First, why in the world would you want to establish a direct to consumer model? Selling single units on your website and amazon definitely won’t pay the bills, right? No it won’t, unless you can sell single units to thousands at a time.
So why do it? First, in any consumer product, it’s about creating demand…..and creating demand with the consumers that actually use or would use your product. The old school philosophy of banging sales into retail is insanity at it’s finest. Same goes for trying to bang sales into a distributor. The end user isn’t noticing these efforts and the sales guys that you are selling to have hundreds of brands to sell…..are they going to push yours or sell what the customers asks for? C’mon.
The plan is to lay the foundation.
- Make sure you have logical fulfillment and warehousing options to handle any kind of direct to consumer business.
- Spend your time and effort creating consumer facing advertising and marketing.
- Create quality content that’s entertaining for your consumers (see blog on content design https://www.pinnacle-brandmanagement.com/execute-video-content/).
- Customer acquisition should be spent on direct consumers, not retail sales leads.
- Save money forcing sales reps to make calls. If properly executed, you can have an order taker collect retail P.O.s or even smarter, create a portal on your website to accept orders.
- Spend your dollars making your brand and products look amazing.
- Constantly be innovating with new products.
With the proper direct to consumer marketing platform enough consumer interest will be generated to create a situation where you can dictate your terms to any retailer. There are brands out there, believe it or not, that have retailers begging them for product, yet they won’t sell to maintain specific branding and pricing standards.
This doesn’t happen overnight. It could take a year or more to develop, however, creating consumer facing content that lives for an eternity on the internet will gain momentum with each new video or article that you post.
Fun Fact: I started a Soccer store YouTube page in 2013. At first we didn’t get any hits on our videos and after a year lost interest in the business and it’s model but had 49 videos living on YouTube. By 2015 the channel had over a million views (without posting any new content) and we are kicking ourselves for exiting the business. We were positioned to have a very highly rated YouTube channel and the sales would have undoubtably followed.
Moral of the story, grab the direct to consumer model by the horns and don’t give up!