DTC isn’t a state of being
Media, tech, and engagement opportunities have changed for everyone. DTC isn't just for a razor company or a mattress business. It’s for car brands, hoteliers, service companies, or anyone with a customer, which is practically everyone. In that sense, DTC isn’t necessarily what a brand is, it’s what a brand does. As such, brands shouldn’t discourage themselves by saying, ‘this isn’t who we are.’ Instead, they should step back and say, ‘let’s talk about what we can do, in the short term and the long term.’
This time, it’s different
The world changed overnight when the pandemic struck. Brands and companies had no choice but to perfect their DTC strategy, many for the first time. Those that did will now be better prepared for an impending second shutdown. Those that did not can still get it right with smart preparation and a relentless focus on the customers who care about their products or services. A best-in-class digital experience was a valuable strategy five years ago. Today, it’s invaluable.
Data isn’t optional
If a brand isn’t making decisions with data, it’s probably not moving with enough speed and certainty. While setting up new and powerful data platforms and tools is a great solution, a perfectly good interim solution is to do more with whatever is available: collect more data and do more with it. In the right hands, customer business intelligence acquired through a mix of qualitative and quantitative research, as well as data-driven insight generation, can point to the right opportunities. While every brand is different, it’s important for a specific brand to be able to provide something that their customers value but currently aren’t encountering in the category at large.
Use your strengths
Despite some uphill challenges, legacy brands have a lot going for them. Even though digitally native DTC brands can manoeuvre quickly and are well positioned in today’s marketplace, legacy brands have scale. They have cachet and recognition, more resources and more depth. And while there are a plethora of resources to be used to their advantage, deep insight and expertise can’t be created overnight.