Jatin is based in India and has over 12+ years of experience in finance and ops strategy roles across startups and large corporates. With experience running his own D2C brand, he has a deep understanding of consumer behaviour combined with a focus on problem solving, driving execution and leading new initiatives. He has an MBA in finance & strategy from Indian School of Business and is a CFA charter holder Jatin Gujrati is the business head at Vedix. His role involves leading the entire operations at the brand and the overall strategic vision of Vedix. The Company aims to clock Rs 500 crore in revenues by 2026.
Direct-to-consumer brands are companies that manufacture and sell their products directly to the buyers without involving a middleman. This allows them to sell their products at lower costs than traditional consumer brands. It also allows them to control the making, marketing and distribution of their products.
These brands can experiment with their distribution techniques, like shipping directly to consumers or partnering with physical retailers to open Shop in shop model. These startups and new age brands are competing with big retail brands today, from every field.
E-commerce brands like Amazon, Flipkart, Tata Cliq, Nykaa, Myntra etc play an important role in the growth of D2C brands. These companies are using e-commerce brands as their marketplace in the most optimal way.
Benefits of D2C brands:
- Increased Consumer Engagement: In the traditional mode of business, due to the presence of a middleman there is no room for consumer interaction with the manufacturer. Even if there is, it is under the control of the retailers. Manufacturers spend a lot on advertising but fail to influence the sale by building a relationship with the consumer directly.
- Innovative Opportunities: Traditional business models follow a standard way of selling products. They experiment very rarely, shy away from introducing new products or do not keep a track of their most sold items. Manufacturers in traditional methods produce what the retailers ask them to. D2C brands experiment with their products a lot, they launch new products frequently, on a small scale and collect feedback from their consumers on the product.
- Gathering Customer Data: As mentioned before D2C brands are directly in contact with the customers from marketing til post sale feedback. This helps them collect the email addresses, location, social media profiles and purchasing preferences of their customers and make changes in their products accordingly.
- Profit Bearing: By eliminating the retailers from the scenario D2C brands have higher margins on the products they sell. Even by lowering MRP they earn profits.
- Brand Loyalty: The customer service in D2C is much better than traditional brands which in turn earns them a loyal customer base.
- Expand The Scope: Geographical location is no longer a factor of hindrance for D2C as they can approach people on a higher margin.
How D2C Brands Are Benefited From Social Media
- Specifying Target Audience: Identifying a target audience is the first step of creating a marketing strategy of a product. Social media marketing is about targeting a specific group of audience and advertising a particular product among them. D2C brands have taken advantage of this direct pathway to their consumers. All they have to do is determine the age, gender, location, income bracket, etc of their target audience and make an ad accordingly. With the help of this specific data from the social media platforms the brands take up an identity and personify themselves so that the audience connects better with them.
- Customized Campaigns: Social media gives the D2C a peek into the lifestyles of the people they are targeting as their audience. They can analyse their target audience;s preferences and make effective changes to their products based on their interests and needs. Social media campaigns may not always be product advertisements but simple posts and stories that will humanize the brand to the audience. D2C brands often go for influencer marketing as influencers have larger and more credible audiences who are loyal to them.
- Establishing Authenticity: Relatability is the core of social media marketing and a vital step of success for D2C brands. D2C brands maintain their authenticity online with the help of community management. Community management is the process by which a brand actively communicates with its audience online. Replying to messages quickly and thoughtfully can help to establish long term trust and success on social media. Even posting images of customer reviews increases the authenticity of the brands. Also D2C often highlight their employees and teams as a way of showing their audience the authenticity of the manufacturing and production of their goods.
- Capitilizing Trends: Social media is the best platform to keep an eye on competition and do better than them. The D2C brands always keep a track on their competition and learn what not to do like them or what to do differently than them. Even though monetizing social media trends is a big marketing success one should walk away from the trends that have harmed their competitors.
Examples Of Indian D2C Brands
- Boat: This lifestyle brand has been providing us with affordable, stylish, and high-quality consumer electronics products for years now. Founded in 2016 by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta,BoAt identified itself as a lifestyle brand that deals in fashionable consumer electronics.BoAt sells its products through e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart. Currently they have around 5,000 retail locations. It sells 10,000 units per day, 4 million units per year and has served more than 20 million Indians to date. It began its journey by listing its products on e-commerce platforms and marketing through its own website and social media platforms, but today, Boat also has television advertisements and brand representation on a large scale.
- Pepperfry: It is India’s largest and one of the most popular online furniture stores. Pepperfry deals in furniture, lamps, kitchen appliances, housekeeping, bath and dining equipment. Currently Pepperfry has over 3.5 million registered users and 5 million monthly visitors every day. They also allow small and medium-sized business merchants to sell their wares through the platform. To promote its products, the brand uses digital marketing, print media, and television. Their campaign ‘Happy Furniture To You’ has been quite popular among the millennials and social media platforms.
- Vedix: Vedix is India’s 1st customised ayurvedic solution. Their Ayurvedic products are formulated by a team of Ayurvedic doctors who have a combined experience of 20 years and who have spent over 25000 hours into the research and development of the products. They sell 100% natural, ayurvedic and paraben and sulfate free products. Vedix sells their products through their own website and through e-commerce platforms like Amazon. Vedix has already served a million customers every month and continues to add about 50,000 new customers. Vedix is part of IncNut Digital, who last year earned about USD 4 million funding from RPSG Ventures. Their USP is the customized ayurvedic products that they provide for each of their customers, with the help of their website. They market through social media ads on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook etc.
Almost 90% of social media users talk to brands directly. Social media, especially Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, has become the preferred customer service channel for customers. The customers want an instant resolution to their query and the D2C brands provide them with that through social media messaging. Most D2C brands these days are capitalizing these platforms since millennials and Gen Z are more comfortable in buying a product if the manufacturer of the product and the production process is transparent to them and they can approach them easily.