Brooklinen is a direct-to-consumer bedding brand that has grown from a small Kickstarter campaign to a multi-million dollar company. It has gained popularity through Instagram and Subway ads for its incredibly soft sheets.
Brooklinen offers a wide range of products such as comforters, pillows, robes, towels, and loungewear. The brand was founded in 2014 by a couple in Brooklyn, New York.
By eliminating middlemen, Brooklinen products are responsible and efficient, providing beautiful designs and cost savings to customers.
Entrepreneurs can boost their success in direct-to-consumer sales by studying Brooklinen's achievements.
In this guide, we’ll detail everything you need to know about Brooklinen, its origin story, and what entrepreneurs can learn from its success story.
Plus, discover how we can coach YOU to build your own million-dollar business with our free course - Absolutely free!
What is Brooklinen?
Brooklinen is a brand that sells bedding and home goods directly to consumers. They provide high-quality bed sheets, comforters, pillows, towels, and other home essentials.
Who founded it?
What's the origin story?
Brooklinen founders Rich and Vicki experienced high-end bed linens at a hotel. At the end of their stay, they wanted to buy a set for themselves, but the high price tag shocked them. Rich wondered why sheets were so expensive. This question led to a much-needed discovery of what Rich described as ''an outdated and bloated distribution system that mainly benefits large retailers, distributors, and license holders.''
After conducting extensive research, touring factories, and evaluating fabrics for a year, Rich and Vicki introduced Brooklinen via Kickstarter in 2014. They set a funding target of $50,000 and were amazed by the support from backers, who contributed nearly $250,000 to their cause.
Rich and Vicki started Brooklinen with no prior knowledge in textiles or manufacturing. They combined their previous careers; Rich had a background in finance while Vicki was a lawyer-turned-public relations executive.
Vicki's expertise in brand development and presenting to editors played a vital role during the initial stages, as they aimed to establish Brooklinen as a lifestyle brand right from the start.
Brooklinen's approach to offering premium-quality bedding at accessible prices resonated with consumers, and their products received positive reviews for their comfort, style, and durability.
Over time, Brooklinen has expanded its product offerings to include duvet covers, pillows, towels, and other home goods.
How was it funded?
Brooklinen has raised $60 million through five funding rounds. The latest funding was on June 30, 2021.
Here is an overview of Brooklinen's funding:
- In 2014, Brooklinen raised $20,000 through seed round funding.
- The brand also secured $10 million in 2017 through a series A round funding.
- In 2020, the brand secured $50 million through a series B round funding.
What made Brooklinen grow?
- High-Quality Products at Affordable Prices: Brooklinen focused on providing quality bedding products made from luxurious materials, such as Egyptian cotton and high thread-count fabrics. They stand out by offering quality products at affordable prices which resonated with price-conscious consumers seeking luxury without the high markup.
- Direct-to-Consumer Model: By adopting a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model, Brooklinen bypassed traditional retail channels and middlemen. This approach allowed them to control the entire production and distribution process, reducing costs and providing better value to customers.
- Customer-Centric Approach: Brooklinen prioritized customer satisfaction and actively sought feedback from their customers. They used this feedback to improve their products and services continuously.
- E-Commerce Success: The rise of e-commerce and online shopping platforms enabled the brand to reach a broader audience beyond their physical location. Their online presence and user-friendly website made it convenient for customers to browse and purchase their products from anywhere.
- Innovative Marketing Strategies: Brooklinen utilizes digital marketing and social media to build brand awareness and engage with their consumers. They used influencer marketing and partnerships with popular bloggers and content creators to showcase their products to a wider audience.
What is its valuation?
Brooklinen's value was estimated to be below $50 million.
What lessons can entrepreneurs learn from Brooklinen's story?
Brooklinen's success started with identifying a gap in the bedding industry—the lack of affordable, high-quality sheets. Entrepreneurs should look for areas where customer needs are not fully met or room for improvement.
Providing high-quality products to customers can differentiate your brand and build customer loyalty. As an entrepreneur, focus on delivering quality products and experiences to create a strong competitive advantage.
In addition, embrace the advantages of the direct-to-consumer model if it aligns with your business. Cutting out intermediaries can reduce costs, increase profit margins, and allow better control over customer experience.
Expanding the product line can increase the average order value and appeal to a wider customer base. However, ensure that the new products align with your brand's core values and maintain high standards.
Innovation doesn't stop after success. Therefore, entrepreneurs should stay innovative, continuously improve their products and processes, and be adaptable to market trends and customer preferences.
What is the business model of Brooklinen and how does it generate revenue?
Brooklinen's business model is based on a direct-to-consumer (DTC) approach. The company generates revenue through the sale of high-quality bedding and home goods products.
Here's an overview of their business model and revenue generation:
- Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Model: Brooklinen operates as an online retailer, selling its products directly to consumers through its e-commerce platform. By eliminating the need for intermediaries, they can maintain control over the production process and offer competitive prices.
- Pricing Strategy: While they target the premium segment of the market, Brooklinen aims to offer their products at more accessible prices. Their DTC model allows them to avoid hefty markups often associated with traditional retail, enabling them to pass cost savings on to customers.
- E-Commerce Sales: The brand’s primary revenue generation comes from online sales through their website. Customers can easily browse their products, select the items they want, and make purchases directly from the online store.
- Upselling and Cross-Selling: Brooklinen employs upselling and cross-selling techniques to increase the average order value. For example, they may suggest matching pillowcases or duvet covers to complement a customer's sheet set.
- Discounts and Promotions: Like many e-commerce retailers, Brookline offers discounts, promotions, and seasonal sales events to attract new customers and incentivize repeat purchases.
What marketing and branding strategies did Brooklinen employ to build its customer base?
Brooklinen recognized the power of the internet and built a robust online presence. Their user-friendly e-commerce platform allowed customers to easily read customer reviews, and make purchases from the comfort of their homes.
Leveraging influencers and content creators, Brooklinen collaborates with bloggers, social media influencers, and home decor enthusiasts. These partnerships allow them to showcase their products to a wider audience.
Brooklinen creates engaging content on bedding tips, home decor ideas, and lifestyle inspiration. Through their active presence on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, they connect with their customers, fostering a sense of community and encouraging customer interaction.
Through emphasizing transparency, they shared their brand story, sourcing practices, and production processes with customers. This openness helped build trust and credibility, as customers appreciated the brand's genuine approach.
By leveraging email marketing, they kept customers informed about new product launches, promotions, and exclusive offers. Personalized and targeted email campaigns help nurture relationships with customers and drive repeat purchases.
Brooklinen deals with bedding and home goods. They provide high-quality bed sheets, comforters, pillows, towels, and other home essentials. They gained popularity through Instagram and subway ads for its incredibly soft sheets.
The brand’s success started with identifying a gap in the bedding industry. As an entrepreneur, look for areas where customer needs are not addressed and provide ways to improve.
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