SOURCE: American Giant

American Giant

November 20, 2014 12:41 ET

'I F**king Love That Company' Explores How a New Generation of Brand Builders Is Defining the Post-Amazon World

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner Randy Komisar and American Giant CEO Bayard Winthrop Pen Vision for the Future of Retail

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 20, 2014) -  What makes someone love a brand? In their new book, "I F**king Love That Company," American Giant CEO Bayard Winthrop and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Senior Partner Randy Komisar explore the emergence of a new kind of emotional connection to brands. The book offers a vision for the new dynamics of brand building and retail in a post-Amazon world.

Published by Paramount Market Publishing, Inc., the book is available today on Amazon.com.

"'I F**king Love That Company' represents a growing consumer sentiment for a new generation of brands that make great products, focus on incredible service and create true emotional connections," Winthrop said. "We're in a new world that's freed from the economic burdens of distribution and marketing -- a world where brands can focus everything on what the customer wants and forget about everything else."

The book makes the case that while Amazon.com proved you could build a store online, the next wave of commerce will be led by companies building great brands online. Winthrop and Komisar argue that powerhouse brands built on huge advertising budgets and brick-and-mortar distribution models are facing daunting futures, and some won't survive if they don't fundamentally change the way they think and do business.

Winthrop and Komisar describe a technology-driven dynamic where distribution is direct and brand love is spread through social media. Beyond e-commerce and putting stores online, Winthrop and Komisar see a new kind of company focused on creating great products, standing for something and delivering experiences so amazing that consumers will love the brand and tell everyone they know about it. Winthrop and Komisar believe that "never in the history of retail has the opportunity to build a brand been better."

"Technology has helped position consumers as the true north, inspiring new brands to adopt new retail models and allowing them the flexibility to carve out their businesses and stand for something," Komisar said. "These new rules for retail allow companies to better decide where to direct their dollars, toward value and personalization. It's an incredible time to be a consumer."

"Ten years ago, we couldn't have imagined that companies like Uber or Netflix would be changing our experience with fundamental things like taxis and entertainment. These companies and a host of new brands are opening our eyes to a whole new level of greatness -- to brands that stand for something, do great things and do it for reasonable prices," Winthrop said. "The apparel industry in particular is right in the middle of what we believe will be looked upon in the future as the golden age of modern brand building. It's an amazing time to be rethinking how to build a great brand."

About the Authors

Bayard Winthrop

Bayard founded American Giant after spending nearly 20 years running businesses in the consumer products space. He began his career in corporate finance at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, but soon left investment banking for a career as a business leader and innovator. He has held key leadership positions at a variety of brands, including Atlas Snowshoe (sold to K2 Sports), WBS (sold to Disney), Freebord Manufacturing (privately held) and Chrome Industries (privately held).

Randy Komisar

Randy Komisar is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm that invests in disruptive entrepreneurs looking to create and build world-changing businesses.

Earlier in his career, Randy was co-founder of computer software company Claris Corp., served as CEO for both LucasArts Entertainment and Crystal Dynamics and acted as a "virtual CEO" for such companies as WebTV and GlobalGiving. Randy also served as CFO of GO Corp. and as senior counsel for Apple Computer following a private practice in technology law.

Randy is the author of critically acclaimed, best-selling books "The Monk and the Riddle" and "Getting to Plan B," in which he covers topics such as personal improvement, business management and innovation. He is also a frequent lecturer and writer on topics such as leadership and entrepreneurship at academic institutions and in publications in the U.S. and abroad. Randy holds a B.A. in economics from Brown University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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