retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times has a terrific story about how the "direct-to-consumer brand revolution is one of the most dominant forces in the retailing business today. It began with a handful of start-ups, then grew to dozens, then hundreds — from mattresses (Casper) to bras (ThirdLove) to electric toothbrushes (Quip) to vitamins (Ritual) to tampons (Lola) to luggage (Away) to sneakers (Allbirds) to makeup (Glossier) to hair color (eSalon) to pet food (Farmer’s Dog) — and even thousands, counting the brands filling the endless digital aisles and shelves of Amazon Marketplace."

In analyzing the power of these brands, the story notes that they succeeded because "technology and globalization were leveling the playing field. You didn’t need to start with a big advertising budget to get the attention of consumers. You didn’t need a manufacturing plant. You didn’t need to spend millions of dollars on research and development. You didn’t need a retailer to carry your product … By targeting a corporate giant’s weakness — high prices or inconvenience or a stodgy image — a clever start-up with the right strategy, the right message and the right product value could create a new national brand virtually overnight."

Great piece, and you can read it here.
KC's View:
One other point - the Timespiece was adapted from “Billion Dollar Brand Club: How Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, and Other Disruptors Are Remaking What We Buy,” which will be published next week. Sounds like a great read, and you can order it here.