Digital-age businesses are built to deliver increased value at a fraction of the cost. Having a direct line of communication with consumers has allowed some of today’s most recognized brands to clearly understand the solutions their customers desire. Pairing this customer engagement with several technology advancements has enabled the introduction of personalized products and services that are redefining their industries.
Below are a handful of innovative brands that are attracting consumers with disruptive business models and creating loyal customers with solutions that reflect the purest understanding of what their customers want.
The travel industry is undoubtedly in the midst of a revolution and Airbnb is the lead agent for change. Travelers no longer have to think about commercialized hotels as their only option, as Airbnb has made it simple to find personalized and budget-friendly accommodations in any city.
The accommodation provider doesn’t own any single property itself but instead operates on a sharing economy platform, believing that home and property owners are willing to rent out their unused space to strangers. Airbnb works as a transaction facilitator between travelers and hosts. The company builds trust by offering host protection insurance and a rating/review system.
A report released by ShareBetter shows that Airbnb is significantly cheaper than booking a hotel in cities like San Francisco and New York. The daily rate for an Airbnb rental stood at $160.47, which is affordable compared to $163.90 for a hotel room.
Sonos is an American brand that has become the solution consumers turn to for multi-room, wireless home audio systems, including smart speakers. Owners can control the speakers from where they like. Moreover, an intuitive app allows users to manage several internet radio apps, such as Apple music, Spotify, and other streaming apps.
The service-based business model also enables users to use their voice to call out commands similar to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.
The SonosOne portable speaker is a prime example of a product that is redefining value and affordability for an industry. The SonosOne retails for less than $200 and delivers quality sound in any room, comparable to that of in-home audio solutions costing hundreds more. An option to distribute this cost across interest-free installment payments is a savvy business practice that makes Sonos available to a larger number of consumers, creating the possibility of relationship-deepening as each customer’s needs evolve.
Warby Parker is a customer-centric online retailer for affordable and stylish eyewear. Each time a person buys a pair of glasses, he/she donates a pair to someone in need through the VisionSpring program. The brand’s ambition is to provide designer eyewear at an affordable price while promoting socially conscious business.
Although Warby Parker may be slightly more expensive than competitors like EyeBuyDirect and Zenni Optical, nothing beats the overall quality offered by Warby Parker. Customers can buy their glasses in an online shop or trendy retail stores and add ons are available via a phone. Their prescription services, insurance discounts, and charitable practices help lower the cost of glasses shopping and increase efficiency in regards to the time spent shopping.
Warby Parker’s desire to continue redefining the eye care industry with attractive and affordable eyewear has recently extended into contact lenses with the introduction of their blue-light cancelling lens, Scout.
SmileDirect is one brand with a business model that is disrupting the orthodontics industry. The company has a solution-based business model that offers customized orthodontic aligners to customers who pay through a subscription service.
Customers get to interact and engage with licensed orthodontists through a face-to-face consultation. Unlike regular dental visits, SmileDirect seeks to provide a high level of engagement with its customers by delivering impressions through a 3D scan carried out at a SmileBus or Smileshop. Sometimes a personalized mold is sent to a customer’s home, and in 48 hours, they receive a customized treatment plan after a review of their case by a licensed orthodontist or dentist.
SmileDirect ships their custom-made aligners to customers with they expectation that they last up to 10 months. During this time, the dentist will review the treatment progress through a remote dentistry platform.
The company disrupted the orthodontics industry by offering affordable aligners by leveraging the subscription model.
Stitch Fix is a brand that handles personalized style in a convenient yet affordable way. The company provides its customers with a questionnaire, where they get to send back the replies and have them reviewed by an in-house stylist.
The stylist will then choose five accessories or clothing items that fit the customer’s budget and taste. These are sent via mail at no upfront cost. Customers also get style tips on how to accentuate and look good in their new pieces. The consumer will send back the pieces he/she doesn’t like and keep the ones he wants.
One unique aspect about this brand is that the customer only pays for what they get to keep. However, there’s a 25% discount if one keeps all five items. Stitch Fix seeks to create a personalized retail experience at a reasonable price.
Unlike Amazon Prime Wardrobe that doesn’t offer a stylist and gives you seven days to make up your mind, Stitch Fix comes with a personal stylist, and you get a discount if you choose to keep the items sent to you.
Viscosoft is a US-based sleep brand with over a decade of experience producing mattress producing mattress toppers, protectors and bedding. Early on, the company was convinced that offering a mattress topper with a thoughtful design and innovative materials would establish a unique path to restful sleep, more value and better well-being for savvy consumers.
Versatility is a key, value-creating aspect of Viscosoft’s most popular product. Rather than spending $800 - $1,200 upgrading mattresses in guest bedrooms, college dorm rooms, pull-out couches or recreational vehicles, customers use Viscosoft mattress toppers to create luxurious sleep in these environments for a fraction of the cost.
Another value-generating aspect of Viscosoft’s toppers are the recent enhancements to the best-selling model. One version was infused with lavender for a calming scent to provide relaxation before falling asleep, and the other was created with active charcoal for its antimicrobial protection and cooling properties.
The company’s combination of performance, quality, and affordability positions it as a brand redefining the sleep industry.
These are just some of the brands redefining value through unique consumer offerings and innovative business models. From home automation to sleep industry inventors, these companies create compelling options for consumers looking to improve their life with solutions that clearly understand their needs and commit to stretching their budget.