. She takes you behind the scenes of the creation of some of today’s hottest new brands, showing you:

  How Casper was able to upend the mattress industry by building a beloved brand where none had existed before
  How the dating app Hinge won a fanatical user base and great word-of-mouth with the promise that the app was “designed to be deleted”

  Why luggage startup Away, now valued at $1.4 billion, could build their brand around love of travel by launching with just one product–a hard-shell carry-on suitcase–rather than a whole range of luggage offerings.

Whether you’re starting a new business, launching a new product line, or looking to refresh a brand for a new generation of customers, Obsessed shows you why the old rules of brand-building no longer apply, and what really works for today’s customers.

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About the Author

Emily Heyward is the cofounder and chief brand officer at Red Antler, a full-service brand company based in Brooklyn. Emily works closely with founders to develop purposeful, strategic visions for their start-ups and has led branding efforts for top companies such as Casper, Allbirds, and Brandless. In 2018, she was named one of Inc.’s Top 100 Female Founders.

Emily graduated Magna Cum laude from Harvard University, where she studied postmodern theory and consumer culture. Born and raised in New York, she currently lives in Cobble Hill with her wife, son, and dog named Sprout.