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UK DTC brands have strong appeal to British consumers, beat global big names

Published
today May 22, 2019
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British direct-to-consumer brands are leading the way over their larger US counterparts when it comes to brand awareness and conversion, according to new research.


Birchbox


Global brands such as Glossier and Harry’s and Casper are lesser known than British brands like Birchbox, Made.com and Abel & Cole, found a survey conducted among 2,000 UK consumers and a further 2,000 in France and Germany.

The top five most recognised direct-to-consumer brands included four UK names: SimplyCook, Made.com, Birchbox and Abel & Cole, and one global business: Dollar Shave Club, said Rakuten Marketing.

Completing the top ten was Harry’s, Tails.com, Casper, Glossier and Brushbox, a UK dental subscription box service.

Direct-to-consumer brands are also showing high conversion rates – for example 28% of UK respondents who have heard of Birchbox have also bought from the company, and 26% of those who have heard of Glossier have made a purchase with the brand.

These brands are using several channels to sell their products, with Facebook named as the most likely point of sale (preferred by 17% of consumers), followed by cashback sites and voucher sites (14%) and the brand’s own website (12%).

Anthony Capano, managing director, EMEA at Rakuten Marketing explains, “DTC brands have historically relied on performance-based digital advertising strategies. Huel was started when founder, Julian Hearn, sold his affiliate marketing business to fund his successful business venture. Now, many leverage high return publishers to target audiences with direct response ads to drive conversions.”

SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS

Social media networks continue to play a crucial role in building brand awareness, with 44% of UK consumers placing the networking service as a platform that has raised their awareness of DTC brands. YouTube (31%) and Instagram (28%) are close behind.

Many of these digitally native brands are investing in celebrity and influencer endorsements to increase their visibility, and the strategy is seen as effective by 11% of those surveyed.

Doug Ker, CEO of fashion brand Meli Melo said: “The targeting available through social platforms is like nothing many retailers had encountered before. However, as these tools mature, they are also becoming more expensive, urging independent brands such as Lush, to consider whether there are more efficient solutions to reaching core segments of their audience.

“It’s ultimately an extremely high reward approach to sales, but the close relationship between awareness and purchasing doesn’t solely exist in the realm of social media.”

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