Joe Smith’s Brands to Watch 2023

A brand “to be watched” is one that, like an egg hatching, you can’t look away from because of its potential. It’s a force gaining momentum – one that draws attention to itself because of how well it understands the problems of its customers. It’s the kind of brand you recommend to a friend because you just can’t keep it to yourself.

At Joe Smith, we are constantly scoping out exceptional brands across industries to bring ideas and insights to our clients. Here are the market trends that have caught our eye, and the brands that are poised to make the most of them in 2023.

Trend #1 | Being Intentional: Purpose-built technology is on the rise

Some of our favorite brands are technology or platform companies that are drilling down on solving very specific problems for their customers. The specificity of their focus and their thought-out designs spark excitement in consumers who, at last, have been heard. Based on these innovative brands, we wonder if a new era of consumer-led, human-centered technology is upon us – one where consumers have control over their privacy and can dictate the features they want to see.

Our Brands to Watch in this category are:

Trend #2 | Making it new: Better narratives, better experiences

Well-loved rituals are beginning to be reimagined by a new cadre of more conscious alternatives. By questioning the status quo – why should your morning beverage be coffee? Why should your cocktail give you a hangover? Why should vegan dishes be seen as less appealing? – these brands have reinvented entire categories because they ditch the assumptions and present new possibilities.

Our Brands to Watch in this category are:

Trend #3 | Merging Worlds: When form meets function

Some brands are just so wildly functional, they break their category. Masterfully blending form and function means you can solve customers’ functional problems while delivering style, accessibility, and sustainability.

Our Brands to Watch in this category are:

The Takeaway

There are two eternal truths that each of these brands prove:

  1. Solve your customer’s problems.
  2. Take them along the journey with you.

It all comes down to drilling down on your specific customers, solving their (sometimes unspoken) challenges, and being transparent along the way so they can be part of the experience. With those two things, who knows – maybe we’ll be watching your brand next.

Catherine Goodson is a brand strategist and Gregory Carden II is an associate brand strategist at Joe Smith, the brand consultancy of Padilla.