The evolution of direct-to-consumer brands

This article is part of a series of articles on the evolution of direct-to-consumer brands. Read more.

In recent years it has become increasingly common to see new brands skip the traditional retail channels in favour of going it alone. Name a category, and there seems to be a shiny new challenger brand, disrupting the existing model by cutting out the middleman and delivering a range of innovative goods - direct to consumer (DTC).

There is much debate as to whether the DTC model is as sustainable or appealing as it first appeared. We may see the DTC boom begin to ebb in the coming years as consumers become jaded by each new competitor (or get subscription fatigue). Equally, we may see the DTC model become the norm in certain categories, or with certain consumer segments. Only time will tell.

What’s certain is the fact that many DTC brands have had tremendous success in capturing consumer attention – and custom – across multiple categories. So what can marketers learn from these DTC challenger brands? How might they be able to “steal with pride” from this collection of businesses and categories?