For small brands, it’s a no brainer. DTC is a smart, quick way to get around distribution issues, create demand, engage consumers and collect data. The willingness to build companies this way has given newer brands opportunities they never would have gotten with old school retail. But many mass brands are hesitant to sell direct because they fear retribution from the retailers and worry about cannibalizing their sales at on and off line retailers.
But if they could embrace it like some brands have, they might see that DTC provides better brand control, access to detailed consumer data, and the ability to get consumers engaged in ongoing relationships. Lets explore.
Better Brand Control
When a brand sells on its own website, they have complete control over the brand experience.
From the way the brand is visualized, to the products featured, to pricing, to the story being told. That is a departure not only from selling at retail, but also different from selling online through retailers like Jet and Amazon, who give you some control of the experience, but not much.
Check out the Nike app SNKRS. The experience is inspiring and extremely personal. You can discover the story behind your favorite sneaker, get insider access to new product launches and even customize every aspect of your own sneakers. Once they get a consumer hooked, it is hard to imagine another brand even being a consideration.
Actionable Consumer Data
Another invaluable benefit of selling directly to consumers is the access to data you just can’t get any other way. You get detailed data on exactly who is buying your product and how often they are buying it. You can see the impact on your promotions, the effectiveness of your media and even the potential of new product launches almost in real time.
NatureBox launched their brand this way and did it exceptionally well. They started as an online store and collected valuable data and insights about their consumers. They then used that data to entice retailers into conversations. They knew exactly where their customers were living and where they were likely to shop and what they were likely to buy. That gave them a toolbox of information to use to start conversations and prove their value to retailers. Now you can find them in Brick and Mortar stores like Target, Safeway and Sprouts..
Get your consumers engaged and keep them loyal
Direct selling allows brands uber customization, which creates long lasting relationships. Bear Naked Granola has created a super fun, super personal experience for consumers. You can completely customize your own granola blend. You start by choosing your base and then add incredibly yummy and sometimes healthy ingredients like freeze dried jalapenos, dried pomegranate and even coffee brittle! YUM. Hard to imagine being tempted by another granola brand once you get hooked by having it exactly your way here.
Another incredible benefit of Direct Selling is one that Amazon has built their success on, predictive selling. This algorithm based model can tell you how often your consumers are buying your products so that you can either get them on a subscription or send them reminders to purchase. They love the convenience and you get the benefit of locking them in. What could be better than that? You basically are taking the issue of which brand to buy out of the equation. Dollar Shave Club basically created the subscription model for razors, completely revolutionizing the way men purchased this everyday item. How well did it work? Unilever just acquired the company for $1billion!
Would you like to explore the benefits of Direct to Consumer Marketing for your brand?