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Visionary Chronicles: DTC Success | How to Thrive in Direct to Consumer Business

In Bryan Smeltzer's PODCAST, he discusses defining, building, and growing your DTC channel and creating an authentic lifestyle experience. 

Successful DTC brands devise a strategy around their core principles, representing a clear "point of difference" from their competitors, category or service and channel.

A brand must define these competitive weapons and deploy them across all lines of defense. These weapons include; digital marketing tiers and metrics analysis allowing you to pivot as needed, strategic and focused social media site development and growth, and authentic community engagement and user base growth. Developing a strategic, ongoing, and relevant game plan will allow a brand to protect its hard-earned equity and product positioning.

Another critical piece to successfully deploy your DTC business is defining your expectations across several tiers. Too many companies and brands we work with through LiquidMind (LiquidMindsite.com) have a very narrow focus, tunnel vision! Broaden and understand the actual landscape you face with DTC, both expansion opportunities and competitive challenges. These will encompass both tangible and intangible metrics. With so much data available, understanding the reasoning behind the numbers, along with the proper application of resources and investments, will determine your success, which means not merely throwing money at an opportunity without first analyzing the demo target and investment required to have an impact.

This investment and analysis require a deep dive to understand the landscape and if you want to become a big fish in a small pond or little fish in the ocean of other brands and similar products. Find your "open" water, define your platforms and understand the success metrics, both tangible and intangible.

The issue with many DTC models is they consider only the tangible but miss on the intangible. For example, all considerations and analyses are attrition, ROAS, CPC, CAC, price point compression, Loyalty, LTV, competitive set, and capabilities.

There are several areas I have defined through our work with both global and start-up brands which has allowed them to sustain long-term success with their DTC business;

• Product Innovation Pipeline, constantly be introducing new products and drawing previous generations. So control the supply/demand curve!

• Master your Core Business before moving into other categories; master your current category. Don't get greedy; stick to what you know, then migrate.

• Provide Value beyond Product; the product is present; Value is the future. Once your community has purchased your product, this is where LTV is maximized. Keep them engaged, provide Value!

• Build your Loyalty Loop, clearly understand the customer journey, and make their engagement experience easy.

• Create a Relationship, personalize, personalize, personalize! Proactively understand the needs of your customer, both product and experience.

Building, growing, and sustaining your DTC business will provide band equity creation and long-term community loyalty, and the ability to control your destiny.