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15 Dec 2015

Direct to Consumer Brands: A New Age of Marketing

Thanks to technological advancements, a new generation of disruptive brands have stormed the market. Direct to consumer brands build, market, sell and even ship their products directly to the consumer without the need for a middle man.

This innovative form of retail is gradually changing how people shop. It aims to simplify the purchasing process by reducing roadblocks. The rise of these brands is as a result of the natural evolution of the digital world.

 

What are Direct to Consumer brands?

Direct to consumer – or D2C for short, are companies that produce and ship their products directly to the buyers instead of relying on intermediaries or retail stores. This feature allows them to sell their stuff at a lower price and maintain control over the production, marketing and delivery of the products.

Unlike traditional retailers, the direct to consumer retail brands tend to experiment with distribution models like direct shipping to consumers, developing partnerships with physical retailers, or setting up pop-up stores. D2C startups aren’t just competing with several of the biggest retail brands; they’re revolutionizing marketing by reconsidering the retail model.

 

How the Digital Age Enables Direct to Consumer Retail

Just like every other marketing strategy in this era, D2C brand benefits greatly from going digital since it helps them connect with today’s consumer. The various digital platforms allow them to control their users’ experience. The digital age allows the brands to open new channels and broaden their reach, which ends up helping them increase revenue streams, profits and overall financial performance.

The digital platforms and tools, when combined with powerful data analytics, allow the D2C brands to engage directly with the consumers and improve their shopping experience. During the process of connecting with the customers, the brands can use the data they get from them to refine their products to satisfy the consumers’ needs better. It also allows them to expand their reach nationwide or globally, and sell more products profitably.

Going digital helps the companies avoid making major investments or developing vendor contracts with local retailers. The digital age is great for established brands that wish to expand or broaden their sales, and for emerging companies that want to grow without the costs associated with traditional retail channels.

 

Simplicity

The most common theme among several D2C brands’ success story is that they kept the decision-making process and customer journey pretty simple. And the simplicity goes way beyond just the range of products they offer.

The ease at which the products are described and differentiated makes the client’s experience smoother. They offer traditionally expensive necessities directly to the consumer through their website at a discounted cost. The consumer no longer needs to stop at the mall after a long day of work to buy their products. Everything is made easier!

 

Convenience (Subscriptions)

Brands like Dollar Shave Club, Madison Reid, and Quip take simplicity to the next level by offering subscription on regularly purchased products. Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have revolutionized a once stagnant market by targeting pain points of refill prizes and confusing options for the customers and simplified the ordering process.

Utilizing the subscription option allows consumers to have one less thing to worry about. Additionally, they generate predictable recurring revenue for the brands.

 

Authenticity

The digital marketing campaigns allow most startups to create a unique brand relationship with their consumers. They’re able to develop one-to-one relationships with the customers that make up loyal and engaged audiences. Brands like Warby Parker took advantage of the digital sharing habits of their millennial audiences as part of their engagement strategies and it went a long way in getting them where they are now.

 

Community

Most of the D2C companies have used their brands to create a cult-like following for themselves; fostering a sense of belonging for their audience. They focus on making a few select products and turning them into the best possible version of themselves. It all shows how committed they are to maintaining the quality of their products.

Individuals that love these D2C brands end up being utterly loyal to them and prefer sticking with them to the very end. They take the term “Brand Loyalty” to the next level. The companies perpetuate their perception of quality at a low price, and people really love getting a good deal.