Interbrand is out with a list of 30 brands it suggests are shaking up established categories in the U.S., from food and health to finance and online messaging.
The breakthrough brands list was narrowed down from 400 brands nominated by Interbrand’s staff and outsiders. The Omnicom Group branding consultancy did research to see which ones best meet its criteria of understanding human truths, creating exceptional brand experiences and delivering superior business results.
“This new class of Breakthrough Brands give an indication of the themes that will shape a post-pandemic world,” Naeiri Zargarian, associate strategy director, Interbrand New York, said in a statement. “The past year surfaced cultural tensions that will continue to be opportunities for brands and institutions; the realities of modern parenthood, inclusivity and representation across categories and a willingness to tackle historically taboo topics.”
This year’s lineup includes some names that may be familiar to many, such as Discord and Signal, which are already go-to messaging platforms among plenty of users.
Some of the brands on the list were established in the last couple of years. Brands founded in 2019 include Cameo, which offers personalized messages from celebrities; acne sticker brand Starface; and Asian meal kit line Omsom, which was founded by Vanessa and Kim Pham and launched a kit with Pepper Tiegen earlier this year.
Two brands founded in 2020 that made the list are SpringHill Company, a media and entertainment group founded by Lebron James and Maverick Carter, and Greenwood Bank, a digital banking brand that is tailored to Black and Latino customers. Each of those is among the brands created by people from minority groups to address needs not being met by mainstream products. Others include Bread Beauty Supply, a haircare line for Black and curly hair. Interbrand said other brands nominated in a similar space included Adwoa Beauty, Pattern Beauty and Sunday II Sunday.
There are also brands that can even be seen as challengers to brands that were only recently named breakthrough brands. Peloton was on Interbrand’s list in 2016, when it was a newcomer gearing up to take on the fitness industry. One of Interbrand’s picks for 2021 is Zwift, an at-home fitness brand aimed at cyclists that was founded in 2014.
Zwift CEO and Co-Founder Eric Min shared with Interbrand that the idea for Zwift came as he found himself having to do much of his riding indoors and missing the social connection he had from outdoor rides. Zwift has a “bubbly aesthetic, Fortnite-inspired visuals and seamless, engaging user experience,” according to Interbrand.