Retail Marketing

Direct to Consumer Marketing: 6 Creative Examples and Takeaways

Need some direct-to-consumer marketing inspo? Check out these creative DTC marketing examples and how you can adapt the same strategies for your brand.

retail brand filming a social post

Spoilers: direct-to-consumer marketing is becoming more and more creative as competition grows.

Direct-to-consumer brands are on track to generate a staggering $150+ billion in 2022. There’s a huge window of opportunity for companies that create compelling campaigns.

But there’s no denying that the DTC space is crowded. 

Mattresses. Skincare. Furniture. Streetwear. No matter your niche, you’re facing stiff competition.

That’s why experimenting with new strategies is so important for up-and-coming brands. 

The good news? There are plenty of proven direct-to-consumer marketing tactics to test-drive that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve got you covered.

6 Creative Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Tactics + Why They Work

From bolder branding choices to exploring new channels, there’s plenty that DTC brands can do to stand out from the crowd. You don’t have to reinvent your business to do it, either.

Below are six DTC marketing tactics and takeaways that are fair game for just about any brand.

1. Make an Impression with Unique Product Packaging 

Creating experiences is a must-do for DTC brands in ecommerce.

Arguably the easiest way to make an awesome first impression? Packaging and presentation.

Heck, 72% of consumers say product packaging and design affect their purchasing decisions.

Think about the popularity of unboxing videos and their impact on shoppers. Unique packaging often generates positive word-of-mouth, particularly on social media. From customer shout-outs to valuable user-generated content, a buzzworthy unboxing experience pays off.

last crumb unboxing on youtube

Source: Sophia Mesler

Also, consider that packaging is the perfect way to express your brand’s personality. 

Last Crumb’s sleek and stylish product presentation feels like something from a luxury brand rather than a cookie company. Coupled with names like “The Madonna” (and “Netflix and Crunch”), their over-the-top cookies are tailor-made for social sharing.

  last crumb brand instagram post last crumb influencer gifting example

Source: @lastcrumb / @jennaheats

Unboxing represents a valuable, one-of-a-kind experience between brands and buyers. You only get one shot to make a lasting impression on new customers, so you need to make it count. This is especially true for DTC ecommerce brands. Unboxings might be the closest thing you have to face-to-face interaction with your audience.

2. Let Your Bold Branding Speak for Itself

Branding is everything in direct-to-consumer advertising.

Again, crowded competition and similar products signal the importance of brands being bold.

And when we say “bold branding,” we mean:

  • Having a distinct brand voice and mission
  • Packaging and presentation that piques people’s interest (sound familiar?)
  • An aesthetically striking website and social channels

Many consumer brands in beauty and skincare adapt the concept of boldness in their own way.  For example, NUORI uses minimalist product shots and packaging to make a statement. They try to let their products speak for themselves. 

dtc brand nuori product packaging

Source: NUORI

NUORI’s branding also highlights the importance of consistency. The brand’s minimalist style carries over to their social media posts and establishes their brand voice elsewhere. This approach is in stark contrast to many of the “louder” DTC brands out in the beauty space.

direct to consumer marketing example instagram

Source: @nuoriskincare

The takeaway? Achieving an aesthetic should be one of your top direct-to-consumer marketing goals.

3. Delight Customers With Your Distinct Sense of Humor

So many consumer brands are defined by their personality.

Maybe that’s why we’re seeing so many brands and campaigns adopt a humorous voice that tickles their target audience.

Being funny is one of the best ways to engage modern customers. Consider that 57% of consumers are attracted to marketing messages that make them laugh. 

That’s because humor helps diffuse any sense of a “sales pitch” when people discover your brand. Entertaining content and messaging can make your brand seem more human. In turn, you establish a much-needed connection and sense of trust.

Also, note that 46% of people share content on social media with the sole intention of making others laugh. This highlights how humor and word-of-mouth go hand in hand.

What does humorous DTC marketing look like in action, though? When it comes to witty ways to win over customers, Glonuts does it best. Their website’s sarcastic copy and Lisa Frank color scheme are totally in-your-face.

glonuts dtc brand example

That’s what makes it great, though! Glonuts lets their brand’s boldness and personality shine through via humor. This is an example of how direct-to-consumer marketing doesn’t have to feel like marketing at all.

