Why is one of the hottest ad agencies becoming a consumer goods retailer?

The hot ad agency Gin Lane is reinventing itself as a lifestyle consumer goods brand -- and it’s starting with cookware.

New York-based ad agency Gin Lane has launched and grown brands including Harry’s, Hims, SmileDirectClub, Stadium Goods, Warby Parker, Sweetgreen, Everlane, and Bonobos.

Why is one of the hottest ad agencies becoming a consumer goods retailer?

But yesterday, the agency — which claims to have created $15B of brands — announced that it’s closing its agency doors and starting over as a consumer goods company called Pattern.

So… why leave it all behind?

The company that promoted brands wants to run them 

Gin Lane was known for its consistent approach to designing and marketing partner brands — modern fonts, bright colors, and racially diverse millennial stock photos (see: Hims, SmileDirectClub, etc.).

Most creative agencies take less than 1% equity in their clients, but since 2015 Gin Lane has formed joint venture partnerships with clients where it owned 25% or even 50% equity — foreshadowing Pattern.

Now, after cracking the code to millennial branding, Pattern will use its expertise for its own “multi-brand consumer goods company” that’s designed to “help our generation find more enjoyment in daily life.”

How is it going to pull that off, you ask?

By creating what it calls ‘direct-with-consumer’ brands

Pattern wants to extend the successful direct-to-consumer model it has helped pioneer by offering lifestyle products — and also tips, guides, and meetups to help people use them enjoyably.

Pattern’s first brand, Equal Parts — a line that sells both cookware and also “personal guidance” that’s “designed to help people find a sense of comfort and intuition in the kitchen” — will launch in the fall.

The company has raised $14m, and it plans to launch its 2nd brand in early 2020 and subsequent brands — each which Pattern says “will have a distinct identity and story while laddering up to [the] overarching mission of enjoying daily life” — every few months.

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