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A leading business journalist takes us inside a business revolution: the upstart brands taking on the empires that long dominated the trillion-dollar consumer economy.
Dollar Shave Club and its hilarious marketing. Casper mattresses popping out of a box. Third Love’s lingerie designed specifically for each woman’s body. Warby Parker mailing you five pairs of glasses to choose from. You’ve seen their ads. You (or someone you know) use their products. Each may appear, in isolation, as a rare David with the bravado to confront a Goliath, but taken together they represent a seismic shift in a business model that has lasted more than a century.
As Lawrence Ingrassia--former business and economics editor and deputy managing editor at the New York Times--shows in this timely and eye-opening book, a growing number of digital entrepreneurs have found new and creative ways to crack the code on the bonanza of physical goods that move through our lives every day. They have discovered that manufacturing, marketing, logistics, and customer service have all been flattened—where there were once walls that protected big brands like Gillette, Sealy, Victoria’s Secret, or Lenscrafters, savvy and hungry innovators now can compete on price, value, quality, speed, convenience, and service.
Billion Dollar Brand Club reveals the world of the entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and corporate behemoths battling over this terrain. And what fun it is. It’s a massive, high-stakes business saga animated by the personalities, flashes of insight, and stories behind the stuff we use every day.
"Keen storytelling and painstaking reporting . . . [with] the pacing of a literary thriller. . . . [Ingrassia] ferrets out the most compelling, consequential stories and people behind the direct-to-consumer revolution." —The New York Times Book Review
"Far more than a journalistic take on unorthodox online retailers . . . [Ingrassia] offers an insightful description of how entrepreneurs armed with little more than an idea have undermined powerful incumbents in industries that once enjoyed tantalizing profit margins." —The Wall Street Journal
“Billion Dollar Brand Club is a fascinating, eye-opening adventure tour through the companies remaking our economy and lives. Lawrence Ingrassia’s stories of how start-ups have transformed nearly everything—from how we buy and sell to how we work and live—are critical reading. If you want to understand why you’re buying razors, or mattresses, or nearly everything else in a totally new way, then BUY THIS BOOK.” —Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better
“Lawrence Ingrassia has given us an exhilarating behind-the-scenes look at the personalities and processes shaping what we buy and how. Every page is full of insight and real-world stories about what it takes to create a product and brand that will be around for the long term in a world where things move faster than ever.” —Eric Ries, author of The Startup Way and The Lean Startup, and founder and CEO of LTSE
“Billion Dollar Brand Club chronicles the seismic changes rocking retail. Lawrence Ingrassia does a masterful job illuminating the new breed of internet-forged brands and the savvy entrepreneurs who have overthrown decades of thinking about what it means to sell.” —Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store
“In the last few years, upstart brands have come out of nowhere to take over huge businesses. Think Warby Parker, Casper, and Dollar Shave Club. How did they do it? That’s the question everyone, from consumers to the big brands who previously owned these categories, wants to know. Lawrence Ingrassia’s engaging, must-read new book, Billion Dollar Brand Club, has the answers.” —Bethany McLean, coauthor of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here
“In Silicon Valley, billion dollar companies were once called ‘unicorns’ because they were so rare. These businesses have disrupted the entire retail sector, but until now no one has really understood how they did it. Lawrence Ingrassia’s fascinating, fast-paced, and truly elucidating book details how a herd of unicorns changed the way we live, and will continue to disrupt the business world for decades to come.” —Nick Bilton, special correspondent, Vanity Fair, and author of Hatching Twitter