Box Clever founder Bret Recor on how to design products with staying power

As competition among DTC brands grows, so does the need to stand out with unique and legacy-building products. It's why the approach to design is changing, explains Bret Recor, founder of Clever Box -- the design studio behind Away and Caraway.

Latest Stories

  • MAY 04, 2021

    DTC Briefing: How growth marketer became the new much-coveted jack-of-all-trades

    For direct-to-consumer brands, one of the most important roles has long been the role of growth marketer. For a venture-backed direct-to-consumer brand, who might be expected to driver 20%-30% of revenue growth month-over-month it's vitally important to have someone like a head of growth who knows what levers to pull to increase sales. But as the digital marketing landscape has changed, what brands are looking for in growth marketers has also changed.

  • MAY 04, 2021

    How SnackMagic went from delivery lunch provider to gift box service

    When office lunches were put on pause at the beginning of the pandemic, delivery services that cater to the rush had to pivot quickly. This included New York City-based Stadium, which aggregated orders from different restaurants for corporate teams. When orders dried up, the founders repurposed the existing tech to build SnackMagic, a CPG-focused gifting service.

  • MAY 04, 2021
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    As other channels become unpredictable, DTC brands embrace streaming and connected TV

    Streaming and CTV have taken on new importance over the past year, both as people are watching more TV during the pandemic, and amidst an upheaval in digital marketing. As a result, DTC brands are speeding up their efforts to test out TV advertising, to break up their reliance on Facebook and Google.

  • MAY 03, 2021

    To engineer virality, brands are making their own mystery boxes

    Bundling together products into packs, while leaving some uncertainty about what is inside, is not new. Playing cards have been using the same concept for decades. But the rise of YouTube and TikTok has brought the phenomenon into newer sectors of the retail world -- including toy, grocery and fashion brands.

  • MAY 03, 2021

    ‘We don’t want to be a coffee-of-the-month club’: How subscription coffee service Trade is planning for post-pandemic retention

    As retail coffee establishments reopen and customers make more coffee shop trips, digital platforms like Trade are looking for ways to keep at-home brewing going. The subscription-based marketplace saw exponential growth during lockdowns. Its next challenge is retaining these new customers beyond the pandemic.

  • APR 29, 2021

    After a tumultuous year, wholesale dynamics are changing for brands

    Tensions between large retailers and brands have always existed. But with the rise of e-commerce -- and the need for DTC channels as Covid showed -- has convinced some brands that wholesale partnerships aren't the be-all, end-all for a successful business.

  • APR 29, 2021

    After getting its start in CrossFit, Nobull is ramping up product expansion

    When Nobull first launched in 2015, it decided that the best way to build brand affinity was to be hyperfocused on one growing sector: CrossFit. But over the past year, the company has started to expand more aggressively into new categories, after launching its first pair of cycling shoes last June. It's now launching a swim collection next month.

  • APR 27, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Startups brace for fallout from the iOS14 update

    Apple has said that the fifth (and what’s expected to be the last) version of its iOS14 update will hit users’ phones this weeks. As part of that, iPhone users should start receiving the App Tracking Transparency (ATT prompt). And as the update hits users phones, it could start wrecking havoc on direct-to-consumer startups’ marketing plans. 

  • APR 26, 2021

    How OfferUp is trying to ride the resale wave in 2021

    Like a number of other resale-focused platforms, OfferUp has experienced a surge in growth throughout the pandemic. The company's approach to resale is similar to Facebook Marketplace, with emphasis on local selling over shipping. After a year of facilitating quarantine-friendly home goods and furniture, the company is planning for retention by building out a mobile-focused app.

  • APR 23, 2021

    Affirm seeks to go beyond buy now pay later with its Returnly acquisition

    On Wednesday, Affirm announced that it intends to acquire Returnly, a software startup that helps retailers manage returns, for $300 million in cash and equity. The acquisition gives more insight into exactly how Affirm -- and some of its other competitors -- are mapping out their strategies for what else they can offer retailers, beyond just a digital form of layaway.

  • APR 22, 2021

    DTC furniture brand Floyd is launching a resale marketplace

    Resale platforms are all the rage these days, but some brands are choosing to keep secondhand sales in-house. This week, direct-to-consumer furniture brand Floyd is launching its own resale marketplace, called Full Cycle, as a way to prolong their products' life cycle in the market. The move is part of the company's sustainability mission, but also offers customers a discounted alternative to Floyd's products.

  • APR 22, 2021

    Why more brands are offering try-before-you-buy options

    As more consumers shop online, brands are looking for ways to minimize return rates and keep logistics costs low. One solution for this is "try before you buy," which allows customers to test out their order and pay for what they want to keep. While services like Amazon's Prime Wardrobe and Stitch Fix helped popularize this model, smaller fashion brands are testing it out to drive conversion and keep returns minimal.

  • MAY 05, 2021

    Brand guide: The Amazon expert’s playbook for Prime Day 2021

Modern Retail Virtual Forum
Jul 21, 2021

At the Modern Retail Virtual Forum, we’ll bring together senior retail marketers to discuss the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking in the era of smarter retail.

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