WireCorp currently operates three publications (ExchangeWire, RetailTechNews, and TheGamingEconomy), covering the digital advertising, retail technology, and gaming sectors. The stand-out trend of 2018 across all these news sites was the rise of the direct-to-consumer (challenger) brand.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) is the biggest trend in marketing right now. Owning the relationship with customers has become the go-to strategy for next-generation brands, like Dollar Shave Club, Casper, Warby Parker, Monzo, and Airbnb.
This has impacted the broader marketing ecosystem, as DTC brands forgo traditional branding to acquire their customer base – and build brand equity.
Platforms and distribution have also revolutionised the consumer experience, allowing agile challenger brands to build market share in sectors that are dominated by legacy players that have failed to innovate.
But, of course, the DTC trend isn’t only about the digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs); it’s also becoming a go-to marketing strategy for more established brands, such as Adidas, that want to shift focus from wholesale to building their own direct customer relationships.
At WireCorp, we are focusing on this fast-growing and dynamic ecosystem with three new initiatives in 2019:
1. DTCDaily.com, a new publication focusing on the direct-to-consumer ecosystem
It’s very easy to dismiss DTC as a fad. I have seen a few crusty commentators talk down the phenomenon in their end-of-year reviews. These same people said the same about programmatic (ten years in, programmatic represents nearly 70% of global digital display spend).
The rise of the challenger brand is going to be one of the biggest trends of the next decade. The rise of platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, et al, have fundamentally changed media consumption and buying habits globally.
This has allowed challenger brands to emerge in a diverse number of sectors – from banking to baby care. Many of these DTC startups are being funded like tech companies, with a focus on disrupting legacy sectors. With analytics, data, and tech at their core, these challenger brands are now successfully competing with large incumbents.
DTCDaily.com aims to bring up-to-date news and deep-dive analysis shaping this exciting new sector – with a focus on the following:
- Marketing and brand building
- Platforms and technology
- Logistics and infrastructure
- Fundraising and M&A
- Sector-specific data and analysis
2. DTC Index, tracking the fastest growing DTC brands globally
We launched the DTC Index at the end of 2018. The index tracks the fastest growing and most influential DTC brands globally. We are currently tracking over 650 challenger brands across about 20 sectors – with that number to rise significantly this year. We will also add more features throughout 2019 that will provide more data on these challenger brands. Our aim is to highlight the best-in-class brands and give them proper profile.
3. DTC London, Europe’s first direct-to-consumer conference
Finally, we will be hosting Europe’s first DTC conference on 18 July, 2019. DTC London will focus on the biggest issues affecting challenger brands as they look to build their businesses. DTC London will also highlight the best and brightest in this sector, with our DTC awards ceremony on the day. Tickets are now on sale; and we have already confirmed a number of high-profile speakers from the space. Key areas of discussion are listed below:
- How platforms can be used to scale customer acquisition and best practices
- Data management and execution
- How social is the key to success
- Navigating through the funding minefield
- How DTC can apply data and analytics to traditional branding channels, like TV and OOH, and win
- From scrappy DTC brand to public company: how to scale your DTC brand
We strongly believe this will be a decade-long opportunity for entrepreneurs across the globe to build agile and data-driven brands that will evolve into successful businesses.
As we see the entire media and commerce layer become more data-driven, we predict 100 of 1000s will emerge to innovate across legacy sectors. We look forward to bringing all DTC-related news and analysis in 2019.
Please contact us directly if you want to partner or participate in any of our initiatives listed above.