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

Millennials vs. Baby Boomers

When the children of your first classmates start arriving at the company, you may feel some contradictory sentiments. After remeniscing in your pleasant memories of the first professional steps you took, a bell goes off when you realize that those very children you saw years ago cuddled up in cradles, are now already here at the doorstep of your office.

At the same time that I faced this new realization, I noticed that Merco and Universum distributed two separate reports in which they call to attention how Spanish women face salary discrimination from the moment they step out of college. If a few seconds ago I was thinking about how time flew by, I’m now doubting if life will ever be the same …

I’m not willing to fall for claims spouted out from the Goya awards. With the exception of the three words that emerged in the heart and voice of the award-winning Jesús Vidal -Diversity, Equality and Visibility-, the concepts of equality suggested throughout the Goya gala were tiresome, if not vulgar.

We have put the feminist cause in the battle of the genders and the frontline is much more diverse. The authentic champion of the Goya and winner of its best film category, Champions, excites us by focusing on the integration of diverse peoples. As fewer and fewer people suffer from disabilities (because in many cases their opportunities end in the womb), the ones who do make it out deserve more visibility in society, work, film, etc…

Although it isn’t a completely new phenomenon, a new form of age discrimination is emerging: millennialls vs baby boomers. We really ought to assimilate with each other once and for all because surrounding ourselves with different people is more enriching than cloning homogenous environments. If not, companies will have to pay an even higher price than the one they continue to pay today from to the shortage of women in executive and managerial positions.

If juniors and seniors join forces, the result of their work will be more creative.  Professionals of all generations working together will bring more added value to a society, with an investment in the entirety from top to bottom of the demographic pyramid.

Some companies are exhibiting such bipolarity, removing seats in their in the board of directors from acclaimed professionals of extensive experience just because of their age. “You have to rejuvenate the company …”, says Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979 in unison with millennials of 1980 to 1999, as they send home the baby boomers of the late ‘40s to the mid ‘60s.

Excellence is to integrate women and men with equitable retribution at all levels, people with an extra chromosome more or less, people both young and old … In the midst of these paradoxes, it would be a blockbuster to wage the battle for diversity and inclusion to a greater extent.



by Asunción Velasco
Senior Manager of Internal Communication at PwC