- NOS PRAESENTI
3 Ways to Leverage DTC Branding
Knowing how to market and advertise your business is difficult when you're not leveraging your DTC branding.
In this article, we will explore what DTC branding is and three ways to leverage it.
What Is DTC Branding?
DTC, or direct-to-consumer, branding is the way companies communicate with consumers directly. DTC branding encompasses all domains of your business that involve your customers - whether it's the design of your logo, the latest Instagram ad rollout, or even your product itself.
DTC branding is anything and everything to do with the relationship between your brand and the customer. Above all, it is how the customer sees you and what you are selling.
Note the difference between DTC branding versus DTC marketing and advertising. DTC marketing is creating content that customers find and spread awareness of who you are and what you're doing; DTC advertising is the same but putting that copy on paid spaces for ads (TikTok feed, preview to YouTube video, etc). The marketing and advertising parts cannot happen effectively unless you take care of your branding first.
When building out your DTC branding, you should start by answering the "five Ws and how." Think of asking these questions from the point of view of a potential customer.
Who are you?
What are you doing? What are you making and selling?
When did you come out? When did you hear about me?
Where are you based? Where can I get what you're making and selling?
Why do you matter? Why should I care about what you're doing?
How are you going to make me happier? How are you going to help me?
It sounds simple, yet answering these questions could have a massive impact on the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising.
What if you clearly answered who you are and where you're based, but you failed to answer what you're making and selling? We're not interested in calling out real-world examples of such failures. But believe it or not, it happens all the time.
Imagine this - you are a company that hired an agency to create, manage, and distribute all graphic design assets on social media platforms. Neither the name of your business nor the graphic design assets have anything to do with what you're selling, but you let them dominate your profile and ad spaces because you think they look cool.
You might think that you'll be successful, but how will potential customers know what you're doing? They might not even know who you are because who you are is related to what you're doing!
At minimum, you want to answer the most basic of the questions above.
The answers to the last two - why and how - are a bit more challenging. If you master them, however, it'll be even more convincing for potential customers to buy.
Think of it like this - you've clearly demonstrated who you are, what you're selling and making, and when and where you are making and selling. In your DTC branding, the answers to those questions are reflected in your logo, what kind of photography you're taking and posting, and more. Yet you haven't answered why customers should care about you or how you will make them happier. Without answering those questions, you are nothing more than another restaurant, retail brand, etc.
You can answer those questions and implement them in your DTC branding. If you're a craft coffee company and your answer to the "how" is by serving the best single-origin beans in every cup, take a candid photo of someone drinking and enjoying that cup of joe. That's the kind of content that will help connect with customers on an emotional level and make them want to be a buyer.
Having good DTC branding is important because it can help you connect with customers on a deeper level, fostering loyalty, and advocacy. But what are the specific ways you can leverage DTC branding for your business?
Have Consistent DTC Branding Across All Channels
When it comes to DTC branding, consistency is key. This means that your branding - including your logo, fonts, types of imagery, and more - is roughly the same across all channels.
If potential customers so happen to encounter your DTC branding on any of the digital platforms, they should be able to recognize who you are based on seeing as little as two posts. That's because consistency in DTC branding allows people to make quick associations, and those associations guide their expectations.
Take our partner Basmo as an example of this.
Basmo is an e-reading app that lets users "read smarter" by taking notes on specific text, track their reading time, and more. On TikTok, they have videos that users of the app would enjoy: "Did You Know This About J.K. Rowling?"; "Strange Facts About Shakespeare"; etc. Their videos are pretty uniform in terms of their style and look: the text of the question or prompt is at the bottom, it's always the same person in the same shirt making the videos, and the stack of books is the same on the left. Basmo's consistency in its TikTok videos is subtly brilliant, and it's hard to point out inconsistencies.
This makes for great DTC branding because the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed.
In addition to the consistency factor, Basmo certainly answers all the questions we mentioned earlier.
"Who are you?": Passionate readers.
"What are you doing? What are you making and selling?": An app that makes the lives of passionate readers a whole lot easier.
"Where can I get what you're making and selling?": The App Store.
"How are you going to make me happier?": By making you a better reader!
All Users Are Equal in Engagement
Another way to leverage your DTC branding is by engaging with people who see your posts on the platforms you are present.
This seems pretty obvious, yet it's something that not every business does. When a user comments on a post, it's common for a business to not even give that comment a like.
Alternatively, you can spend effort on both liking and replying to all user engagement. It's going to take a lot of work but it can help those commenters turn into customers.
There are several ways in which you can engage with your users.
You can be the class clown and be funny in all of your replies.
You can be helpful to your followers.
What should be noted is that the tone of engagement between the brand and their followers is pretty equal amongst others. If you're commenting on a tweet by DiGiorno, chances are you will receive a funny reply. And users dig that up.
When thinking about DTC branding from an engagement perspective, be sure to have consistency in your tone of all engagements.
Be Relevant With Your Content
Finally, being relevant with your content is an equally important point in DTC branding. In one of the examples earlier in the article, we mentioned that you can be consistent in your DTC branding yet fail to attract potential customers due to lack of relevance in your content.
In order to be relevant with your content, post content that has to do with the journey of the buyer, pre and post purchase.
Basmo once again provides an example - people who use their app like to talk about the books they read.
That's why TikToks on J.K. Rowling and Shakespeare are relevant!
Mastering DTC branding can add clarity to those who engage with you on social media. Those people can eventually become your customers.
At Nos Praesenti, we do DTC branding for companies here in Europe. Contact us here if you want DTC branding and we'll reply to you shortly.