With the significant reliance on supply chains and retailer distribution networks in India, the concept of brand loyalty is very dispersed among regions. With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on enterprises worldwide, it became imperative to lessen reliance on external intermediaries. This isn't an entirely new trend in India; there has previously been a steady increase of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands that have found success by passing traditional networks and focusing on direct contact with clients.
The linear approach of selling things through merchants breaks down as social media and mobile technology redefine customer buying habits. Consumers today want a tailored approach and individualised products of good quality at a reasonable price that they can obtain without difficulty, regardless of the channel they use. Selling products to retailers isn't enough for consumer goods companies; in fact, it could be fatal to the brand.
They must begin communicating directly with their clients if they are to remain relevant. From traditional, modern trade to direct to consumer, the manufacturer must strategically route markets to build the brand. Here, we discuss five such D2C brands that are making rounds in India.
5 D2C brands that are killing in India
International companies such as JBL, Bose, and Sony dominated the consumer electronics market in India. Customers were, nevertheless, receptive to experimenting with newer brands due to price sensitivity and changing trends, paving the way for local players. boAt meticulously researched market trends before releasing gadgets that directly addressed them. The R&D team at boAt carefully examined newer trends such as wireless music consumption, water resistance, and sports-use earplugs. The greater consumer electronics industry could create unique items and make its mark in a few categories. Their emphasis on quality and price has helped them capture a sizable market share. The boAt has evolved into various products throughout time, including smartwatches, speakers, and soundbars. Another distinguishing feature of boAt's business model is its emphasis on building a lifestyle brand by collaborating with famous events such as the Indian Premier Cricket League, Sunburn concerts, and Fashion Weeks to make themselves more relatable to young clients. They prioritised setting themselves apart from the competition by cultivating great ties with their consumers and forming a strong group of music lovers along the way. Boat has become one of the biggest D2C brands in India.
Country Delight, a D2C food brand, provides fresh, unadulterated dairy products to customers' doorsteps. To avoid the use of preservatives, deliveries are made within a specific time limit. Their primary goal is to ensure that all products are developed under their supervision, from the source to the final packaging. They also had stringent raw material testing criteria to ensure that the end product given to the customer was of the highest quality and freshness. Country Delight was able to do so by starting with a farm. When it comes to partnering with other medium and large farms, they are extremely picky. Even during the shutdown, their commitment to their unit economics enabled them to retain their momentum. They were able to excel even through one of the most chaotic eras in recent history because they had complete control over every aspect of their business. Being a player in the basics market certainly helped them.
Lenskart was one of the first companies to join the direct-to-consumer (D2C) industry in India. India remained relatively untouched as an optic market. In addition to apparent vision impairment reasons, there was a growing population of Indian buyers interested in eyewear as a fashion item. In its early days, Lenskart made a critical decision to build a long-term company plan that is always in touch with clients for on-the-ground feedback and market trends. The best method to do this was to build their direct-to-consumer (D2C) company. It is now one of the biggest D2C brands that is making rounds in India. Lenskart has about 700 retail locations and a strong internet presence across the country. Lenskart went all-in with a try-and-buy strategy since eyeglasses needed to be tried on before purchase, like other wearables. They concentrated on doing thousands of daily home eye exams and try-on, gradually educating the market. Their ads have engendered a strong sense of consumer loyalty and helped capture a whopping 30% of the Indian eyeglass market.
Niche sections in major businesses are largely neglected since clients are dispersed across markets, countries, and income classes, making D2C opportunities a fantastic fit. The Bombay Shaving Company exemplifies this. They were able to disrupt the industry at a period when established men's care products such as Gillette and Nivea were stocked on the shelves of your local supermarket. Despite the competition, BSC stood out by delivering only high-end shaving products and focusing on attracting a new type of customer: men who make informed personal care product purchases. BSC now has over 2 million website users and generates over 100 crores in annual revenue.
Bewakoof, a popular clothing business that has been slowly growing in popularity, stands out from hundreds of competitors thanks to its funny vernacular language and fantastic designs. Their motto is to meticulously research regional trends to engage with the country's youth. Their social media following of more than 5 million people demonstrates how they have carved out a space for themselves in the crowded garment industry. They are also focusing on scaling with technology and R&D. Bewakoof prioritises developing machine learning models to continuously optimise their client acquisition channels and lower total customer acquisition costs. In FY 2020, Bewakoof had over 10 million monthly active users and generated over 200 crores in revenue.
India's internet population has grown to 640 million people, with 130 million of them shopping online. As a result, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have a lot of room to grow. There is little doubt that the D2C wave has just begun, with rules being relaxed across industries to support and improve the online economy.