Adaptability and creativity
D-to-c brands are experts at becoming indispensable parts of consumers’ daily habits. But with profits down, their efforts have been redirected to preserve customer loyalty. Some media brands have gone deeper with existing fans versus acquiring new ones by dipping their toes into apparel and with content offerings across formats and mediums. While media brands should maintain and nurture existing relationships, even more needs to be done to nurture long-term customers.
Purple, the d-to-c mattress and sleep company, was quick to innovate. While better known for mattresses, Purple doubled down on other product lines. To reach customers now working from home, Purple created seat cushions to make chairs more comfortable. Seeing the need for reusable masks, the company also launched a line of high-quality, comfortable face masks. These products met the changing needs of consumers and allowed Purple to expand its product footprint beyond the bedroom.
Vox Media deployed a similar tactic in reimagining The New Yorker’s crossword puzzle. Not all readers are looking for more coverage of COVID-19; some want a break from the news. Vox adapted the puzzle into a collaborative, interactive experience where readers can virtually connect with friends and pass time during quarantine—leveraging other aspects of readers’ lives to provide a meaningful experience.
Partnerships and charitable efforts
This initiative not only aligns with the Haus brand and audience, but expands the company’s reach. In addition, Haus pledged to donate $10,000 to Campaign Zero, Black Lives Matter and The Bail Project. Media brands should be more socially conscious, participating in causes that their readers are passionate about—whether by donating or producing content that sheds light on important issues. While some media brands are taking similar steps, more need to participate.
Community before competition
An example of this community-focused approach can be seen with Brands x Better, a charitable initiative for COVID-19 relief led by men’s lifestyle and fitness brand Rhone. Brands x Better brought more than 20 d-to-c brands together to raise money for various initiatives, including the creation and donation of masks to hospitals and the donation of media budgets and creative production resources to support Mount Sinai and GetUsPPE.org.
As we adapt to the “new normal” there are still challenges ahead for the media industry. Subscriber growth will plateau and ad dollars might not fully bounce back until 2021. Publishers that are nimble and think like d-to-c brands will be better prepared for the new media landscape
Imahe Credit: iStock