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.

Rewind to the year 2000. Can you remember what subscription services you signed up to? If you’re anything like me, your Nokia 3210 mobile phone contract and horribly underutilized gym membership (oh, the guilt when you didn’t go for a few weeks!) were the extent of your flirtation with ‘members clubs’.

But today, for most of us, subscription is a way of life. It’s transformed the way we listen to music, read news, watch our favourite TV shows and box sets, engage with friends, buy groceries, bag the latest fashion must-haves, and try new health and skincare products.

Subscription services are booming. They already contribute over £583 million to the UK economy annually and that’s set to grow to £1 billion by 2022. In fact, they are now so baked-in to the psyche of millennial shoppers, who relish the convenience and personalization they bring, that they show no signs of going anywhere soon. But with more brands than ever moving into subscription, and with juggernauts like Amazon competing for your business, building a successful subscription company is far from straight forward.