The rules continue to change and evolve as we live through a pandemic. The world has shifted focus online and the Direct-to-Consumer strategy provides the perfect space for a consumer to shop without moving out from the safe confines of their homes.
With the growing volatile, online climate, going D2C is the best way for a start-up to enter the online consumer space and create a unique space for its products. A strong online marketing strategy, great online presentation via a UX and UI-friendly website, and a scalable product or offerings will help to compete against existing competitors who might already have a great fan following.
Let’s look at a few key drivers that can help in building a long-term sustainable D2C business model.
A great idea nurtures a scalable product
The idea could be a simple one but powerful in its execution. It could probably be your calling or passion but may have the potential to help millions with its shea cause that most hold true to their hearts. Once the idea or the offering has been locked in, put it across to your team or your mentors and get feedback on its pros and cons. Changer commitment to e is the only constant in the business world and it may take some time for your idea to pick up and make a splash. Patience is a business virtue in this case. Hopefully, your idea should have a ripple effect and grow into more sub-ideas that have the power to support the main one and bring in profits.
Make your brand content-driven
Every great D2C brand ever created was once an unknown name until its product became a household name. Try and name your products such that they have great brand recall and are easily remembered by people across all age groups. Do remember that Direct 2 Consumer is actually Human 2 Human in disguise and it makes sense to keep your content simple, easy, relatable, and with a great call to action. The human touch has to be evident in all your engagements and forming a relationship with the consumer to provide a solution should top the list of your marketing and sales team instead of pushing the product aggressively via pop-up ads and heavy marketing. To engage with everyone that shares your stories or comments on your page or even DMs you on your social platforms. These are your core audience who are truly interested in what you display. Make sure you are up to date with all the features that make your page or feed feature high on the platform’s algorithm. Use applications to track your emailers. Post video testimonials, create ‘How To’ videos where experts give out tips. Curate easily downloadable newsletters which talk about all the updates which have been happening and invite your readers to share anecdotes, interviews, or even personal experiences which will add to the original content. UGC (user-generated content) is one of the best ways to stay connected with your customer and also gives them the feeling of contributing in a significant way towards brand building.
Build a seamless UI/UX website and application
Do not lose out to your competitors just because your website does not download easily or does not have a user-friendly interface. A well-designed user experience can increase conversion rates up to 400% and reduce the bounce rates of your website. Keep it simple, clean, and legible for people to understand your brand story. If your target group is in tier two cities, don’t hesitate to go multilingual. This will create a better channel of communication with a wider audience. Create an application to complement your website. Do not add unnecessary features. Keep your core sell easy to spot and access at all times for the end-user.
Form a community
A community helps you to keep working for the betterment of your cause. It brings people together. It is your target audience that believes in your product, trusts you to keep coming with innovative products, and knows that your team will never fail them. Ensure that you remain connected with this community by sharing educational and informative content, hold Live Sessions on online platforms focussed on discussions and interactions. Your eyes and ears should be close to the community as you will get a lot of insights about your brand, your competitors, and even the public sentiment about social issues and causes which will help to improve and enhance your brand. Each member of this community will indirectly be your brand ambassador once they are sold on your product and will bring traffic to your website or buy your online products since they will be micro-influencers on their own.
Engage, engage & engage with your target group
Half the battle is won when you have a sticky customer base, the other half is won when you keep churning innovative products that appeal to the hassle-free sentiment of your target audience. Running regular giveaways, promotions, powerful campaigns, fun contests, and discounts makes your customer happy to keep heading back to your website to look for something new. Add in a referral scheme that is smart and pays its due to your OG customer who brings in 40+ odd people to your website with his influence. Use celebrity influencers or then incentivize your micro-influencers and form collaborations that have a mutual intention of being beneficial to your cause.
Build your public relations strategy
Authored articles by the founder, educative pieces by the experts sharing anecdotes on certain topics, news features by prominent publishing houses, guest blogs, funding updates about new investors who hopped on the bandwagon, creating advertisements in the local dialect are surefire ways to get more eyeballs on your product and brand. Structured press releases about new product launches, be it print or online are great ways to ensure that your brand remains in the public eye. This also attracts its fair share of new investors who would like to invest in your product.
Train your team to interact flawlessly with your customer be it through feedback calls, customer support, emails, etc. The basic intention should be to serve and not get defensive and blame the user for discrepancies. Don’t forget to carry out confidence-building exercises with your team. Organize workshops that will empower them. You will learn more about your customer as you dive deeper into the customers’ psyche and understand their pain points. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Instagram Ads will always be your allies when it comes to scaling your D2C brand but let your online footprint speak for itself and ensure that you get maximum organic growth to really top the industry.