Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love from Day One (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
The 2020 Porchlight Marketing & Sales Book of the Year
The cofounder and chief branding officer of Red Antler, the branding and marketing company for startups and new ventures, explains how hot new brands like Casper, Allbirds, Sweetgreen, and Everlane 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.
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 Boxed. 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.
"Clear, useful and refreshingly honest, this is a practical manual on how modern marketing actually works. Buy a copy for everyone on your team."—Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing
"A lucid and engaging playbook on why “brand” is the most fundamental, human, and engaging element of any great venture--why it’s the business DNA, and not just the representation of it. Obsessed keeps you anchored to the raison d'etre!"—David Bell, co-founder and president of Idea Farm Ventures
"I look to invest in companies with promising new models, and a focus on brand that starts with a true understanding of the consumer. Emily Heyward's book is a fascinating look into how branding really works, and why it matters."—Kirsten Green, founding partner of Forerunner Ventures
"We’re all prey to our obsessions. (Yes, even you). Ready to find out why? This book will show you."—Sally Hogshead, author of How the World Sees You and Fascinate
"When we started Casper, our brand strategy affected every decision—and in this book, Emily Heyward shows you how. Anyone starting a company should read this."—Philip Krim, co-founder and CEO of Casper
"The startup landscape is always shifting, but across every category we're looking to invest in people who understand the power of brand. This book, with Emily’s valuable advice, is essential for getting it right."—Ben Lerer, managing partner at Lerer Hippeau and CEO of Group Nine Media
“Obsessed is a clear, informed blueprint founders and marketers can use to craft a resilient brand—one that will not only break new ground, but inspire an unforgettable customer connection.”—Nir Eyal, author of Hooked and Indistractable
“Nobody understands the development of modern brands better than Emily Heyward.”—Scott Belsky, founder of Behance and author of The Messy Middle
"Heyward has written a thought-provoking book on the concept of brand . . . At once imaginative and pragmatic, this will appeal to those who regard branding as a sometimes daunting task."—Library Journal
"Zesty debut . . .This breezy, insightful guide to understanding what customers actually want, and building a brand to meet that need, is an encouraging thumbs-up to start-up hopefuls."—Publishers Weekly