Five themes of innovation emerge from the 2020 Breakthrough Brands. Report



Silicon Valley de-throned as center of start-up innovation: 30 brands set to revolutionize their markets.

The 30 Challenger Brands Set to Disrupt Their Markets. 2020 Breakthrough Brands US Report.

From sleek, high-end digital home gyms (Mirror) and alt-meat plant foods (Impossible Foods) to bio-engineers (Ginkgo) and AI-driven lawyers (Legalist),Interbrand predicts these challenger brands have got what it takes to become household  names. Interbrand – the world’s leading brand consultancy – today launched its 2020 Breakthrough Brands report,  unveiling the 30 brands set to revolutionize their markets.

This year’s Breakthrough Brands cohort follows in the footsteps of the likes of Deliveroo, Peloton and Glossier (2016) and Slack, TaskRabbit, and Flipkart (2017) tipped for success in Interbrand’s two previous reports.

Since the first report in 2016, innovation has shifted from the tech start-up epicenter of Silicon Valley and has moved away from massive software and marketplace enterprises that simply connected buyers to sellers via a digital platform.

There is also a significant shift in leadership – within the 30 Breakthrough Brands 27% have a CEO who is a person of color and 30% have a CEO who is a woman, compared with only a 10% CEO representation for either demographics in Fortune 500 companies.

“These brands are at a critical point in their journey – the stakes are high but the opportunities even greater. We’re eager to see how these brands adapt to today’s challenges and the emerging trends of tomorrow – turning just surviving into wildly thriving,” said Daniel Binns, CEO, Interbrand New York.

Brands were selected against three core criteria – the ability to understand human truths (brands that meet and exceed the needs and desires of customers), creating exceptional brand experiences and delivering superior business results. Additionally, brands have been evaluated on their perceived potential to adapt and emerge from the COVID-19 crisis successfully.


Five themes of innovation emerge from the 2020 Breakthrough Brands by Interbrand:

  • Powered by community: serving thriving subcultures (StockX for sneakerheads) or nurturing community through built-in interactive options like Mirror – the sleek interactive home gym that looks like a mirror when not in use.
  • Sustainable consumerism: tackling complex infrastructure solutions for corporations that are too entrenched to reimagine entire components of their business – such as Loop, the recyclable and reusable packaging company.
  • Values as status symbols: catering for the shift from overt consumption of expensive items to nonvisible, highly expensive goods and services. Brands such as dosist – the stylish cannabis vape and delivery company.
  • Digital first health: helping people control their mental, emotional, and physical well-being outside the confines of traditional healthcare – as seen with the wearable tech of the Elvie breast pump or Maven, offering a holistic approach to fertility, pregnancy and postpartum care.
  • Playful brands: Self-expression, creativity and rule-breaking design and marketing are hallmarks of many of the 30 Breakthrough Brands. From alt-meat company Impossible Foods through to millennial beauty brand Milk Makeup.

Interbrand’s Breakthrough Brands 2020:

A24: Indie studio darling;
Cadre: Digital stock market for alternative assets;
Canva: The Adobe disrupter;
Chime: Biggest digital bank;
Devoted: Individualized health plans;
Dosist: Innovative marijuana pen;
Elvie: Women’s wellness for 21st Century;
Flexport: Logistics disruptor;
Ginkgo: Biology programmers;
Impossible Foods: Meat-alts for everyone;
Legalist: Tech-savvy small business advocate;
Loop: Sustainable circular service model;
Maven: Holistic care throughout every stage of the family journey;
Milk Makeup: Gen Z’s cult makeup brand;
Mirror: Sleek solution for at-home fitness;
MSCHF: Postmodernist hype art brand;
Neon: Risk-takers and tastemakers in film;
Oatly: Mainstreaming oat milk;
Rivian: True utility all-electric vehicles;
Seedlip: First distilled non-alcoholic spirit;
Snowflake: Cloud data superhero;
StockX: The sneaker stock market;
Teachers Pay Teachers: Teacher knowledge exchange;
Teladoc: Pioneering telemedicine services;
The Action Network: Digital-native sports betting;
The Citizenry: Home goods for the responsible global citizens;
The Information: Exclusive Silicon Valley content;
The RealReal: Seamless, chic thrifting;
ThirdLove: Lingerie for every woman;
Turo: User-to-user car rentals.