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How DTC startups fall flat in marketing their values

Direct-to-consumer startup founders have found themselves in a number of unprecedented situations over the past three months -- from having to keep their company afloat while stores were closed to having employees confront them about racism within the company. Many of these same startups have also found themselves in hot water for how they responded to these situations. The issue at hand is simple: customers feel like these companies aren't practicing what they preach.

Latest Stories

  • JUN 12, 2020

    As calls for improving diversity increase, many VCs are silent

    Over the past two weeks, there's been a flood of direct-to-consumer startups issuing statements about steps they will take to better support the black community, and build more diverse companies. But venture capitalists have remained largely quiet. "People are scared -- even though they want to do the right thing, they're worried that people are going to inevitably drag them down with, 'well look at your website,'" said one consumer investor.

  • JUN 12, 2020

    Saucey’s guide to launching successful branded partnerships

    At this week's Modern Retail+ Talk Saucey founder and CEO Chris Vaughn spoke about how the company, which launched in 2014, has grown and evolved its philosophy on working with brands. In the early days, the platform tried to find any big name in alcohol that would work with it. Today, the service is available in 40 different markets around the United States and finds itself sometimes turning down campaigns.

  • JUN 05, 2020

    How East Fork Pottery maintains customer loyalty during a time of uncertainty

    Running a radical, mission-driven brand can be tricky. East Fork Pottery's Connie Matisse explained at this week's Modern Retail+ Talk the need to integrate values throughout business decision, and why "not everyone needs to be your customers." Consistently defining your company and what you stand for is integral in finding and retaining customers, she said.

  • JUN 05, 2020

    The most important thing DTC startups can do is build diverse companies

    DTC startups have responded to events of the past week in a couple of ways. The first is by affirming their support for Black Lives Matter on social media, and pledging to fight against systemic injustice. Some brands followed that with pledges to donate to organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Movement for Black Lives Matter. Now, the focus needs to shift to building diverse companies.

  • MAY 29, 2020

    How Ugly Drinks approaches sales and growth — both online and off

    Running different channels requires skills and discipline. Brand consistency is key, especially when many channels are involved internationally and across different touch points. Ask “what are the reasons to come to the site and why is the experience special?” said Ugly Drinks CEO Hugh Thomas.

  • MAY 29, 2020

    The coming months will make or break the DTC boom

    Over the past two months, digitally native startups have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of store closures. Part of this growth was due to the fact that shoppers had fewer options. Now, shoppers have more options as stores open back up in more states. The coming months will prove just how much of the growth direct-to-consumer brands experienced was a flash in the pan.

  • MAY 26, 2020

    How Brooklinen’s growth marketing strategy evolved during a global crisis

    Brooklinen's marketing team explains why customer feedback is valuable during a crisis. Checking with the audience helped them modifying tone and content, target offline customers and make them comfortable with e-commerce, and leverage existing social media resources to further build customer loyalty.

  • MAY 22, 2020

    Facebook Shops present both opportunity and questions to DTC brands

    Over the past year, Facebook hasn't been shy about its e-commerce ambitions. So, it didn't come entirely as a surprise on Tuesday when Facebook announced that it would be launching customizable online storefronts called  Facebook Shops, as part of its quest to get customers to think of Facebook and Instagram as their go-to places to discover new products. Shopify is largely considered to be the go-to e-commerce provider from direct-to-consumer brands, and as such, stands to benefits the most right now from Facebook's aggressive e-commerce push.

  • MAY 15, 2020

    ‘More efficient than before’: DTC startups are rethinking the role of the office

    Now that companies have roughly two months of working remotely under their belts, all CEOs are grappling with if, and when, they should call employees back to the office. Many CEOs are trying to figure out exactly what that will look like. For some, it may mean getting a smaller space. For others, scrapping offices altogether.

  • MAY 15, 2020

    How Iris Nova is managing reopening brick and mortar

    Over the last three month, consumer behaviors have shifted -- and the strategies behind retail expansion have changed dramatically. At this week’s Modern Retail +Talk, Iris Nova’s founder and CEO Zak Normandin explained why the pandemic is a test for DTC brands that are hoping to maintain a brick and mortar presence.

  • MAY 11, 2020

    How ceramics brand East Fork transitioned to a pre-sale only model

    2020 was the year East Fork ceramics planned to become profitable. Now, that's likely no longer on the table, but the company is using a new model to better handle its balance sheet: pre-sales. Now, new product lines will all be for sale before they're manufactured, as a way to get capital in as early as possible.

  • MAY 08, 2020

    ‘Spend on marketing if you’re getting a discount’: Mike Duda on how to navigate the new CAC landscape

    Just because CAC is down, it doesn't mean aggressive marketing is right for everyone, said Mike Duda at this week's Modern Retail+ Talks. He explained what the new landscape means for DTC brands' future and how to think about longterm growth.

  • JUN 23, 2020
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Amazon Advertising Strategies Virtual Forum
Jul 20–Jul 22, 2020

The Amazon Advertising Strategies Virtual Forum is a series of presentations, workshops and talks taking place over three mornings that’ll help you navigate and survive our current crisis and the acceleration of e-commerce that has come with it.

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