Under the weight of the category, and increasingly complex business models, the direct-to-consumer label is cracking in its purity, but startup brands still have a similar mission in mind as they navigate their categories: Build sustainable businesses by any means possible (even if that means wholesale) while keeping customer wants and needs firmly rooted in the center of that strategy.
Blue Apron’s rise and fall has become a cautionary tale to other billion-dollar-valued consumer startup unicorns: Profitability may not matter to venture capitalists, but a lack of it can sink a business that’s beholden to stockholders scrutinizing quarter-by-quarter performance.
Burrow, like many other DTC brands that are getting into physical retail for the first time, is leaning heavily on events and experiences to drive people into stores. Its second store is open today in Chicago, which Burrow chose because it's the brand's second-biggest market behind New York City in terms of both revenue and customers.
Retailers’ interest in CBD products is tilting the burgeoning industry’s favor towards traditional players, and away from DTC startups in the space. The digital marketing engines like Facebook, Instagram and Google that help spur the momentum of direct-to-consumer brands still block companies from advertising non-intoxicating cannabidiol products, as they’re derived from cannabis. These platforms have all blocked paid ads promoting CBD products, under their policies against advertising “drug and drug-related products.”
Having made a collective mark on the retail’s makeup, direct-to-consumer brands are pushing to command more market share in their respective categories while dealing with an existential crisis. Direct-to-consumer retail, launched on the basis of selling directly to customers through owned e-commerce and physical retail, is exploring outside of its own channels to drive growth.
There’s not much channel purity among direct-to-consumer brands anymore, unless you look at Glossier.
Target is bringing digitally native Instagram brands to life in its aisles through a series of behind-the-scenes deals.
Grayson, a direct-to-consumer women's button-up brand, is launching on Thursday with a different go-to-market strategy than many other DTC brands.
Allbirds is hosting a SiriusXM radio show focusing on how to build sustainable companies.
Affirm's loan system -- understand what interest you have to pay upfront, no late fees, no compound interest -- has broad implications for retail.
Edible Arrangements is embarking on a digital makeover to grow customer relationships and drive traffic to stores.
Mike Duda, the managing partner at Bullish Inc., isn’t backing down on direct-to-consumer brands.
A growing number of health and beauty brands are turning to cloud-based systems that can handle customer, financial and inventory data across all processes, from production to payment.
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