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21 Strategies Every DTC Brand Should Implement

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC)may have started out as a trend among up-and-coming, digitally native vertical brands like Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, Allbirds, and Casper, but it has rapidly become ubiquitous in the market.

With DTC e-commerce sales reaching $128 billion in 2021 and expected to account for 1 in 7 e-commerce dollars this year, Direct-to-Consumer has been embraced by more and more traditional brands. As a result, DTC sales are now being driven more by incumbent brands than disruptors.

Whether your brand has already taken the plunge, or it is considering it, here are 21 strategies that everyDTC brand should implement.

1. Align content production with your customer base

Content is king when it comes to DTC businesses, but which type should you be focusing on? Screen capture videos may be good enough for some demographics while educational blogs might work better for others. Your brand’s target demographic should help inform the kinds of content you produce.

2. Think open and transparent

As a Direct-to-Consumer business without physical shelves to stock, your brand may not have to worry so much about maintaining inventory levels of select products. But that means keeping your customers updated on stock levels and fulfillment progress becomes more important.

For example, if your brand produces a limited-edition product but labels it as something else along the way, people may be confused by the lack of updates about its release date or production status.

3. Design for your customers and not for yourself

There’s no better way to get onboard with this new marketing method than by answering the question,“What do my customers want?”

As a baseline, your brand’s target demographic should be useful in identifying the products that are needed and direct content production efforts. However, if you look deeper, you will find another effective way to improve your relationship with customers is by making their problems your problems. Identify customer pain points and work toward fixing them when redesigning or creating new products.

4. Give your consumers a voice in the product creation process

The DTC business model was built on innovation. Your brand should always be implementing new solutions into its products that will benefit customers.

Giving consumers the opportunity to report the problems they’ve experienced with your products makes your brand an active participant in their lives, as well as providing them with a sense of accountability for these issues.

5. Consider consumer feedback when redesigning

DTC brands have a unique opportunity to test and implement new ideas across a large customer base. However, it is vital to do so responsibly as it’s easy for customers to feel lost if there’s too much product redesign or iteration occurring at one time.

By creating new products to help solve specific problems, the customer will know that they’re receiving a product that solves their issue and not just a reformulation of the same product.

6. Validate your business model

DTC brands have to focus on providing customer service in addition to content. This marks a drastic shift from the traditional brick-and-mortar premise where the business is only concerned with providing products.

It’s important to adjust the balance of resources between customer service and content production, especially if there’s not enough human labor to answer inquiries while generating high levels of production for videos and other media channels.

7. Understand the importance of consistency

For DTC businesses, consistency is often viewed as one of the most important pillars of the business. Customers will get bored if a new product is released and it doesn’t have similar components or quality as its predecessor. Your brand should be able to explain why a new product is being produced in order to help alleviate any confusion about what they’re getting.

8. Create an internal team to help troubleshoot issues

DTC brands are relying on their customers more than ever before, so it only makes sense that they create and employ internal teams that can better respond to their needs and expectations. This can help your business optimize its efforts by receiving suggestions and feedback from customers, as well as its customer-centric team.

The process of developing new products may rely on customer feedback for unlocking new ideas. If a customer has been experiencing issues with a certain item, it might make sense to employ other customers to voice their opinion on the newly introduced product and incorporate their thoughts.

9. Partner with a third-party marketing agency

DTC businesses will find that partnering with an outsourced marketing agency will be invaluable for the creation of content, enabling them to focus internal resources on orders and fulfillment.

A marketing agency that is tuned into the nuances of DTC brands can provide additional services related to strategy that might not have otherwise been possible for the brand in-house.

10. Consider selling additional products in a bundle

While it’s easy to sell one product, it’s much harder to convince customers that buying multiple items is worth their time. However, bundling multiple products can help alleviate barriers such as shipping costs and production logistics by giving customers a discount rate for buying more than one item at once.

Also, a bundle can provide satisfaction to customers by giving them a sense that they’re making a smart investment.

11. Allow customers to contribute to campaigns

The easiest way for DTC businesses to create content is by allowing customers to directly contribute or offer suggestions.

For example, your brand might run a contest that uses customer video submissions to create content, or it might run a Kickstarter-style campaign that asks followers for feedback on which products should be incorporated into their line with the top suggestions added to production.

