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.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are challenging legacy brands in every category, from makeup, to sneakers, to luggage, razors, tampons, socks, mattresses, toothbrushes and more. This dramatic spike in DTC brands over the last eight years, is the result of advancements in production, off-the-shelf e-commerce platforms, and no barriers to customer acquisition on the internet.

Disruptor DTC brands come to market with one main objective: to steal a piece of market share from household name brands. Essential characteristics of DTC brands include:

  • The product fills a market need and is married with an e-commerce value proposition like shipping, customization, personalization, or frictionless commerce
  • Heavy investment in customer acquisition and performance marketing
  • Instagram-friendly branding, voice and packaging
  • Long-term omnichannel or third party distribution plans to ensure scale and expand reach