5 D2C Brands That Are Acing Direct-To-Consumer Marketing

Posted on January 6th, 2021
Share this post:

5 D2C Brands That Are Acing Direct-To-Consumer Marketing

Direct-to-consumer marketing is becoming a crowd-favorite amongst numerous budding brands and legacy brands. As the name suggests, direct-to-consumer marketing is one of the most beneficial ways to connect to the audience as it cuts out third-party platforms and helps enterprises build a recognizable brand identity.

Selling directly to the consumers and cutting out middlemen allows D2C brands to establish complete control over their profit margins, brand growth, pricing, sales funnels, and relationship with their loyal fan community. With more flexibility in the margins, companies are recording higher profits as well. Brands that have successfully leveraged direct-to-consumer models, like Glossier, Dollar Shave Club, BarkBox, and Casper, are already staying ahead in their games by effectively communicating with their audiences and crafting selling patterns that suit the consumers’ needs.

Jumping over traditional retailers and wholesalers to sell directly to the consumers comes with its own set of challenges as it is harder for brands to get noticed without a store and shelves to display their goods. Hence, D2C brands should actively rethink their ways of getting noticed through online platforms and social media.

Through this article, we have tried to analyze some tips and tactics used by leading D2C brands that will help you plan your D2C strategy and infuse it with better ideas that appeal to new customers.

1. Glossier- A beautiful customer journey

A popular D2C beauty brand, Glossier, is now a unicorn worth USD 1 Billion. Interestingly, glossier started as a beauty blog in 2010, already establishing expertise in their field. Being a beauty blog first, Glossier already had an active reader community before even launching their first product. Nurturing an active reader community has always been paramount for Glossier. Taking fans from social media directly to product purchase became easier for the brand as they had already developed that sense of authority and trust among their customers.

Glossier’s website is a simple, mobile-compatible design with a three-step checkout process, free shipping incentive, and product discount bundles that let customers try new products before putting them in the cart. The website and social channels show buyers how each product will look at their skin tone. The strategy also pulls out real-time data and pictures from customers who are actually wearing the products to let the buyers know how the products look in real life. The website’s review system also helps users find products by filtering them according to age, skin type, and gender, and also shows negative reviews from the users that give a sense of transparency and trust.

2. Ugly Drink- Smart customer collaboration

A D2C beverage brand, Ugly Drinks made its shift from the UK market to the US market swiftly. The brand’s straightforward, no-nonsense approach towards marketing has helped them achieve their popularity, but their willingness to introduce customer collaborations as a marketing strategy is integral in their own way. The brand has capitalized on its D2C platform by streamlining the supply chain and humble design partners that create a unique brand identity that is noticeable from afar.

The brand keeps launching interactive campaigns to increase customer collaborations and engagement. For instance, Ugly drinks release a new flavor every month and let the user vote on different flavors to help them come up with the next one. This lets the users become a part of the decision-making process, attracting new customers with active collaboration and fun elements. Customer collaborations also validate the products and make them well-received among the user community.

3. Harry’s- Promoting the brand’s purpose

Harry’s, a D2C men’s grooming brand sets apart from other brands by embracing masculinity and talking about issues that are generally not brought up as much in public. The brand focuses on embracing and championing social causes that are based around traditional stereotypes. The brand promotes its purpose through campaigns like “Project 84” – a collaboration with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), which involved the representation of a collection of 84 sculptures standing across London representing men’s suicide every week in the UK.

Harry’s latest initiative raises funds to provide mental health care for those who are experiencing isolation during the lockdown. The initiative encourages men to shave and re-style their beards, donate a small amount to CALM, and nominate five friends to participate in the campaign. When a brand has a clear brand purpose, it gives direct-to-consumer marketing a significant edge that lets consumers buy something which is beyond the products, making them come back for more.

4. Blue Apron- Sustainability expressed through brand messaging

Blue Apron is a meal kit delivery D2C brand that has won its customers’ trust through preaching environmental safety and sustainability. The brand’s most note-worthy campaign is called “Building a better food system from scratch”, aiming to promote the environment-friendly nature of the service. The campaign helped the brand to tackle claims that meal prep kit providers contribute to more to packaging waste.

The chefs at Blue Apron work with farmers closely to plan recipes and selectively grow better quality crops. The produce is delivered straight to the customers’ doors, cutting-down time spent in transit and supermarket shelves. The aim of this unique business model is to deliver higher quality food while positively impacting the environment. The brand’s other sustainable initiative includes reducing packaging by 50% and letting the users choose if they want to recycle the box or return it.

5. BarkBox- Personalised packages for pooches

Petcare brand BarkBox started small, with their monthly subscription care packages for our furry friends. After all, customer satisfaction is key, even when they are four-legged. The brand’s customer-first approach has made them become a loved brand with 1 million subscribers. BarkBox offers over 120,000 different varieties that are shipped monthly and the company’s “Happy Team” tries to reach out to as many customers as possible.

The brand is using technologies to scale the personalization process, but have left those elements that need personal attention unscaled. For instance, a BarkBox subscription can be automatically renewed, but when it comes to customer queries, BARK answers each email individually to build strong and trustworthy customer relationships. Taking out time to listen to what the customer wants and going above and beyond helps a brand truly win at their D2C marketing strategy.

Summing Up

Looking at these D2C brands, it is safe to say that younger brands should follow best practices and focus on customer engagement for stepping seamlessly through various multi-channel platforms. The agility and creativity of D2C brands let them touch all groups of target audience younger or older, with the ultimate goal of creating brand value that speaks to its customers.

The evolving buying patterns and constant technology disruptions should be aligned with the brand’s marketing plans to come up with a robust strategy. The end product or service needs to match, articulate, identify, and embrace the brand’s true purpose to create a noticeable brand identity that encourages the audience to connect with it. Customer engagement and brand loyalty will always help brands create product lines that are here to stay, making the D2C model a perfect choice for growing enterprises.


Posted on:
January 6th, 2021