dtcbriefing

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 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

    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 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 08, 2020

    DTC brands are sitting out the first wave of store re-openings in Texas

    Direct-to-consumer startups have been thinking for weeks about how and when they want to re-open their stores. But as the time has come to re-open stores in some states, no one has any better idea of what the right path forward is than they did six weeks ago.

  • MAY 01, 2020

    ‘Reminded me to be more human than ever’: DTC founders face leadership strains as crisis drags on

    For many direct-to-consumer founders, it's been six weeks of extreme highs and lows -- some companies have recorded simultaneously some of their best and worst sales days within those same time periods. But even companies that have reported record sales haven't been immune from having to lay employees off. As a result, many DTC founders are finding themselves having to navigate situations that they never have been before, and are having to learn new ways of leading.

  • APR 24, 2020

    Lower advertising costs present a double-edged sword for DTC brands

    In some ways, it's starting to feel like the early days of the direct-to-consumer boom all over again. A startup's website is once again its most important sales channel, as stores remain closed. Startups are having to operate with as small of a team as possible. And Facebook is once again a cheap place to advertise. Over the past couple of years, the constant refrain has been that DTC startups need to rely less on acquiring customers through Facebook. As more companies started advertising on the platform, Facebook advertising costs started to rise. Now, as more companies are dramatically slashing their advertising budgets in the wake of the coronavirus, Facebook is becoming less crowded.

  • APR 17, 2020

    Looking ahead, DTC brands start scenario planning for store re-openings

    Right now, direct-to-consumer startups have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and nowhere is that more evident than within their brick-and-mortar divisions. Most of the executives I spoke with this week said that they don't anticipate being able to re-open their stores until the summer. "I think people are preparing models [in which stores] will open as early as July and as late as October," said Logan Langberg, principal at Imaginary Ventures, which has invested in Camp and Everlane. But it's absolutely critical that when stores re-open, DTC brands are ready.

  • APR 03, 2020

    As the DTC reckoning accelerates, founders turn to each other for advice and sanity

    The reckoning was a while in coming. It just wasn't expected to come like this. After all, people on Twitter, that favorite platform of the direct-to-consumer startup community -- and plenty of articles on this site as well -- love to talk about one of a few things: If there's a direct-to-consumer ceiling; the best way to acquire customers, and the inevitable slowdown and burst of the DTC bubble as unprofitable businesses are due to run out of cash, with no investors left to fund them. And thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, that last one seems to have accelerated. "The coronavirus outbreak notwithstanding, there were a lot of issues that were spread out through the rest of the DTC ecosystem going into the first-quarter of this year," said Jeremy Cai, CEO of Italic, which sells luxury bedding and handbags. "I feel like we are settling into a new normal in many ways of being conservative," he said.

  • JUN 23, 2020
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