I love the direct to consumer model. I suggest it to almost all my clients. The control you have over your presentation is a great reason. The margins are high. You can connect with you customer in a more intimate way and create a strong brand experience. Also you can really get a handle on what your buyer wants, needs, and what they say about your line. The education is invaluable for making your product even more relevant for your shoppers. What options can you consider?
- Mobile/On Line – Selling through your website is a great way to sell your product. The cost to set up is relatively inexpensive. You are open 24/7. And you can make a website that looks very high end.
- Own retail stores – This is a more expensive method. You have the overhead of the store plus the cost of building the store. You also have to have enough product to fill the store. A retail store will give you terrific exposure. You can design the environment to enhance your product and contribute to the brand story.
- Trunk shows/In house parties – This is one of my favorite methods. It involves going to people homes or businesses to present your product. You can do this one on one or with groups. I believe that this model will continue to gain momentum. Consumers more and more are gravitating to brands where they have a personal connection. What can create a more personal experience than having a one on one with your customers in their own settings?
- Events/Fairs – This could mean many things. From street fairs to rock concerts. Usually you buy a table or booth and sell your wares. I know a young women who sells her t-shirts at comic-cons. She rents a table for about $300 and sells on average $5,000 in product. Of course there are no guarantees your product will generate that much volume but it is another option to consider.
These days it is very difficult to get a store to buy a new brand. By going direct to consumer you can develop your customer base so that when you are ready to sell to stores you have a history of success you can show the buyers.