Deliverables: A Branding & Marketing Blog

More annual reports like Warby Parker’s, please

January 21, 2013 | by Ralph Allora

Is there any less engaging form of brand communications than the annual report? There’s the boring, predictable letter from the CEO, touting the company’s performance even if its stock is sinking like a rock. The page after page of dense financial statements. The blue-tinted pie charts. The mind-numbing stock photography.

Eyewear brand Warby Parker — which has made a name for itself by offering hip, stylish frames at affordable prices, and by donating a pair of glasses to the needy for each new pair purchased — is looking to change all that. The brand has released its 2012 annual report online, and it turns the traditional annual report on its stodgy head.

(Sort of. Warby Parker’s parent company is privately held, so it’s not subject to the same disclosure requirements as publicly traded companies, and can therefore afford to have a little fun with the format. But we’ll overlook that for now.)

Warby Parker’s report, featuring a diverse buffet of creative visuals, is an infographics fan’s dream.  And while you won’t come away knowing much more about the company’s financial condition than you did before viewing the report, you will learn some key data points that prove the company’s heart is in the right place. For example, Warby Parker last year donated more than 250,000 pairs of glasses to those in need, and its employees made 2,253 PB&J sandwiches during relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy.

Within the scroll-wheel-style report, you’ll also learn that in 2012:

  • Precisely zero percent of Warby Parker employees commuted via Segway.
  • The company sold 296 monocles.
  • The staff consumed 612 lbs. of Mexican food at office lunches.
  • One staffer admitted to having attended 13 Hanson concerts in the past.

With this kind of winning brand personality and operational transparency, it won’t be long before Warby Parker goes public… and is forced to do a traditional annual report.

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