Glonuts also gets bonus points for proving how humor, bold branding and creative packaging all work together.

glonuts add to cart

We’ll bite though: humor might not be the right fit for your brand.

The bigger takeaway here is to show off your human side and personality when possible. Talk to your customers like people. Don’t be afraid to let your sarcasm or sense of humor slip out throughout your marketing.

4. Tell a Compelling Story (and Don’t Be Shy About Your Values)

Consumers want to make personal connections with the brands they support.

In fact, 64% of consumers expect brands to be the ones to initiate the connection. Doing so can lead to long-term loyalty and trust.

Storytelling is crucial to creating a meaningful connection. House of Aama is a shining example of compelling brand storytelling in action. That’s because they define exactly why they’re “not just another clothing business.” 

house of aama about page dtc brand

The brand describing themselves as a “spiritual expression” with products that give off “raw, primal energy” is the definition of bold. The brand’s commitment to a dialogue around heritage and tradition is likewise not something you’d typically associate with a clothing company. Their story is unique, authentic and memorable.

Obviously, not every company is going to have this sort of story. That’s not to say you don’t have one to tell, though. From your mission and values to the circumstances of why you got started, let your customers know who you are.

By telling your brand’s story, you can show consumers who you are beyond your products. A word of advice: a little bit of authenticity can go a long way.

5. Put Your Commitment for Sustainability Front-and-Center

Piggybacking on the point above, some consumers are drawn to companies with specific values.

Being environmentally conscious and sustainable is a massive one for buyers today. Food for thought: 73% of Gen Z consumers say sustainable products are worth a higher price tag.

If your brand is all about sustainability or environmental causes, make it known. Brands like Allbirds have mastered the art of DTC marketing by blending stylish products with eco-friendly materials.

 

allbird dtc marketing example

Source: Allbirds

Let’s look at another example from FFS, a sustainable shaving brand. The brand’s website clearly highlights the company’s environmental efforts as soon as you land. Sustainability is at the core of the brand itself.

allbirds website productsSource: FFS Beauty

Similar to humor, not every brand can use sustainability as their selling point for products.

That said, you can still adopt sustainable business practices. Take eco-friendly packaging and materials, for example. Even showing support to environmental causes is a solid starting point. 

Despite popular belief, your brand doesn’t have to directly be “green.” Wherever you're brand is at in terms of turning over a more planet-friendly leaf, be sure to approach it with authenticity. Misleading customers or going in with the wrong intentions could seriously backfire. 

6. Deliver a Personalized Shopping Experience

Circling back to our first point, consumer businesses need to make the customer experience a top priority.

Personalization is a powerful way to do exactly that. Through personalized experiences, you can earn your potential customers’ trust faster. Not only that, but people will spend 40% more with a brand that personalizes the shopping experience.

ThirdLove does a brilliant job of making customers feel comfortable and confident as soon as they land on their site. The brand achieves this through:

  • A positive tone of voice
  • Size inclusivity and diversity throughout their marketing
  • Comprehensive product quizzes that ensure every customer gets the right fit

6 direct to consumer marketing examples 7 (1)

Recent research says half of DTC brands use behavioral data to deliver personalized experiences. This speaks to the value of quizzes to gather information and reassure your shoppers at the same time. The end result is a better experience and delivering a product they’ll love.

personalized bra quiz - third love

The same data noted above also says that 35% of DTC brands are looking to partner with creators. 

ThirdLove consciously features creators of all shapes and sizes throughout their social media marketing campaigns. Empowering people to envision themselves with your product represents a valuable personal touch.

third love instagram post

Source: @thirdlove

Remember: creators are integral to making connections with customers. When shoppers see creators praise your products and highlight why you’re worth buying from, they’re much more likely to become customers themselves. 

Which of These DTC Marketing Strategies Could Work For You?

There’s no shortage of DTC brands with creative marketing campaigns.

Hopefully, these examples informed and inspired you to likewise experiment with some new tactics. 

All of the strategies above are effective for building brand awareness and driving sales. That said, adding creators to your campaigns can take them to the next level. From telling your story to highlighting your personality and showing off your products, there’s a reason why DTC brands are going all-in on influencer marketing.

TikTok planner for brands

Want to break through the noise and get more creators posting about your brand? Connect with one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing specialists today to see how we can put together a campaign that gets your target audience talking.

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