It’s time we talk about these direct to consumer companies, and the way that they handle their design. It seems everyday that there is a new industry that is shaped by these juggernauts: first, it was the mattress industry, with companies like Casper and Tuft & Needle promising to help you get away from pushy mattress salesman breathing down your neck and offering a seamless way to order a mattress online. Then came Brandless, a service, as the name suggests, taking the virtue away from brands and providing everyday home and pantry essentials at a price lower than what most would pay at a discount chain. And, of course, came companies like Away and CHESTER – the former, in my opinion, is truly the best carry on luggage – which take away the frustration of lugging heavy baggage around and introduce sleek
What do all of these companies have in common? These brands cater to people’s desire for simplicity and remove the hassle from searching and having to decide from hundreds of options. It all boils down to this: manufacturing and distributing products without a middleman, direct interaction with consumers, and seamless branding and buying experiences.
So, where does design come into this? Well, where doesn’t it? These companies turn their traditional industries upside down. Take Casper for example, where it reached the younger millennial demographic by using urban spaces in its ad campaigns. Trendy and unique. Dollar Shave Club took a similar approach: they made a funny, goofy video that didn’t come across as an advertisement, and went with their brand image. The scene that was set was similar to a goofy video that your brother’s friend would take in a garage. The result? It worked, and in three months, the advertisement clocked in at just under 5 million views.