How do brands thrive in the DTC era?Written by Bas Van Herten
As brand conversations and interactions increasingly move away from traditional channels, many marketers are faced with a new set of challenges. The classic approach to distributing products is no longer going to cut it. Trading directly with consumers is as exciting as it is crucial, and of course much more profitable with the right strategy. How to ensure the shopper journey is seamless and the brand experience is 100% guaranteed? Margin for error is high, and unfortunately the stakes equally so.
Direct sales to consumers (DTC) is on the rise and a necessary evolution of purchase behaviour. Most brands are exploring this route to market as there is no doubt that this is a necessary channel and statistics are proving this to be the case. And it makes sense, buying directly from the brand feels so much more satisfying. After all, where could you possibly get a better brand experience?
According to Forbes, over a third of consumers report that they bought directly from a brand manufacturer’s web site last year. And the number of manufacturers selling directly to consumers is expected to grow by 71% this year to more than 40% of all manufacturers.
All of this is of course directly related to the digital era we live in, which enables industries to optimise their supply chains and get much closer to their customers. But with a myriad of technologies at your fingertips, and mountains of consumer data to learn from, how do you effectively deliver to the demand for a seamless experience? Or in other words as the battle for customer experience is heating up, how do you turn all this lovely opportunity into a competitive advantage?
The goal is to attract, convert and keep customers, which requires a fundamental understanding of your brand’s core story, design and guiding principles so that you can determine a clear path to purchase. This should be a given, but expectations are high as is failure if the brand promise is not evident at every touchpoint of your customer journey.
Consumer purchase behaviour is at a crossroads as DTC becomes a more convenient way to shop. Brands will either get it right or make ‘unnecessary’ and costly errors to the brand value. This is compounded by the fact that shoppers awareness, appreciation and expectation of the design, impact and higher purpose of the brands they champion, is rising. They want to align their loyalty to a brand that they trust, or they will go elsewhere. The brand story needs to be uniquely designed, flawlessly executed and consequently truly felt across all strategically relevant touch points. All to create a unique, memorable branded experience that resonates with its target audience on a deep, emotional level.
With DTC no longer a nice to have, but a necessity, this is the challenge on the table. For those close to DTC or anyone that is simply interested in learning about the channel from experts, 1HQ hosts a breakfast session on the 22ndof November in the B for business building in Amsterdam. During the session we’ll hear from brand owners, creative and digital agencies what the pitfalls are and which key insights will help you to better succeed in the DTC future.