Opinion

The DTC brands to watch for 2019

DTC brands are now an established part of the retail landscape, but which new players should you watch out for in 2019? By Salomé Bakpa

Dalziel & Pow
By Dalziel & Pow
Posted 25. 02. 2019
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Direct to consumer brands, or as some call them DNVBs (digitally native vertical brands), are going from strength to strength. Some that may have seemed obscure or niche a couple of years ago are now household names, others are opening stores or moving into established channels. It’s an exciting time for this new crop of businesses. Moreover, they’re proving that retail is not dead and that brands with purpose and a consumer-centric approach will thrive. Following on from our previous article ‘Five Pillars that give direct to consumer brands an edge’, here’s a quick look at some names that you’re sure to start hearing more of during 2019.

Peloton

This cycling app is revolutionising the way people work out at home, we’ve actually talked about its UK arrival here.

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Why you should know about it

Peloton is an app that brings the intensity of your favourite spin class into your home. It allows users to download tailored workouts to their phone or tablet and have an instructor guide them. The app launched in the UK last year and now has five showrooms in London where people can try out a workout on one of the brand’s static bikes. As well as the bike and app, Peloton also sells a number of accessories, including weights, trainers and resistant bands.

Flamingo

Flamingo is a subscription razor brand brought to us by industry disrupter, Harry’s.

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Why you should know about it

Subscription services are a cornerstone of the DTC sector – think Stich Fix or Birchbox. Flamingo is headed up by two female Harry’s employees who want to shake up shaving for women in the same way they did for men. Rather than being a pure offshoot of the men’s product, the team behind Flamingo spent years interviewing women and testing their products to come up with a body care brand that’s thoughtfully designed and marketed. They offer lotions, wax kits, shave gels and razors that have been ergonomically designed to be used in the places women use them most – bikini line, underarms, legs, and toes.

Dadi

Men’s brand Dadi is a new service that enables men to test their fertility at home without the need to visit a treatment centre.

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Why you should know about it

Once a sample is collected and sent to Dadi’s headquarters, a fertility report will be emailed back to the customer. With its neat concept, catchy name and Millennial-friendly, unfussy packaging it looks set to disrupt the health market. This really is a perfect product for the US where fertility treatment can be incredibly expensive and not necessarily covered by insurance – Dadi’s price point is $99. It will be interesting to see if Dadi or indeed similar service can make their mark on countries with an NHS, like the UK.

Otty

The next big thing in sleep, Otty is the British mattress brand set to rival Casper.

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Why you should know about it

Founded in Leeds in 2016, Otty is on a mission to bring its hybrid mattresses to the UK and Europe, and has just opened offices in Berlin and Amsterdam. It’s a more affordable option than similar sleep disrupters – about £100 cheaper than Casper– and was awarded a Which? Best Buy award in 2018. It feels like there a far fewer digitally native British brands around, so it’s refreshing to see Otty doing well and expanding!

Victoria Beckham

Ok, Victoria Beckham’s eponymous fashion brand may not be new or digitally native, however, it is adopting a direct-to-consumer marketing strategy by launching a YouTube channel.

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Why you should know about it

It will be interesting to see if this more relaxed, direct approach sets a new standard in luxury fashion. The YouTube channel will allow the brand to form a more direct conversation with its customers and promises to create content gaged on feedback from the comment section. “The channel is going to enable me to communicate with my customer in a new way,” Beckham said to Vogue. VB was brought on board by YouTube’s new Director of Beauty and Fashion partnerships, Derek Blasberg – so this may be the beginnings of a ‘high-end’ era for the channel.

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