Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are no longer just digital natives – heritage brands are also rebuilding their business models to create direct connections with consumers. Any brand that wants to truly meet the demanding needs of changing consumers should have a D2C strategy. To achieve D2C success, here are some things brands should consider.


Made for me

D2C brands are no longer just about winning over consumers with a cool story. Brands are betting on customisation – and winning. Those that create products that allow consumers to specify their exact wants and needs will succeed.

Brands can learn from Nike’s customisation model, which is allowing them to tap into passionate micro-communities.

Let’s brand together

D2C brands and retailers are a perfect match and need each other to grow. Retailers have the physical spaces for consumers to discover new brands, while D2Cs make them more relevant. Retail and D2C partnerships are on the rise. Erik Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom, recently emphasized the importance of these programmes in stores, which have included capsule collections with brands like Greats and Lively. ‘We need each other to survive’ has been a common theme at big industry retail events like NRF’s Big Show and Shoptalk.

Old-school is new

Many D2C brands are no longer start-ups, but are entering their growth years and can no longer rely solely on digital acquisition and paid social media. The next phase of growth will come from deploying old-school tactics like direct mail, broadcast media and moving into brick and mortar via popups and stores.

Embrace emerging tech

New tech is enhancing in-store and online experiences – whether digital shelves, inventory-counting robots, facial recognition payment, or shopping with voice or via imagery. We’ll definitely see more innovation in these areas and changing the way people shop, by AI, VR, AR and voice.

To succeed in today’s retail environment, marketers must constantly reinvent business models to meet the demanding needs of the empowered consumer, find partners to identify joint sources of growth, have a deep understanding of their core customers and future growth audiences, and always stay on the bleeding edge of technology and innovation.


A version of this article originally ran in MediaPost

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