5 years ago, it was easy to launch a DTC brand:

βœ… Find a good product
βœ… Put it up on Shopify
βœ… Run some ads
πŸŽ‰ Make money!

Today, that’s the path to failure.

Instead, build a brand people want.

Here are 8 secrets to doing it:
A reason to exist & a problem you're solving.

If you're not solving an active problem, you have no reason to exist!

No one needs another copycat product of what already exists. Solve for something new & be clear in your story-telling of HOW you're different.
A story to relate to β€” the "Why?"

You need to have a clear solution for when someone buys your product and their friend asks them, "Why did you buy it?"

The answer shouldn't just be around the product, it should be around WHY it was this specific brand/product vs competitors.
An amazing product, not a good product.

This sounds obvious, but going from good β†’ amazing requires extra work.

Amazing products get earned media, product placement opps, etc, not just "good" products.

Don't settle for what's easy in product development.
A content engine: earned, owned and paid.

You need a system in place to be able to launch:

πŸ’° paid content β€” ad creative, copy tests, etc.

πŸ“² owned content β€” social media, website updates, etc.

πŸ“° earned content β€” PR, influencers, affiliates, etc.

Content builds brand.
A deep understanding of your customers.

Most brands stop at demographics. You need to get much deeper:

❓ what apps do they have on their phone
❓ what do they consume daily
❓ where do they get their updates
❓ what else is in their routine

Know this person inside and out.
Unique messaging & visual identity.

Just putting together a logo & a color scheme isn't good enough.

You need consistency across all touchpoints and visual references.

A photoshoot today & 5 years ago should look identical. Look at some of the best fashion brands for inspo.
The desire to do right by the customer.

Don't hurt your brand's word of mouth over $10.

If someone had a bad experience with you & see an ad for your brand, you don't want bad comments.

On the other hand, a satisfied customer will bring 2-3 more in. The opposite is true, too.
A clear purpose within someone's day or life.

If what you're trying to sell doesn't serve a clear purpose in someone's day/life, it becomes costly to acquire customers.

You're not in the "essential" category in their mind, either.

The best brands live inside a routine.
This thread was from the talk I gave this morning.

I also shared 10 easy ways to implement these tactics, which I'll drop this week.

Make sure you're following to see those tactics: @mrsharma

If you found this valuable, please RT the first tweet 😊

If you want to get smarter about DTC in just 5 minutes each Sunday, join 18,000 founders, CMOs, and investors who read my Sunday Email.

Anything I tweet about was mentioned in my newsletter about 4-6 weeks prior! Don't miss πŸ‘‡


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More from @mrsharma

13 Nov
12 months ago, @MentorPass asked if I would take $1,000 per hour to talk with founders who want to pick my brain.

Today, I've done 100+ hours of paid calls with founders and marketing teams, around the world.

Here are 8 common revenue-generating tactics that brands miss:
Drive traffic to landing pages, instead of your homepage.

Prospecting traffic to your homepage does nothing to educate a customer on WHY you're worth trying/buying.

Send traffic to landing pages where you can educate and leverage social proof.

Stop selling, start storytelling.

When advertising, don't sell "WHAT" you're selling... sell "WHY"

Use your copy and creative to explain how your product will benefit the end consumer.

@hint is not flavored water. It's a solution to your diet soda addiction.
Read 10 tweets
11 Nov
When I dropped out of college, it was all about finding smart people to accelerate my career.

Following the right people transforms your Twitter feed from a college cafeteria to a mastermind dinner at an expensive restaurant.

Here are 25 of my favorite people to follow πŸ‘‡
Jesse Pujji β€”Β @jspujji

I've known Jesse since I was in high school. I saw him starting @Ampush in San Diego & it's what got me so interested in marketing.

He tweets about being a bootstrapped founder, his learnings, his mistakes, and how he invests.

Amanda Goetz β€” @AmandaMGoetz

I met Amanda first through @helena to invest in @house__of__wise and she's nicknamed "Amanda GOATz"

Her routines, hacks, and mental frameworks are oftentimes the motivation that can turn your day around.

Read 23 tweets
15 Oct
The old playbook of building a brand is dead:

1. Raise $2M from angels
2. Hire a NY/LA branding firm
3. Use some BS stats about Gen Z
4. Pretend all competitors are stupid

If you want to win today, you need to build around a persona, not a product.

Let me dive into this... 🧡
A few years ago (call it DTC 1.0), it was easy. You didn't even need a proper "brand" behind you.

Setup a Shopify store βœ…
Get a FB ads ad account pumping βœ…
Ensure your product is high quality βœ…
Manage customer service βœ…

Today that doesn't work anymore.
If you want to build something great, it can't just be around a product. It needs to be built around a:

β€’ cause
β€’ mission
β€’ persona/demographic
β€’ community

Whatever you're trying to sell, I'd bet 7 other companies sell the same thing, with the same quality.
Read 4 tweets
29 Jul
One of the biggest mistakes brands make is spending money on PR teams that only get a small amount of eyeballs.

Here is how you should approach PR, and how it's led to over $20,000,000 in revenue for me.

You're going to learn about Performance PR in less than 3 minutes: πŸ§΅πŸ‘‡
Performance PR (PPR), is the content that:

1. Tells a good story

2. It's not cluttered (no pop-ups, banners, etc)

3. It goes into depth about the product (you understand the benefits)

It should get someone interested in trying what you're selling before they get to your site.
How can you spot a PPR opportunity?

Sometimes you'll know right away.

You'll have a press piece go up, & almost instantly you see the sales being generated are tied to that article.

If you don't notice a bump right away, it could just be a result of being a small publication.
Read 9 tweets
28 Jul
The easiest way to decrease your CAC/CPA by 30-40% is: use landing pages.

β€’ what you’re selling
β€’ why?
β€’ how it helps them

That’s why today I’m excited to launch the Sharma Brands Landing Page template with @builderio πŸŽ‰

Anyone can do it in <5 min!

Traditionally companies with smaller teams & leaner budgets don’t get the benefits of larger DTC teams:

β€’ in-house developers
β€’ video editors on standby
β€’ heavy on-site CRO testing

So being able to make landing pages accessible to everyone was a no brainer for us.
We partnered with @builderio because 4 years ago, I wish I had a simple & effective drag & drop tool for @Shopify.

It would’ve let me probably go from a 3% conversion rate to ~6%.

And for these landing pages, we wanted to make it just as easy to build.
Read 8 tweets
5 Jul
In 2020, a cleaning brand was going to shut down and write itself off as a failed experiment.

They hired Sharma Brands to resurrect it, and build a sustainable acquisition & retention engine to scale the brand.

We did it. πŸ₯³

These 4 tactics built a $7M business in 6 weeks:
1. UGC Creative

Until we joined, this brand had ONLY used campaign-style, over-the-top studio-shot creative.

Their avg CTR was <1% their copy was just buzzwords.

Their argument: "We're building the brand"

The truth is: customers today want a story, not a bunch of buzzwords.
Our whole team ordered the products in an attempt to understand why no one wanted to buy them, but when we used them, we were mind-blown by the quality.

It wasn't the products, it was that no one could understand how great these products actually were.
Read 9 tweets

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