The diagrams and charts don’t illustrate profit growth and market share, but rather how many employees prefer V-necks to crew necks, and the average number of pants someone at the company wears in a month. The report is laid out as a calendar, with an update for each of the year’s 365 days.
It all seems rather crazy until you realise that it is not actually an annual report at all, but a giant advertisement intended to become viral.
Among the scant data investors may actually care about is the milestone of 500,000 glasses donated through Warby Parker’s “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” charitable initiative since its founding in 2010. That, apparently, is an indirect way of stating that it has sold more than half a million glasses in the past few years, a healthy number for a startup going up against the near-monopolistic Luxottica prescription eyewear corporation.
The report also shows that the company hired 83 people for its Customer Experience department, another sign of growth.
Warby Parker’s previous two annual reports have fit into its quirky brand, but this year’s is the most ambitious. And yeah, it has plenty of apparently meaningless information, but it might be a smart business move.
Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal explained the unique, 365-day approach to AdAge:
It very much fit into our philosophy of being transparent. We find the more information we share, the more vulnerable we are,and that sharing the positive and the warts — the deeper relationship we build with our customers. The first time we thought it would just be fun for our most engaged, most loyal customers, but it ended up leading to our three biggest sales days at the time.
Blumenthal said that the second report was also a success, bringing the company its most glasses orders and highest traffic day to date. Apparently being transparent means revealing the eccentricities of its employees, which in turn drives sales.
Warby Parker raised $US60 million from existing investors in December, in addition to the $US40 million it raised last January. There is no word on whether the company intends to go public anytime soon.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Blumenthal’s favourite movie is “The Goonies,” and Astoria, Oreg. celebrates “Goonies Day” on June 7. We learned that from this year’s annual report.
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