We are all used to seeing D2C brands all over online and social nowadays. This is where they thrive due to their typically fresh and always-on-top-of-things identities. But just as innovative companies do – they’re continuing to innovate.
Instead of going the wholesale route by partnering with major grocers – where the competition is fierce – they’re getting more creative. Now, a trend is popping up where D2C brands with edible products are teaming up with IRL restaurants. The aperitif brand Haus, the sauce brand Fly by Jing, and Parlour Coffee are some of the brands leading this trend.
These collaborations give potential customers the opportunity to see their products as featured ingredients in dishes or drinks. The restaurants have the freedom to use these products in a way that makes sense for their cuisine. Customers can try the featured items, and shop the items from the D2C brand if they feel so inclined.
Why this is so smart for D2C brands
These brands are typically at the forefront of innovation, so it makes sense for them to think of innovative ways to get in front of new customers. This is nothing new to household names like Ghirardelli, M&Ms, Oreo, etc. But this is a really interesting transition for smaller brands that have previously made the conscious decision to operate mostly online.
The most glaring benefit is their ability to reach people who they likely never would despite their strong digital presence. Just because someone isn’t that into social media, doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be a sucker for your products. In this way, this is a great marketing ploy to simply get eyeballs on their products.
But the fact that these potential customers are interacting with these brands in a way that is super native to the environment and natural to them is invaluable. This hands on experience, the “moment of discovery,” if you will, can easily show the value that these products actually have in practice. This could either create a loyal customer out of someone that’s never seen the brand before, or even convert someone who was skeptical about the value of a product behind the trendy branding.
Retail is continuously evolving to be more in line with customer expectations and the prevailing technologies of the time. At this point, customers aren’t even sure what kind of experience they want; they just know what feels right when they’re experiencing it. So experimentation and innovations like this are keying to getting ahead of expectations before customers even know they have them.
How do you actually decide which expectations to get in front of?
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Expectations are a major part of the Customer Decision Loop. This loop is a complex process that customers shuffle through as they’re deciding whether your product is “worth it” to exchange their money for. In our new eBook, we dive deep into this concept and break down the steps, flesh out the components that drive your customers’ perceptions at each step, and give you concrete tools to get your customers to choose you every time. In other words, we help you detect what your customers care about, whether they’re aware of how much it motivates their decision or not.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Digital Marketer at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.