Empowering Consumers to Find the Best Possible Brands; Introducing Thingtesting

Nicole Johnson, Partner

Winter 2021

3 minutes

On the heels of the DTC revolution, brand choices have exploded. And in so many ways, there’s never been a better time to be a consumer. 

There are brands out there to meet consumers’ every need, whether they’re cutting back on alcohol, trying to be mindful of their carbon footprint, or wanting to support Black-owned businesses. And it’s not just physical goods we’re talking about - it’s credit cards; it’s virtual therapy; it’s accident insurance; it’s all DTC in our book. Take Shopify as an example for the barreling wave of modern consumer brands: the company hit 1.7M merchants recently, up from 1M in 2019.

And what even is DTC anymore? Thanks to the maturation of consumer business playbooks and consumer expectations, every brand born today is “direct-to-consumer” as a table-stakes component of its strategy. Plus, more often than not, products are distributed via all the channels, from livestream shopping networks, to second-hand marketplaces, to HSA/FSA programs, to Amazon, to your local corner store. 

The proliferation of brands, and the resulting world of choice--of ways to optimize for right product, right price, right delivery service-level-agreement, right brand, and right alignment with our individual values--is generally positive for today’s consumer, with a major, mounting catch. It’s becoming the Wild West out there.

The endless aisle of new choices is impossible to wrangle and transparency, while waxing as a consumer expectation, is waning as brands and channels proliferate. Where’s the single source of truth for consumers?

Enter Thingtesting, which has rapidly gained steam as the No. 1 destination for the modern consumer to make intentional brand choices. Thingtesting started as a brand-spotting Instagram account and passion project, and we’ve been glued to its rise since it launched in 2018. Founder and CEO Jenny Gyllander is a modern brand whisperer who started Thingtesting while working in the VC world, initially chronicling and adding an objective voice to the deluge of new DTC brands she was seeing in the industry. 

Consumer and brand enthusiasm quickly eclipsed her expectations; it was clear that consumers wanted to think critically about what they buy. Jenny embraced Thingtesting full-time in Spring 2019, recognizing an opportunity to build a place of discovery, information, and community for curious consumers.

She raised a pre-seed round, surrounded herself with a small but mighty team spanning the U.S. and Europe, and got to work building a web platform to deliver on these consumer needs. When we reconnected with Jenny this past fall, we were taken by the engagement she was driving with her users, and most of all, her fierce commitment to building something better for modern consumers. We are eager to partner with Jenny, having led her recent investment round, with much enthusiasm about her incredible capabilities as a founder and leader and the company’s path forward.

Every purchase is a vote of confidence, and we believe Thingtesting is building the go-to spot for today’s and tomorrow’s consumer to make that vote from a more empowered place. 

Join Thingtesting here.

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  • DATE

    Winter 2021


    3 minutes

  • Perspective Type