Warby Parker: Building A Brand From The Annual Report


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According to Inc.com, the purpose of an annual report is to assess the business’s yearly operations, present its view of the upcoming year.  Because annual reports are written for a wide range of audiences, they are also used as marketing tools to disseminate their perspective on company fortunes.

Warby Parker takes that perspective even further.

In “12 Lessons From Warby Parker’s Annual Report,” Ross Crooks from Forbes lays out the takeaway from Warby Parker’s 2013 Annual Report, like Be Visual, Show the People Under The Hood, and Don’t Fear The Tangential.

Salient points not only on report design, but also on how to build a brand for your company.


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5 thoughts on “Warby Parker: Building A Brand From The Annual Report

  1. In marketing, we learnt about brand loyalty and brand community and what companies do to secure their brand. A barnd can be a company’s greatest assets, especially when their profits are directly coming from consumers. Warby Parker is doing an excellent job creating a brand community that attracts a certain type of consumer. It makes the consumer feel cool, young, modern yet laid back. Reading the consumer report, it made me want to buy from them or perhaps work for them because I identified with the audience that they were trying to target, which goes to show how effective their style was. They strongly implement their brand into every corner of their business, even something like an annual report which most consumers wouldn’t read. This increases their brand credibility, and strengthens the narrative they want to portray to the world, as well as drawing in the consumers by making them feel like they want to be part of this brand. As a marketing major, innovative ideas like this make me really passionate, and I love seeing marketing tactics get implemented into things that generally don’t need marketing.

  2. The way that Warby Parker structures its annual reports is a brilliant marketing plan. Ross Crook’s article mentions several aspects in which the company excels with its reports. My favorites are “don’t fear the tangential” and “share the love”. These show that Warby Parker can take unrelated topics and connect them in an interesting a fresh way. When they provide random information, it is always relatable to the reader which enamors the reader towards the company. The information is in quick blurbs that are easy to read, and the audience does not get overwhelmed by paragraphs of financial information.

    Another article I found from Fast Company says that each annual report has been shared thousands of times. This is driving traffic to their website. I am a testament to this because I had never heard of the company until I saw their annual report. Once I saw the 2013 report, I wanted to look at the others that were released. Warby Parker took what is normally a boring packet of pages and turned it into a brilliant, interactive marketing tool.


  3. I think that it’s awesome Warby Parker is expanding annual reports to something aesthetically, and financially, pleasing. As a long time wearer of Warby Parker lenses it’s cool to see the route they’re going with trying to connect to their audience and to other businesses. Warby Parker’s success is based mostly on their incredible prices and great quality (as they’re not part of the big-industrial-glasses-monopoly that plagues glasses wearers everywhere), but another huge part of their brand is its quirky and relatable atmosphere that they exude to their customers. Their annual report just further extends this relatability and blends it into their business model.

  4. I feel that Ross Crooks’s ’12 Lessons’ might be over-evaluating the impact of Warby Parker’s annual report. For example, number 3 is “Only Share Company News That Is Really News”. Now I may be misunderstanding what the author meant by “Company News” but its difficult to get a great takeaway for this lesson when the image directly above it details how their Tech team ordered thirteen orders of bacon one morning. This actually stands as a really good example as to why I don’t personally like Warby Parker’s report overall. While there are many valuable and personable entries in the report, its also full of completely inane entries and organized in a way that makes finding specific information deeply unclear. I feel that I was in a major or occupation that constantly read over annual business reports Warby Parker’s idea would seem revolutionary….if for no other reason than it being different than all the others I was familiar of. But as it stands, if I’m going to read over a report its because I’m looking for specific information and details, most of which should be more relevant than how long that gummy candy has been sitting outside of the office window.

  5. In RPTM 334, we have discussed annual reports in the non-profit sector and I have seen some that are fascinating to me solely because of the topics they support. However, seeing a report organized in this fashion is a first for me, and I am so glad I have been exposed to it. Going off of our discussion in class, I think it is very clear that Warby Parker has created their annual report for their specific audience just as well as PWC did. The audiences are just vastly different. As Leslie mentioned in class, I agree that Warby Parker is using their annual report as more of a marketing platform, whereas many other companies use their annual report for the purpose they are meant (sharing the progress made in the past year). Even though it was an interesting approach and I enjoyed exploring the report, the fact that they have eliminated the simplicity and effectiveness of a traditional report is disheartening. If I simply wanted to find out the profits in 2013 for Warby Parker, I would likely have to search for hours in order to find it.

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