How DTC brands are changing marketing


To have case studies and a general overview of what DTC companies are doing to disrupt how marketing is done on different platforms.

Early Findings

Overview of D2C marketing disruption

  • Rather than offering many versions of a product, D2C companies are keeping it simple with just one or two versions. Their marketing is defined by its clarity of purpose (we make this one product really well) and simplicity of offer.
  • Consumers see these companies as being more "thoughtful" about their product. They see the brands as specializing in something that is important to them.
  • These companies try to appeal to younger, digital natives who "are less receptive to traditional advertising methods". One of the primary ways they do this is through influencer marketing.
  • Brands are using the strategy of offering discounts to people who show off their purchase on social media. Unboxing videos with associated hashtags and discount codes form part of this approach.
  • Companies are using the donation per purchase strategy to market products and drive sales. The strategy is part of building perception of the brand as contributing to social good.
  • D2Cs are using the product design itself as a marketing strategy
  • These companies love Instagram, as they can include product purchase links within the app

Marketing using their direct relationships with consumers

  • First-party data relationships with consumers is a key way DTC companies are disrupting traditional marketing.
  • D2Cs are using techniques like quizes to gather information on consumers and then use that information to target recommendations.
  • Vitamin brand Ritual, for example, uses emails, content and direct marketing to make taking vitamins into a routine or habit for its customers.

Marketing platforms

  • Though marketing platforms include print, radio, television, direct mail, telemarketing, search engine, email, social media, and mobile (device) marketing - we suggest focusing more on the digital platforms, since modern D2Cs are so often ecommerce companies and digital is where their disruption is really taking place.

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