Anjali LaiFeaturing:

Anjali Lai, Senior Analyst

Show Notes:

Direct-to-consumer brands are grabbing headlines and consumer spend. But who exactly are these consumers who wake up on a Casper mattress, put on their Warby Parker glasses, shave with a Harry’s razor, and sling on their Everlane backpack before heading out the door?

Little research has been done on the demographics and motivations of DTC consumers. On this episode of What It Means, Forrester Senior Analyst Anjali Lai discusses pioneering research that dissects what’s driving the DTC trend.

While the particulars are interesting, one resounding theme is clear: It’s all about the experience. DTC brands’ stripped-down approach to product and channel offerings has allowed them to create a consistent, focused brand experience that resonates. It’s about value and values. It’s about quality and convenience.

Whether or not DTC brands achieve financial viability over the long term (and there are hints that they may not unless they’re acquired by a bigger brand), DTC challengers are reshaping consumer expectations. Incumbent brands will be judged based on the curated, highly personalized experiences DTC brands have proven they can deliver.

All is not lost for incumbents, however. Consumer preferences are always changing, and most brands can and will adapt. But to be successful, any changes must be concordant with your brand’s core purpose.