I got to be honest, I completely came around the whole ‘direct-to-consumer’ idea. For those that don’t know, direct-to-consumer companies or D2C for short, are companies which ship the products directly to customers.
In other words, instead of pawning off the products to third-parties or resellers, the D2C business model allows for customers to get the product directly from the manufacturer or the brand itself.
There are hundreds of things which make the direct-to-consumer model really make sense, as we’ll see below. But in a gist, not having to deal with resellers, and only managing a single online store takes a lot of weight off the shoulders of companies, which in turn, allows for more focus on areas like quality, uniqueness, and customer support.
D2C Brands On The Rise – Why?
I mean, it takes only one glance to know why these companies are hitting it big. Take a look at Allbirds for example. Unique shoe designs, comfort at the highest priority, and decent quality.
Plus, those kind of shoes are scarce in your typical local stores, at least, at those prices. Pair that up with the convenience of not having to leave your home to shop, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Like I said before, with just how easy it is to run an online store these days, companies have a lot more leeway to focus on other stuff, the important stuff. Stuff, which to the customer, make all the difference.
That is not to say that all D2C brands are actually good though. Some abuse this model and sell poorly manufactured products, at inflated prices. However, the companies we’ll mention below, are the complete opposite.
Whoop Smart Wrist Bands
The Whoop Strap 3.0 is quite infamous in the smart band space. The reason being, is the fact that the actual smart band itself is free. Yup, you heard that right.
Still, it’s not like Whoop is giving highly-advanced smart trackers for free. You do have to subscribe to their service which includes the Whoop app on smartphone devices, which is necessary for the Whoop strap to work.
The service cost varies depending on the plan you choose, but I can tell you with relative ease-of-mind, that is costs cents on the dollar.
It does everything you expect a smart tracker to do, but better. It tracks your sleeping schedule, sleeping quality, workouts, calories burned, heart rate, and other important biological data. A big selling point for it is the vast community behind it, which is included in the subscription.
The community can be very helpful for those new to fitness or proper sleep management, and it might help push those which are competitive, since there are scores involved for each person’s performance.
I was really hesitant about Allbirds. Maybe I should rephrase that: I was hesitant about the quality of Allbirds.
They’re quite well-renowned in the shoe industry as one of the most comfortable shoes ever, and what is more surprising, is the fact that they’ve managed to pull that off while focusing on minimizing carbon footprint on the planet.
This is almost impossible to do with the current technology, or at least, companies choose not to do it primarily because of costs, as it’s easier to mass-manufacture using synthetic materials. Props to Allbirds for both their efforts to minimize carbon footprint, and make one of the most comfortable shoes in the process.
And it’s not like these will cost you a fortune to have. They’re not your typical designer shoes with enormous price tags. They’re affordable, practical, well-designed, and multi-functional. We’re always intrigued to see what Allbirds comes up with next.
Boll & Branch Sheets
Boll & Branch isn’t quite the industry leader for sheets. It falls short in customer base compared to other D2C brands for sheets like Parachute or Brooklinen, but I must say, these sheets are damn impressive.
Continuing the same theme as Allbirds, Boll & Branch also focus on minimizing damage to our beloved planet, utilizing only organic materials to compose their sheets. Their sheets can be best described as ‘luxurious’.
If you’ve ever went to a particular hotel and have been quite impressed with the sheets, there is a big chance that Boll & Branch is even better than those. They’ve been critically acclaimed for their softness and their luxury look.
They have overwhelmingly positive feedback and reviews by both one-time customers and loyal customers. It’s not like Boll & Branch are the most budget-friendly sheets that one could find, but I think it is worth it.
Mainly because they’re both 100% organic, and they’ll be a very luxurious addition to your home.
I’ve criticized Away heavily, for their poor and low-quality liners. But it seems like they’re really trying to impress me, as they’ve completely improved on that.
That was my whole turn-off for Away at the time, because compared to other similar brands like Monos or Beis, in my opinion, Away had the most sturdy design, and the luggage felt really rugged, like something that can take a lot of hits.
And it must be able to, since we know what pretty much happens on airports and how luggage gets tossed around.
Anyways, I’m getting a bit off topic. The point is, the outside is very rugged, and now the liners inside are much more practical, and much better-feeling than before.
At the time I mentioned that this is the perfect luggage for those that travel a couple of times a month, but now I think that it is good for either traveling a couple of months, or one-time yearly. It is worth the extra I feel like, even though it might look pricy.
Byte Invisible Teeth Aligners
While I did have the good fortune of having pretty straight teeth, some of my close friends and family weren’t. That’s when Byte first popped up on my feed.
I was cynical at first, questioning whether aligners actually do anything, but I’ve come to notice that Byte’s technology is revolutionary. Byte utilizes small vibrations on top of the invisible aligners. Small vibrations which, have been heavily researched and prove that they improve teeth aligning.
Byte will work for most. They’re not as good and as drastic of a measure as braces, but they do correct small imperfections, which was perfect for most of my close acquaintances.
The way it works is simple: Byte sends customers an impression kit which they need to use and send back. After that, a 3D model is created based on the results from the impression kit. Then, Byte can tailor-make invisible aligners which are specific to your teeth.
Lastly, even if you have no idea what you’re doing, Byte makes it really easy to do your treatment, as there is a lot of helpful information included with the aligners.
Warby Parker Eye Glasses
We did review Warby Parker’s blue light glasses back in the day, but I remember being impressed by how much they’ve been able to accomplish, in terms of how much services and products they offer.
They’re not just for blue light glasses, in fact, Warby Parker is most known for prescription glasses. They offer: single-vision, progressive, non-prescription, readers, blue-light glasses, and more lenses. There is an at-home try-on option for those looking to find their perfect frames as well.
Considering how expensive it can be to find and buy prescription or non-prescription glasses, Warby Parker’s prices aren’t unreasonable, despite popular belief.
They’re not as premium as some other similar brands on the market, but they have exceptional quality, and from what we see quite a lot dependability. While the usefulness of blue-light glasses is regularly being questioned, if you’re looking for normal prescription glasses, Warby Parker’s service is one of the best in the biz.
One can tell whether a D2C brand is run by people that actually believe in the product, and their own mission. A prime example of that is Bloomscape.
Bloomscape is a direct-to-consumer brand for actual living plants, who would have thought it. I was really hesitant to make a conclusion on this brand on first-glance. But as I dug deeper, I slowly got the idea that the people that run it, have a deep love for plants.
Bloomscape is run by people which have a long history of running green houses around the world. A couple of generations to be exact.
Shipping is the main problem with this concept, but Bloomscape has put a lot of effort into ensuring that the plants arrive safely, and in perfect health.
Lastly, most of their pots are made up from recycled plastics. Quite an impressive service, I must say.
Even if you’re more old-fashioned like me, and you actually want to touch or feel the product before you buy, I think that there’ll still can be some appreciation for these D2C companies.
In some cases, their products are at the pinnacle of what is possible and achievable, and a lot of them put emphasis on things which ultimately matter: Quality, consistency, customer service, sustainability, practicality, convenience, and more.
One thing before I wrap up though. It’s not always all-good with D2C companies, like I said before, some are downright appalling. It’s unfortunate but that’s the truth.
Still, there are some which are exceptional, like the ones we mentioned above. Whenever you’re in search of good D2C brands for anything of the categories like fashion, health and wellness, lifestyle, and others, check us out. We have reviewed quite a large portion of D2C brands, some exceptional, some not so great.
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