Wine company Winc just launched its equity crowdfunding campaign on the Seedinvest platform, in the hopes that it can raise a Series D fund with the help of its fanbase. Winc has raised nearly $50 million from traditional investors. Now, it's turning to everyday people with some extra cash to spare asking them to invest in the growing company too. It's a rare move for the alcohol space, but follows in the footsteps of a few interesting brands.
This past week, Arizona Iced Tea announced plans to launch a partnership with a cannabis company. It follows a few other bigger brands dipping their toes in the cannabis space. While ingredients like THC and CBD are trending culturally, the companies trying to launch these products have an unclear regulatory road ahead.
After gathering customer insight from subscribers around the types of wines they prefer over Vinebox’s past three-and-a-half years, and seeing users buying more cases of the individual pours outside of the three-month delivery cycle, Vinebox founder Matt Dukes launched Usual Wines, a private-label brand of wines made in-house. Usual wines, which launched eight months ago, are sold in packs of six and can be bought online and at Usual’s first branded store and wine bar in San Francisco.
Brands transitioning their marketing strategies to account for broad awareness-raising channels – which yield little to no insight into attribution or customer data – have to navigate an awkward growing-up phase that requires a reallocation of resources, navigating partnerships, new methods for tracking results and back-end preparation to meet a new level of customer response.
On Wednesday, Gin Lane announced that it is shutting down its agency work, and rebranding to Pattern. Pattern will launch its own brands and operate them under one holding company, joining the long line of agencies that have tried to launch their own products.
Home insurance startup Hippo just reached unicorn status. Since the very beginning, the company worked with the branding agency Work & Co to help craft and evolve its strategy and products. While many upstart DTC brands sing the praises of bringing all branding in-house, this provides a helpful example of an agency partnership that helped a company be worth more than $1 billion.
When five-year-old startup Eight Sleep released a new product in February, a $1,995 smart mattress that offers dynamic temperature adjustment, the company used the launch to kick off a "pretty intense testing phase" of new marketing channels, according to senior vice president of growth Ori Klein.
Many DTC brands are no longer happy selling just products. Instead, they're expanding into services and platforms. But is this strategy to scale achievable or just empty promises to investors?
Children's apparel brand Rockets of Awesome is opening its first pop-up store in New York City on August 8. As a company that caters to both children and parents, it's looking at its store as a way to figure out how they want to shop together.
Most digitally-native retail brands start small, but as they grow they increasingly need to scale their customer service program. Recent headlines from growing companies like Rent the Runway illustrate the growing need DTCs have for centralized and proactive customer service programs.
Outdoor Voices is dipping its toes further into the editorial game. The athleisure brand launched today a content marketing platform, The Recreationalist, which includes a blog and a zine. Outdoor Voices' overall mission, according to the brand, is to "get the world moving" and to "free fitness from performance." The Recreationalist will be speaking to that ethos as a hub of "guidance, inspiration and motivation."
Like other digitally native brands, ThirdLove is opening its retail store to get in front of customers they weren’t reaching online through marketing efforts, or because they didn’t want to shop a brand for the first time online. By opening a store now, ThirdLove is catching up to other direct-to-consumer brands that have already tested temporary retail stores and are opening permanent ones.
As subscription startups grow up, they're finding that they constantly have to add more flexibility and variety to their offerings in order to grow their customer base. Startups like Bark, Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway built their value proposition on the fact that they offered more flexible terms than traditional subscription services that arrived like clockwork on the first of the month, and required 30 days notice to cancel.
As a number of startups are now competing to build more modern stores for direct-to-consumer brands, they are starting to think about how they can help these brands grow beyond just giving them a space to sell their product. Startups like Bulletin, Neighborhood Goods and Showfields increasingly want to build solutions to help brands grow online and offline.
Direct-to-consumer health care brands are starting to grow up, but still face an uncertain road ahead as some doctors express concern about the rapid growth of telemedicine. Companies like Ro and Hims, which got their starts selling generic erectile dysfunction and hair loss medication respectively direct-to-consumer, have now grown to encompass multiple brands
It’s normal for digital marketers to feel overwhelmed when dealing with the challenges that can come with a major launch, but when armed with the right tools and know-how to combat the most common obstacles, your team can set sail without a hitch.
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