Direct-to-consumer retailers have said it before and they’ll say it again—one of the biggest obstacles to the startup model is scaling the business. While brands have adopted a variety of strategies to grow, including diversifying into new marketing channels and taking on a brick-and-mortar location, there is no secret playbook to follow. This was clear at a Reinventing Retail panel Monday afternoon at Advertising Week, during which d-to-c brands hashed out the pros and cons of performance and brand marketing, and discussed when physical retail enters the equation.
“There’s a low moat—anyone can jump in and start a brand,” said Nate Checketts, co-founder and CEO of Rhone, a performance menswear brand, to the packed audience. “It’s easier than ever before to build a $5 million, $10 million business. But it’s harder to go from there to a billion-dollar brand for the same reason.”
It’s a topic that was explored at Ad Age’s own d-to-c-focused conference earlier this month, as brands such as Boll & Branch discussed a diverse marketing mix.