How Direct to Consumer Brands Can Market Creatively

Direct to consumer (DTC or D2C) brands are capturing the public’s imagination — and also their dollars. Here’s how your brand can market creatively.

The ripple effects of the Internet and social media are responsible for countless changes to the way we work and live. Yet the impact these technologies have had on business is no less profound. Today, direct to consumer brands can reach new audiences at a fraction of the cost associated with legacy marketing approaches.

In order to do so, however, they need one thing: Creatively inspired marketing and advertising, supported by sophisticated technology and consumer insights.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at three creative marketing tips for direct to consumer brands.

Unlock the full potential of influencer marketing

Direct to consumer brands have bootstrapped their way to growth by leveraging search tools and social media. Instead of expensive (and poorly targeted) TV campaigns, brands cultivated their audience through digital advertising and social outreach.

The results have been impressive, as direct to consumer brands continue to take a larger and larger slice of the overall consumer pie.

This marketing approach, when done well, comes across as more organic and less mediated. It allows brands to build a grassroots online audience of loyal fans and brand ambassadors. 

Influencer marketing can play a critical role in this strategy. Influencers are perceived as more authentic than legacy ads and they often already hold sway over a large segment of a brand’s target audience.

The influencer economy also developed organically — it wasn’t dreamed up as some mad experiment in a Madison Avenue ad shop. Given these attributes, it makes for a natural pairing with direct to consumer brands.

Growth in the influencer economy continues to be robust — 320 new influencer platforms and influencer-based agencies were launched in 2018. Dealing with influencers one-to-one can be tricky (many aren’t fully professionalized), so it makes sense to use an agency with expertise as a conduit.

Focus on simplicity

Consumers — and people, generally — dislike complexity. Sometimes the best marketing and advertising messages are most simple and straightforward.

This is particularly applicable to direct to consumer brands. Many companies in this category have made a name for themselves (and earned substantial marketing share) by offering a simpler, better take on an existing product.

Consider the example of Harry’s. This direct to consumer razor company began with a simple idea: cheap razors are terrible to use, but high quality razors are absurdly expensive. Harry’s entered the market with an excellent razor sold at a mid-range price and began stealing market share from Gillette.

Direct to consumer pants seller Bonobos succeeded with an equally simple premise. They realized that men hate shopping for pants, and that most mass market pants fit poorly.

Bonobos offered well-fitting pants that found a middle ground between style and comfort — and they sent them directly to consumer doors. The idea was so simple — and successful — that the company was eventually bought by Wal-Mart.

This commitment to simplicity isn’t constrained to product designs or marketing opportunity. Direct to consumer brands such as Harry’s, Chewy.com, Bonobos etc. have historically kept their marketing messages simple. They offer a laser focus on the product’s core value proposition, and relay it to consumers in elegantly simple terms.

Take advantage of the most powerful tools and platforms

TV advertising may offer reach, but digital advertising allows you to target with precision. Direct to consumer brands should take full advantage of programmatic buying when pushing a campaign. 

One of the advantages a direct to consumer brand often has over brick and mortar retailers is the closeness of their relationship with customers. Because DTC brands deal with consumers directly, with no middleman involved, they have an opportunity to create meaningful personalized experiences.

They also have the opportunity to collect an enormous amount of actionable data, which can help them show more relevant ads to their audiences.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we’ve got the experience and domain expertise to help you craft direct to consumer marketing campaigns that get results. Don’t wait to contact us today for more information on how we can help your DTC brand stand out.

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