This week 23andMe made Fast Company’s first annual list of “Brands that Matter,” an award honoring companies and nonprofits with a mission or ideals that have had a cultural impact and are relevant and authentic.
This new award singles out 95 organizations that, like 23andMe, have inspired people and given them compelling reasons to care about innovation, or social issues, cultural issues, the environment, or their fellow humans. Among those on the list are not just massive multinational conglomerates, but also small companies and nonprofits. All of them have forged an emotional or meaningful connection with people. All were judged on their relevancy, cultural impact, ingenuity, and business innovation.
“Fast Company is excited to highlight companies and organizations that have built brands with deep meaning and connections to the customers they serve,” said Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “At a time when consumers are holding companies to very high standards, businesses have much to learn from these brands that have garnered respect and trust.”
Lead with Science
It’s that trust that is probably most important to 23andMe’s brand, said Tracy Keim, Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Brand at 23andMe.
“It started with Anne Wojcicki, (23andMe’s CEO and Co-Founder),” Tracy said. “She co-founded 23andMe to help people — to be a brand that made a difference in people’s lives — we were a brand born out of purpose, not profit.”
23andMe is also a brand driven by science. And Fast Company pointed to two of our more recent very large scientific initiatives in singling out 23andMe for this award.
The first was a study using genetics to look at the human impact of the transatlantic slave trade, as part of the largest study to date of people with African ancestry in the Americas. The second is an ongoing study on the genetics associated with differences among people in susceptibility to and severity from COVID-19 that involved more than a million research participants. Several findings from that study have already been published or shared, and our researchers are currently investigating the genetics of COVID-19 “long-haulers.”
“It’s exciting to see this list of brands making a difference,” said Tracy. “We’re all interested in solutions through action, not just advertising. One of 23andMe’s core values is to ‘lead with science.’ DNA data can tell us so much about problems we confront today and in the future — whether it’s studying COVID-19 or our fraught racial history, or important health issues — our team of researchers have big hearts and open minds and go where the science leads them.”
It’s been almost two decades since the mapping of the human genome, the most significant scientific breakthrough of our generation. 23andMe works to bring the power of genetic science to everyone. As a brand, 23andMe has always been mission-driven, focused on helping people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. We created an industry offering people direct access to their genetic information, as well as an opportunity to participate in research if they choose. We share our research findings and ensure that those who participate in research know we’ve done it through solid science and innovation, but also with whimsy and a human touch.
You can find a complete list of winners here.
23andMe will be featured along with the other honorees in the November issue of Fast Company magazine, which is available online now and will be on newsstands beginning November 2, 2021.