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Publisher's Summary

The 2020 Porchlight Marketing and 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.

©2020 Emily Heyward (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"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, cofounder 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)

What listeners say about Obsessed

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An inside look at the magic

This is my first written review for an Audible book (of 70+ books), so I hope that shows how impactful this book was. The author, Emily Heyward, gives an insightful peek behind the curtain for world-class brand development. I believe that we all feel that we know the key pieces of what goes into a successful brand, but when you actually try to put together the pieces, that’s when you realize that the lion’s share of what makes a brand is in the details (which is exactly what this book covers).

I don’t believe that I’ll ever have a brand/idea that is promising enough for Red Antler to take on, but I feel like I have the next best thing thanks to this book. 10/10 would recommend for all entrepreneurs!

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  • kristen
  • 2020-09-21

Must read for marketers and founders

The narration almost put me to sleep and made listening almost unbearable. However it was still better than reading the book. For marketers and founders, very strategically sound and important principals. For “millennial” consumers, relatable brands. However, I couldn’t help but feel it was biased toward accepting the fact that these products were better just because they were marketed better.