The 3Fs of modern-day consumer brands

The new consumer impact of a post-COVID-19 world, with an ever-evolving market that offers a challenge for brands as they negotiate it. Here are the 3Fs of modern D2C brands.
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The fastest trend impacting modern consumer brands is the blurring of lines between the channels via which the consumer discovers and consumes the products of a brand. We have come so far from the traditional distribution model of consumer products that now there is a dire need to recoin the word D2C brands.

While D2C has been a buzzword all last year, with more than 1,000 recognised D2C brands joining the bandwagon, we can no longer classify modern consumer brands only based on distribution methodology. In many cases, successful brands are no longer manufacturers or producers, but an assurance of quality structure built via a network of manufacturers, logistics, and marketing.

The new consumer impact of a post-COVID-19 world, with an ever-evolving market that offers a challenge for brands as they negotiate it. Here are the 3Fs of modern D2C brands:

1. Never fool the consumer

False claims and promise mismatches don’t last long. The last generation of consumers had become used to exaggerated claims and products not matching listing images.

Today’s consumers want brands to be transparent about their efficacy, attributes, origins and processes. This can also be seen as the packaging of modern-day consumer brands moving towards simpler, cleaner and realistic designs portraying product photos that resemble the products.

Claims have to be backed by reports and experts and labelling needs special attention as well. Consumers also want brands that offer total transparency in their manufacturing processes, from sustainable practices to ethical manufacturing. Modern consumers want to be in control of their decision-making process and this transparency helps them to maintain that control.

2. Never force the consumer

The days of salespeople led push marketing are over. Consumers are quick to pull out their mobile devices to compare product features, prices and reviews. This can also be attributed to the advent of aggregator led marketplaces where comparisons, on price and peer to peer reviews are now readily available on the tip of a finger.

People do not buy just products, but a thought process that resonates with existing beliefs.

For customers, asserting loyalty to brands, many times, is also a way of life. Thus, rather than forcing the consumer, modern-day consumer brands need to tell compelling brand stories that engage the consumer.

3. Never fail the consumer

Modern consumer brands operate like software companies. They understand that a product is a work in progress and never complete. It must be refined and improved based on feedback and competition.

With multiple brands selling the same emotional messaging (and similar functional value proposition), the customer will easily switch if he does not quickly find the brand he is looking for. Omnichannel is not just a strategy but a necessity. A continuous effort to understand consumer insights and evolve new products to suit the market will give brands the fillip they need to maintain top of mind recall for consumers.

D2C brands have had a great inroad into the market thanks to changing consumer dynamics, but the thinking needs to evolve if they wish to scale up, several brands start and gain initial traction via third party ecommerce channels like Amazon where setup cost is minimal.

However, in order to scale, most successful brands have had to go omnichannel including traditional retail, which offers an ‘experience’ and ‘tangible’ quality to the product unlike any other.

There are also rising consumer expectations in terms of delivery time, site speed and comparative analysis, which makes it extremely difficult to meet these expectations via owned channels alone. Modern-day consumer brands need to be agile and innovative to maintain their growth.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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