Digitally Native Brands

In recent years we have seen numerous examples of digitally native vertical brands: digitally native brands which are born, live, and grow on the internet, with a business model of lower risk, greater ease of launching and enhanced with proposals that engage digital consumers. These are brands such as Allbirds (shoes), Casper (mattresses), Away (suitcases), Glossier (cosmetics) or Claire (paintings). Brands of this sort are also present in Spain, with brands like Hawkers (sunglasses), Colvin (flowers), Marmot (mattresses) and Pompeii (shoes), among many others. Some of them are short-lived in nature or still far from the profitability, but as a whole, these types of brands are becoming ever more numerous and with a greater market presence. This is a generation of emerging brands that aren’t bound by sectors, although perhaps has more of a presence in the field of fashion and accessories. Disruptive companies, different, simplified and with a distinctive feature: they are born into the digital realm, with Instagram as their means to success (although not exclusively). But their digital character makes them unique in other factors: they focus on user experience, they offer a simplified range of products, they are presented with a careful mix of style and convenience and generally come with customer services and logistics. Some of them, over time, also cross over into the physical realm, opening stores -permanently or temporarily- to complete the brand experience. Branding Essentials in the 21st Century
Design, convenience, simplicity, user friendliness … the digitally native brands owe their success to the simplicity of their value propositions, which connect well with some consumers keen on practicality, accustomed to purchasing online who look for reasonable prices and good style, while also counting on the trendiness of exclusive and innovative brands.
Authenticity, proximity, credibility and exceptional customer service complete the characteristics of this brand type. Studying how it all works teaches us an abundance of key lessons; such a blueprint offers an authentic master class on managing communication and marketing in the 21st century.
Among the main takeways are strategic positioning, limited-time offering, excellent service, simplified buying process and authenticity in maintaining customer relationships, almost reaching a point of informality (in style) and combined with exceptional professionalism in service. These are a set of features that users value and reward with their purchase.
In fact, with these in place the consumer feels little to no sense of risk: they usually count on prices adjusted for quality products and an efficient and free return service, key to the success of e-commerce platforms. The next few months will likely bring us new names further enhancing the DNVB category, with brands launched to conquer new audiences and simplify the complicated world of digital sales, bringing with them experiences and practices rife with lessons on how to communicate successfully in today’s markets.

  Juan de los Ángeles Founder of C4E Consulting Services and Professor at the School of Communication of the University of Navarra