vlog series: Episode 6

Brand love from the best in the business

This is the sixth and final vvlog in this Shop Eat Surf vvast D4C series. Do catch up on previous editions here.

In this edition you will hear from our panel of experts to better understand:

  • Why a brand equity driven omnichannel strategy is crucial for building long term brand equity
  • The pitfalls and potential of launching your D2C brand in Europe and how vvast’s playbook and platform approach can accelerate revenue, sometimes by years
  • Why D4C is not only the next big thing, but also what consumers expect from the brands they love

At vvast, our focus is absolutely on brand. Putting the customer at the heart of the brand conversation. Innovation and the vvast ethos of relentless R&D sits right at the heart of our brand thus ensuring we all keep a step ahead of consumer expectation.

Our transition from straight D2C into direct for consumer (D4C) is precisely what makes this the right time to be bringing the best from the business, those that have earned their stripes through web 1.0, 2.0; and introduce the next generation as we explore the new frontier of web 3. JLs expertise at the coal face of retail from the 80’s through the decades brings wisdom and best practice. However, his consumer centric approach previously realised through the more traditional bricks and mortar channels aligns with the D4C approach to ensure we never stand still and he is just as relevant now as ever before.

Digital transformation is not a new concept, but in context of the traditional distribution model we are now able to really understand how creating a direct dialogue with your customer ensures that everything you can say to each other helps make for an easier way to shop.

We now stand on the edge of the next stage of consumer expectation driven by the emerging opportunities in web 3 whos’ own decentralised ethos resonates with a consumer previously fatigued from out of date privacy legislation which led to consumers being tracked often on a non-opt in basis.

With the power starting to be returned to consumers on the privacy front by way of a post Cookie experience web 3 offers new ways for brands to empower the consumers who have bought from them, truly enabling them to join their tribe.  

In the second episode we talked about the tried and tested ‘Three Ts model’ of Trading, Traction and Transaction, developed to maximise ROI and accelerate growth. Through this we derive brand learning and better understand how to manage growth through a brand lens to improve customer engagement. This is critical because if the consumer feels safe, if they really understand what the brand is and what type of product they can buy that deepens the relationship.

Next generation omnichannel

To thrive in today’s market, you need a unified, omnichannel approach to deliver seamless experience. A proven capability and an innovative platform that has been fine-tuned across years working with high profile brands is a huge benefit. Sharing expertise across luxury fashion product launch to lifestyle, outdoor snow and skate brands and looking outside the market at best practice. Key to success is the ability to drive brands at global scale but in the right way for their independent region. This requires a really low-cost entry model; business intelligence tools in the place; the right acquisition and retention policies; and the right digital exposure to the market. Brands are joining hands with us to take advantage of shared learning across our platform and portfolio.

A brand best respected and protected

The omni channel approach does not mean that we think channel first. If you do things right across all of your channels, then you create the longevity. This ensures brands are more devoted to the customer and the product life cycle. Otherwise, if you protect your brand on one channel and don’t control the full business model you risk devaluing your brand equity. Aligning your sights on the direct to consumer channel through physical retail allows you to consider the wider business and open new communication potential. What will happen, will my brand be damaged by this new approach? Many brands do not have access to the right data, or how to navigate the local landscape to derive actionable insight.

Beyond transaction to brand love

The D4C approach allows you to share data and learning to define the right number of tools, benchmark the right average order value; which wholesaler to engage; and how to actually launch products in the market through D2C or through wholesale or through select wholesale. Protecting the brand DNA in the market is sacrosanct. Ultimately D2C is a marketing tool that becomes an extension of the brand, and the consumer gets a deeper connection to the product. He wants to learn more about the brand itself and that is what drives brand respect and ensure brand protection.

We only work with brands that have a genuine brand story and are committed to building equity in the market. Beyond transactional relationships you can leverage all channels to create a sense of the theatre from in store through into the digital experience. Through the use of data and stunning brand assets we can explore fresh ways to enhance the user experience. Critically we have to demonstrate the value to the consumer as to why they should opt into the marketing and it’s important to do that right from that first click.

Top tips for D2C brands to make the leap to D4C

Europe is a complex market and the approach in the UK will be not the same in Germany. At the end of the day, your consumer is the most important thing. Market penetration is dependent on multiple factors; therefore, an agile approach is critical. Attention to data and investment into a platform that enables you to tailor your strategy and approach towards the end consumer.

Ensure you are always learning how your customers are interacting with the other channels. Join up all aspects of your business model; share insight across team; identify how you are adding value across all touchpoints; and make sure that you are creating dialogue with all your customers.

With the burgeoning web 3 frontier now on us the all pervasive, ubiquitous brand experience is viable. If blended and collected correctly the data is there to provide never seen before D4C brand experiences if you can coax a customer to join your world be it physical, online in the web 2.0 sense or however they are interacting with your brand in the web 3.0 Metaverse.

That’s a wrap for now – please like and subscribe so we can keep in touch. We will be back soon with a new series to delve deeper into what’s in store for existing D4C brands.