For startups, especially e-commerce companies, branding is everything. A slogan, an ad, even the design of the logo can make the difference between success and failure. But understanding how to develop a brand and strategically evolve that brand over time isn’t the easiest task. Luckily, three experts are coming to Disrupt to talk through the ins and outs. Red Antler’s Emily Heyward, Brandless’ Tina Sharkey, and Casper CEO Philip Krim will join us at TC Disrupt SF in early September, and it’s a conversation you won’t want to miss. Emily Heyward cofounded Red Antler in 2007 after working in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree focused on postmodern theory and consumer culture. At Red Antler, she serves as Chief Strategist and has helped brands like AllBirds, BirchBox and Casper find their unique voice in a cluttered market. Tina Sharkey hails from Brandless, the new e-commerce company that brings its own line of household and food items to the market for $3 each. Brandless has raised nearly $300 million since launching in 2016, an impressive feat on its own. What makes Brandless so attractive to investors? Tina Sharkey’s unwavering focus on understanding her customers. Alongside democratizing these products, and bringing eco-friendly and FDA-approved ‘safer choice’ goods to the masses, Sharkey makes data around consumer behavior a priority at the company, which helps with insights on how to sell Brandless’s portfolio of more than 300 products. Heyward and Sharkey will be joined by Casper CEO and cofounder Philip Krim. Casper sprung onto the market in 2013 with a relatively simple premise: sell a quality mattress for cheaper. While it makes sense, it’s not the sexiest brand proposition. But with the help of Heyward and Red Antler, and a keen sense of the type of customer who chooses Casper over a traditional mattress, Casper has become one of the most effectively marketed brands out there right now. We’re thrilled to hear from this trio of greatness at Disrupt SF. Check out the full agenda here. Tickets are still available even though the show is…
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Casper is opening a storefront designed specifically for sleepy New Yorkers in need of a nap. In The Dreamery, you can reserve nooks for 45 minutes at a time, at a cost of $25 per session. These nooks are basically giant wooden “O”s with curtains and soundproofed backing, and of course they’re stocked with Casper beds. It’s easy to dismiss or giggle about a nap store, but it seems a lot less funny when it’s a warm afternoon and you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open at work. In fact, I will happily confess to taking advantage of the TechCrunch New York couch after a big lunch, or after a morning that started stupidly early thanks to deadlines and embargoes. The Dreamery, of course, is a lot fancier than the office couch, as I discovered when I dropped by for a quick tour. Beyond the nooks themselves, there are also lockers to drop off your stuff, private washrooms to get cleaned up, a lounge for hanging out and drinking coffee before or after, plus additional amenities like pajamas and Headspace “sleepcasts.” (And yes, a Casper spokesperson assured me that the sheets are changed between each session.) “The Dreamery is about making sleep and rest a part of our regular wellness routines — similar to how many people prioritize a workout class,” said COO Neil Parikh in a statement. “The concept enables us to pilot new ways of bringing better sleep to more people and to more places — whether that’s here, the workplace, airports, or beyond.” Oh, and this new storefront is located on the same New York City block as a Casper sleep store, so it should be a pretty quick walk if you love the experience so much that you want to take a mattress home.