For direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, being able to appeal to the consumers who buy your products is essential.
Even the pharmaceutical industry, which doesn’t sell most of its products directly to consumers because they require prescriptions, still use DTC practices to encourage consumers to request their products over offerings from the competition. The direct-to-consumer market continues to grow, and the tactics DTC brands use in their marketing set good examples for DTC and non-DTC brands alike.
To better facilitate this, here are a few of the factors that DTC brands use to be successful in their industries.
Understanding the Customer
For direct-to-consumer brands, identifying the ideal target consumer is essential.
Brands that appear on store shelves can afford to target a wider range of consumers because even consumers outside of their target audience might encounter their products while shopping, DTC brands do not have that luxury.
Any consumer not interested in the product upon first contact is highly unlikely to turn around and visit the online store where that product is sold. Marketing efforts targeting those consumers that aren’t ideal customers are likely wasted.
Companies that sell direct to customer need to spend extra time doing market research and defining target audiences as effectively as possible.
Standing Out from Other Brands
Because DTC brands target themselves directly to consumers instead of simply competing for shelf space, they are better able to set themselves apart from other product brands.
This appeal doesn’t mean that they will somehow overcome the appeal of trusted legacy brands, of course; instead, they are able to offer a sense of personalization and uniqueness that other brands (including legacy brands) do not. It isn’t that direct-to-consumer brands are more appealing than their competitors, but instead that they appeal to consumers in a different way.
Offering Direct Service
One big way that direct-to-customer brands set themselves apart from their competition is that sales and service are often bundled together as part of the same experience.
Since DTC brands often sell their products from their own website or another brand-controlled platform, customer service is typically a part of that platform as well. This provides direct-to-consumer brands with a unique opportunity to market themselves not only as having a unique product, but by also providing customer service that goes above and beyond what one would expect from similar products they can stand out in the marketplace.
Providing a high level of customer service can attract consumers who have experienced problems receiving decent customer service from other brands in the past.
Building a Connected Fanbase
Social media is a powerful tool in the marketing world, and many DTC brands embrace this truth.
Having a strong social media presence is an important part of establishing a successful direct-to-consumer brand as it provides direct access to the very consumers you are trying to sell to. By embracing the power of social media, the brand can establish a voice that consumers resonate with and allow word-of-mouth advertising to flow through liked and shared posts in addition to sponsored posts and other types of social media marketing.
As an added benefit, the community that builds around the brand can actually help to encourage brand loyalty as fans increasingly enjoy their interactions both with the brand and with each other.
Creating a New Shopping Experience
For on-the-shelf brands and other products that are sold through traditional retail sales models, the shopping experience is dictated by the store or website where the consumer makes their purchase.
That isn’t the case for direct-to-consumer products. A DTC brand is free to customize and personalize the shopping experience in whichever way seems to fit the brand and its customers best. By making the shopping experience easy and enjoyable for customers, the brand can really make the experience memorable and in doing so increase repeat business significantly.