Andrea Lisbona, founder and CEO of hand sanitizer brand Touchland, was hoping for a year of fast revenue growth. But her projections were completely shot out of the water thanks to a surge in demand over the past few weeks for hand sanitizer, caused by people buying more of the product over concerns of catching the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Lisbona said that within the past few weeks, Touchland has sold more than 250,000 orders, which works out to about 800% growth.
Now that members of Generation Z are entering the workforce and beginning to flex their purchasing power, marketers want to better understand these individuals who were born from 1995 to 2012. Seven Gen Z marketers and entrepreneurs share their insights from the frontlines.
Retailers’ use of TikTok is still in its early days, but many are already testing the water by partnering with existing influencers on the popular app. While many brands aren’t necessarily building out official pages on the video sharing platform, retailers like Target, Kroger and Walmart are finding value in early investment in youth-geared social network.
When DTC health care startup Ro launched in 2017, the startup was initially focused on connecting male patients with doctors to discuss medical conditions like erectile dysfunction and hair loss. Today, Ro now sells medication to treat 11 different conditions under three brands: Roman for men, Rory for women, and Zero, which is focused on nonsmokers. As Ro's potential audience grows, it is finding it is increasingly having to rely on more than just Facebook and Google search ads to reach new customers.
The 2020 election cycle is in full swing, and retailers are wasting no time getting political. This week, several retailers announced initiatives revolving around the current political discourse. From offering support female candidates to pledging to give employees time off to vote, brands are increasingly becoming more comfortable taking a public stance on issues. Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign is a top example of this strategy, which was viewed as both polarizing and courageous by the public and the industry. Shortly after the former NFL player's first Nike ad ran in late 2018, the sneaker maker's sales spiked by 10%, bringing in revenue of $847 million.
As direct-to-consumer startups feel greater pressure to rely less on digital channels like Facebook and Google, other, they're considering investing more in traditional media advertising. That includes out of home advertising (OOH), like billboards, digital bus stops and painted murals.
Within the past year, Google has made a significant push to turn itself into more of a shopping destination. But it's also taken steps to encourage more retailers and direct-to-consumer brands to invest in YouTube. In November, YouTube announced that it was extending shopping ads to YouTube's home feed and search results, so that when a user searches for say, Puma shoes, they see an ad with a carousel of suggested products to buy.
Tik Tok has managed to attract large retailers in just two years. From Old Navy to Walmart to supermarket giant Krogers’ shoppable campaign, everyone from big box and smaller retailers have hopped on the Tik Tok wagon.
Peloton has had a rough week, following the release of a much-derided TV ad. People on Twitter criticized the company, and its market capitalization dropped. The entire saga highlights a new kind of luxury company -- and how they represent a growing cultural divide.
More direct-to-consumer brands are experimenting with partnership marketing, in order to further diversify their marketing spend away from Facebook and Google. Although there are inexpensive ways to test out partnership marketing, it can take a lot of trial and error to figure out which brands are actually effective to partner with.
Retail media is growing in importance. The idea of retailers turning their websites into media platforms isn’t a new one, but over the past few years, has commanded more interest and more attention from brands. For brands specifically, advertising on retail media isn’t an ad problem anymore -- it’s a business problem.
Direct-to-consumer brands are starting to invest more in traditional advertising channels, like billboards, television and direct mail as consumers' inboxes or Instagram feeds are getting clogged with ads from competitors. Brands who spoke with Modern Retail say that direct mail is proving to be a small, but useful part of their marketing mix to reach a select group of high-intent customers.
Over the past year, weighted blanket brand Gravity Products has started to partner more with brands on product collaborations in order to lessen its reliance on selling directly to consumers. Today, Gravity announced that it's partnering with DTC mattress brand Purple on a product collaboration. CEO Mike Grillo said that partnerships now make up nearly 18% of Gravity's revenue, up from 2% last year.
Some direct-to-consumer companies are slowly building out corporate gifting programs, as they look for more ways beyond paid advertising to reach large groups of potential new customers. Bombas piloted a corporate gifting program for the first time last year. Today, it has a team of three that manages corporate sales, two members of which were just hired in June, according to chief marketing officer Kate Huyett.
With in-person sales largely out of the picture this holiday season, brands must adapt to deliver the frictionless experiences that online consumers expect and demand.
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