India's D2C Rush
As more and more consumer brands go digital to reach customers faster and carve a unique identity, India’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) moment is well and truly here. With thousands of brands competing in the D2C space, will this be the future of India’s retail market?
“We want to give you the components that would make this shoe not just look like ours, but also match our approach to sustainability,” Joey Zwillinger, CEO of Allbirds wrote to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, talking about a product sold on Amazon that was strikingly similar to Allbirds’ Wool Runner, a product created using wool.
Zwillinger’s conviction and love for his products is something India’s D2C brands would relate to. Product is surely the king and product efficacy is the core to build the business for these digitally native brands.
As we have seen in our previous articles, launching a D2C channel for a brand is a matter of weeks these days. From readymade software and third-party logistics on any scale to free or cost-effective marketing tools and platforms, the options to help launch are aplenty. However, to thrive and not just survive, the only differentiator and competitive edge a brand can have is the product. The success of marketing, an essential part of D2C, also depends on product innovation. Marketing strategy may help in product positioning, but what improves conversion and retention rates is surely the product.
Many established brands have also failed when it comes to new product launches. A case in point would be the famous C2 launched by Coca Cola in the US. Diet Coke, which came before C2, was a hit, but it had a feminine brand image and taste was not well-received by consumers, so it was not a success among younger men, despite being lured in by the no-calorie formula. So C2 was launched with half the calories as a can of regular Coke and with the same taste. However, this didn’t go down well with the target group and thus the product didn’t take off. One year later, Coca Cola launched Coke Zero, a no-calorie, full-flavor product which turned out to be an all-time hit.