Activewear label Vuori raised $400 million this week, while cult-sweatsuit brand Entireworld announced its closing shop. Both thrived off our pandemic-fuelled appetites for casual wear, but while Entireworld leaned in, Vuori stepped back to focus on product differentiation. With promises of initial mega-growth, it's easy for DTC brands to fall victim to the trend cycle. This tale serves as an important reminder that in order to build a brand for the long-haul you can advantage of a trend, but you can't let it define you.
Depending on what corners of LinkedIn you hang out in, you may or may not be familiar with the marketing efforts of Thursday - the latest dating app on the scene. Famously given a budget of only $35, each stunt has doubled the app's weekly downloads. With an increasing pressure for brands to launch with shiny, glossy campaigns, it's nice to see more scrappy, experimental tactics win.
Debut with one or two hit products, then dominate the category by becoming a lifestyle brand - it's a strategy we're seeing DTC darlings like Away, Casper, and Allbirds begin to adopt, but it's not easy to execute. It requires serious brand discipline and patience.
We've seen versions of this business model before - forecaster Victoria Buchanan has a great thread about it - but with a recent raise of $37M, Italic is taking on the task to make C2M (consumer-to-manufacturer) a legitimate e-commerce model. Italic’s infrastructure works with the same manufacturers that produce for the world’s leading brands, such as Prada, to sell under their own namesake brands at 50-80% more affordable prices - mega value chain disruption!
Research has shown that thumbnail artwork has the biggest influence on what content we choose to watch. This Twitter thread from Trung Phan breaks down the crazy levels of optimisation Netflix pushes into their thumbnail art, and it's got me thinking - what would happen if we adopted this level of thumbnail optimisation in e-commerce?
This is one to share with your operations team - with all its stopping, starting, and searching for parking spaces, the last mile is one of the most polluting steps of a parcel's journey. Here's what you need to focus on to make a cleaner and greener last-mile logistics network.
Plug into our data science lab to get deep insights into what drives revenue.
Every Friday, Randa Sakallah pushes send on Hot Singles - a Substack newsletter that features profiles of eligible New Yorkers, framed in the old-school style of personal ads. With 800 subscribers and growing, Hot Singles perfectly demonstrates what online dating looks like in an app-fatigued world, and potentially even our desire to discover and explore algorithm-free.
This past week I've been unashamedly influenced by Emily Mariko - the 29-year-content creator behind that salmon rice video - the one that broke the internet and as of today has 64 million views (if you haven't seen it, I'm warning you of its power). But the elements behind what makes her content so addictive is a study in internet culture and a new type of wellness.
Here's a thought: popular songs, business strategies, GIFs, TikTok dances, slang, and clothing are all memes, and all demonstrate how the mind works. Seems like a stretch? Just read this article and prepare to be mind-blown.