Look back to just 6 years ago, the world was pouring buckets of ice on each other in the name of fighting ALS, group selfies kicked off in a BIG way thanks to the Ellen Oscars selfie, and Amal became my favourite Clooney.
All of these events feel like a lifetime ago which is a testament to the breakneck speeds in which technology, the internet and social media are changing the way consumers react to brands, how they prefer to receive messaging and what drives their purchase behaviour. In the same time span, Instagram ballooned tenfold from 100million users to 1billion and out of the box eCommerce solutions like Magento and Shopify become staples in the market. When 10 years ago they didn’t even exist.
In 2017 WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento powered over half of the recorded eCommerce sites online. They attracted significant popularity by offering easily accessible platforms that encouraged their users/retailers to thrive.
DNVB’s Emergence into the Market
Having those platforms in the market helped facilitate the development of DNVB’s – Digitally Native Vertical Brands. To the consumer world, we’re talking about brands such as UK companies Simba and Eve mattresses, furniture industry moguls Made.com and US companies, Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s Razors and Bonobos. These companies tapped into the wants and needs of fast-paced, convenient purchasing and rode the trends train.
Andy Dunn, founder and of CEO of Bonobos (selling to Walmart for $310mil) told us this about DNVB’s 2 years ago:
“The digitally-native vertical brand drives a lot more customer intimacy than its competition. The data is better because every transaction and interaction is captured. You don’t have to combine data across businesses, because it’s all one business. You are not blind to your wholesale business, because you don’t have a big wholesale business. It’s one CRM. It’s one store, where everybody knows your name.”Andy Dunn, Founder and of CEO of Bonobos
Bonobos fans may have criticised Dunn for selling his company to a massive retail corporation, but he really did understand the value of captured data and how it sets a DNVB apart from his traditional competitors.
The Key Market Advantage
Given the single-minded nature of DNVB’s – focusing on a specialism of product of service – the data infrastructure of these companies are much more likely to be centralised and not silo’d across business units. This means that these brands know who 100% of their customers are and the by-product of their business origination means they are much more likely having to single, available, accessible central customer view which, most of the time, is all an analyst wants.
So as well as being in control of production and therefore having radically larger margins, their inherit architecture means they can reduce costs on data management and administrative work to gain any insights into their customers. DNVB’s can rapidly assess purchasing and engagement habits of existing customers, append information through common profiling in real-time. They caj use all the information they have to not only find new customers but to make key commercial decisions – like where is most effective to launch a pop-up store, who to partner with or where to purchase bricks and mortar or even to add/amend their product offering.
Any decision a DNVB makes – good or bad – is instant learning. Existing market leaders in any industry have legacy data, disparate business teams and almost always a Frankenstein data infrastructure based on years of small fixes and add-ons to the incumbent system. DNVB’s main priority is the customer. Knowing as much about the customer at any given time is the best way to best service the customer’s needs and having access to this with minimal administrative barriers allows these brands to constantly adapt to the market.
With good leadership and decision making, DNVB’s are in pole position to win market share at every opportunity by virtue of the fact they can make more informed, correct decisions and can make them much faster than existing market leaders.