Categories: Strategy|By |3.4 min read|

Direct to Consumer

How Direct to Consumer Brands are Changing e-Commerce

Direct to consumer brands are changing retail and e-commerce in a very interesting way. In fact, IAB’s study called “The Rise of the 21st Century Brand Economy” predicts that a massive amount of retail growth will come from relationships created by direct consumer efforts. Many merchants that sell food products online have considered trying the direct to consumer route, and that demand will likely only increase.

However, for those who are not entirely seasoned on how the process works, direct to consumer advertising may seem like a complicated mystery.

It really isn’t! In this post, we’ll be exploring what this innovative form of marketing is, how it works, and some direct to consumer brands to consider as inspiration.

What is Direct to Consumer?

The term “direct to consumer” advertising (also known as direct marketing) means that a merchant is selling or marketing their product directly to their end customers. This is done without the involvement of third-party retailers and other types of middlemen.

E-commerce is changing quickly. The old form of the “multichannel” retailer isn’t working as well as it used to due to small margins. Consumers aren’t physically walking into businesses as much as they used to and are turning to online retailers for goods and services. Direct to consumer marketing can help businesses keep up with changing times. Consumer Package Goods (CPG) include products like food, drinks, personal care products, and household items that are commonly used on a regular basis. Instead of depending on middlemen like retailers, CPG companies are increasingly attempting to offer their products directly to customers through their own e-commerce channels.

Why Direct to Consumer Advertising Works for Small and Medium-Sized Brands

Direct to consumer advertising involves promoting a product or service from the seller to the consumer without the need for traditional advertising like television commercials or radio ads. Typically this form of advertising occurs strictly online.

Direct to consumer advertising is very effective for small or medium brands that don’t have the greatest brand recognition. Because of this, direct to consumer advertising has been seen as a threat to large brands and legacy companies who typically advertise via department stores and other traditional forms of advertising.

The are several different methods of direct marketing. The more traditional forms of direct marketing included door-to-door solicitation, face-to-face marketing, telephoning, and direct physical mail. These advertising forms are becoming more obsolete, and the main forms of direct to consumer marketing involve online advertisements.

3 Direct to Consumer Brands to Be Inspired By

There are several food-based direct to consumer brands out there that are thriving in many ways. Here are just a few:

1. Brandless

Brandless has been making waves since its conception, targeting a customer base who just want good products without the psychological impact of branding.

Brandless sells hundreds of brandless food and household items at a very low price, usually around $3 per item. Because of their cut of middlemen and expenses typically associated with branding, Brandless has become a sort of poster child for direct to consumer brands.

2. HelloFresh

Meal planning memberships have become more popular with client bases that live alone or are unfamiliar with cooking. HelloFresh is one such direct to consumer brand that provides various purchasing options based on a client’s dietary preferences, household size, and number of meals per week. This brand takes an advertising approach that brings potential customers straight to their website and does not partner with other brands or merchants.

3. Plated

Plated is another meal delivery service that focuses more on eloquent cuisine, targeting consumers who have started learning how to cook at home but want to become more “professional” in the art of cooking. All of Plated’s meals are very unique and slightly challenging but can be prepared in less than thirty minutes. Plated is known for using social media and excellent photography to bring potential customers to their exclusive website. Like HelloFresh, Plated uses direct to consumer advertising and does not partner with any other brand, working entirely within e-commerce.