Member Brief: Brand-First Strategy

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In a recent conversation with the CEO of journey marketing platform Shoelace, Reza Khadjavi posed an important question: what is the modern definition of brand-first? With customer acquisition costs (CAC) rising and retention rates emerging as the key performance indicator, the question has never been more critical. It’s a topic that legacy brands know well; it’s a question that the savviest of digitally-native brands have begun to answer for themselves. And while that answer isn’t a universal one, there are commonalities to consider.

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Member Brief: 2007 – 2019

As the direct-to-consumer industry evolves, so will the inferences and analyses that we can make. In Asymmetrical Warfare, I wrote: “As media buying becomes more difficult for challenger brands, more direct-to-consumer brands will shutter. And competition will become more symmetrical and predictable as the hundreds of new brands narrow down to the sturdier dozen.” In hindsight, this is only partially correct.

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Member Brief: The Lululemon Dossier

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Fast forward. The Lululemon direct to consumer (DTC) business is on the upswing. Bloomberg reports a 47% increase in the brand’s sales after a revamped Oracle site and improved customer acquisition strategies. Shares rose 14% in after hours trading yesterday, with the Vancouver brand’s stock inching toward its trading highs. According to analysts, the stock’s value reflects an investor confidence in the brand’s plans to address: (1) international expansion (2) eCommerce revenue growth (3) and continued traction with male consumers.

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