12. Always be thinking about the future

The future of Direct-to-Consumer is often viewed by brands as just another cash cow due to the increase in sales it drives beyond the initial novelty that attracted customers in the first place.

But the needs of customers can change over time, so it’s important for brands to invest in ways that allow them to better serve their customers. The rate of change should be factored into the decision-making process when creating new products, especially if there’s no precedent on how customers will receive them.

DTC businesses need a sustainable business model because they are effectively relying on paid subscribers instead of free visitors to generate ad revenue. The key to creating a sustainable DTC brand is ensuring that the customers you have are engaged and returning.

13. Create content for all of your products

The easiest way to keep customers engaged and coming back for more is to provide them with free perks, or additional information, that is exclusive to your brand.

DTC brands might include special access to behind-the-scenes videos or backstage looks at up coming projects as a part of their email subscriptions. This type of content can hold audiences’ attention because it’s authentic and informative as it’s relevant to the goals of the brand.

14. Create stronger brands for customers to identify with

Successful DTC businesses create a sense of belonging and identification between their brand and the products they create.

For example, professional modeling agencies may include a reference in their email newsletters to showcase the new photos of clients that they have just been sent.

DTC branding is created by creating an opinion, following, or voice within the market that is tied into your brand.

15. Create exclusive products for customers

There’s nothing more engaging than offering something that only your customers can access, so it’s important for DTC brands to think about how they can keep followers engaged by offering exclusivity to them.

For example, a tour company might create a mailing list for select customers that offers early access and exclusive information about upcoming tours or cruises.

16. Create a consistent voice across platforms

DTC brands use social media to actively engage with their customers to build brand awareness and create a following of users. Social media gives DTC brands the opportunity to create a unique identity that will be carried across the many different products that they offer.

For example, an online fashion brand can use its Instagram page as a way to communicate daily inspiration by posting pictures of their collections or featuring models wearing the clothes from their most recent collection.

17. Use social media to engage your customers

Social media platforms are an integral part of DTC brands’ marketing efforts, and they want their customers to feel a sense of community with the brands they choose to purchase from.

The more that customers feel a sense of belonging with a company, the higher likelihood that they will purchase its products in the future. Engaging on social media is one way DTC brands are able to build this bond between their products and people that they serve.

18. Target an audience that is influential in your industry

The DTC business model depends on social media to build and maintain relationships with customers. While social media can be a cost-effective way for brands to increase awareness, it requires them to adjust their tactics based on the type of audience that they serve.

For example, a customer who spends a lot on beauty products is more likely to share the brands that they buy from via social media. A beauty brand can take advantage of this understanding to identify customers that are influential in their market and target them with ads in order to create brand awareness among even more potential buyers.

19. Plan your post schedule carefully

When creating social media content, DTC brand should plan their posts well in advance as part of a broader content calendar. The reason for this is because social media is often flooded with a wide range of posts that compete with the ones that DTC brands really want to promote.

If a DTC brand wants to post a special offer for its customers, it will most likely need to promote it several days before the actual offer goes live. This helps prevent potential customers from being fooled by fake offers and promotes legitimacy among those who can be affected by the promotion.

20. Make the customer feel like they are part of the process

DTC brands are constantly creating new products, so it’s important for them to make their customers feel like they were part of this process.

For example, your brand might recruit verified buyers of a select product for feedback that can help drive development of future products in the same or similar line. This enables your brand to validate its products and maintain a sense of transparency with customers.

21. Create a brand that is memorable and easy to recognize

It’s important for DTC brands to make their social media accounts memorable and easy to recognize sot hat they can generate more engagement from their target audiences. It’s also crucial for your brand to use its platforms to connect with customers on a personal level.

For example, a fashion brand might use its Instagram account to enable customers to share photos of themselves wearing its clothes. This helps strengthen the relationship between customers and DTC brands by establishing a sense of exclusivity that is valuable among followers.

In addition, paid social is a great way to build relationships with customers and increase loyalty to the brand. If a customer interacts with your brand through paid ads, they can be considered as a “fan” of the brand. This increases the likelihood that they will purchase from your product lines again in the future.

Social media also can be used to create viral campaigns that bring awareness to products that otherwise would not receive much attention in traditional marketing channels like television and radio advertisements or print ads.


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