More and more direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are popping up every day. In January 2019, eMarketer estimated the number of D2C brands to be greater than 400. From Harry’s to HelloFresh, consumers are enjoying the convenience these brands bring. But it’s more than just convenience, our recent study shows that DTC consumers value the brands for personalization, shared values, and a community connection. 

How can brand-owned communities help? Our study of 10,846 consumers found that:

Personal recommendations drive DTC new consumer acquisition. 20% of respondents learn about DTC brands from friends or family members, with 38% from Facebook friends. Brand-owned online communities help consumers spread the word of their favorite brands in an authentic way across social platforms and in person.

Millennials value DTC brands that share moral values. For Millennials, the most appealing aspects of their favorite DTC brands are that they share their values (22%) and that the brand gives back to the community (21%). A dedicated online community help reinforce the brand values, create a sense of community among consumers, and allow these fans to provide input directly to the brand. 

Millennials often purchase DTC brands through subscription services. 49% of Millennials are purchasing from DTC brands via a subscription service. Brand-owned online communities provide continuous value to consumers of subscription brands. By providing an always-on platform where consumers can engage with the brand, they can better see the value of their ongoing investment.

Gen Z values community in DTC brands. 17% of Gen Z directly call out Community as one of the most appealing features of their favorite DTC brand. For younger consumers brands are interested in more than just the product they buy. There is a growing need for a sense of community amongst younger consumers.

Younger consumers expect more from DTC brands: Millennial and Gen Z members expect DTC brands to be superior vs. traditional brands on Authenticity (50%), Community (41%), Connection with the brand (40%), and Company’s values (40%). A brand-owned community is the one-stop-shop needed to satisfy these expectations amongst the younger generations.

Building an online consumer community is an easy way for DTC brands to amplify what consumers love about them: personalization, a community of like-minded people, and shared values. Brand communities increase personal recommendations, offer continuous value and community to consumers, and is a great platform to share their mission. View our full infographic below or by following this link and Campaign US’s accompanying article: How Different Generations Connect with DTC Brands here.