Dog-care brand, Bark has developed a new purpose-lead product range of dog food. Not only do Bark give partial proceeds to dog charities (a cause that is near certain to be close to their customer’s hearts). They have also centred each variant around an American city or state, with proceeds going to that area’s dog charity. Not only is this an opportunity to speak to customers in a more focused way, it also offers great inspiration for flavours and packaging design.

 

Letting a customer support local, whilst giving to a cause close to their hearts is very compelling. Is there an opportunity for you to release multiple variants of a new product, each centred on a geographical region or city? Variants could be inspired by local cuisine, a famous figure or a stereotypical design-style. This method might even be used as a customer recruitment tool, effectively being a way to niche down to multiple different smaller markets, whilst keeping your brand and product fundamentals intact.

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Bark snacks

Image Credit: Bark

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High-end DTC beauty brand, Beauty Pie launched by serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore, operates on a paid membership basis. You need to buy a monthly or yearly subscription to get access to the products. The concept is based around the fact that most premium beauty brands use the same outsourced labs and manufacturers, Beauty Pie’s innovation is to be upfront with customers about this and offer their lines at ‘factory prices’, thus saving money without sacrificing on quality. The company’s messaging and PR all point towards the subscription cost being how the brand makes their money. They’ve even been dubbed the ’Netflix of Beauty’ and go to the extent of offering different membership tiers with caps on how much customers are allowed to spend on the site.

 

Beauty Pie are affectively running a ‘recurring revenue’ style business model. Unlike subscription businesses, customers are charged every month whether they receive goods for not. Whilst basing a whole business around this concept may be hard to do, is there a way you could put certain areas of your brand behind a paywall or membership program? Maybe in return for exclusives, early access or even annual product refurbs? This could potentially add to your monthly revenue, without increasing unit sales or even having to acquire new customers.

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Beauty Pie

Image Credit: Beauty Pie

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To launch a sustainable haircare range, Act + Acre engineered their product and packaging to be as recyclable and green as possible. Instead of settling for the guides set my government recycling certifications, they pushed further and created their own gold standard; “Reavey and Mackin developed a now-patented process that uses cold water and high pressure—while it takes a lot longer, it saves 90% energy”. Not only is this good for the planet, but it’s also a great talking point in their marketing material.

 

Sustainability has been reported as heavily influencing Millennial and Gen Z buying decisions; ’72 per cent of Gen Z would spend more money on a service it was sustainably produced’ alongside a tendency to switch to brands who take sustainable initiatives. Is there a way you could refactor your existing products in a more sustainable way? Whether it’s the packaging, the freight or the product itself? Whilst you’re looking into your processes and supply chain, maybe you could put together a content series featuring the individuals and stages that are involved along the way. Giving your customers a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your brand.

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sustainable haircare range

Image Credit: Act + Acre

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Sustainable footwear brand, Allbirds has grown a loyal customer base thanks to their environment-conscious ethos and signature shoe style. Their latest piece of footwear innovation expanded into the huge performance/running market; “The Dasher pushes Allbirds into athletics territory, to compete with the likes of Nike, Adidas and Lululemon”. This new shoe will allow their fanbase to start buying another essential item from them, whilst staying true to their mission of footwear and the environment. “The Dasher emits 9kg of carbon dioxide per pair in their lifetime, which is nearly 30% lower than the average running shoe.”

 

If your customer base already buys one set of products from you, what else might they buy from you? The power of this strategy is a higher ‘average customer value’ and the potential for growth. However, companies in the past have ‘watered down’ their brand by trying to sell too much to too many different types of people and projected a ‘master of none’ impression to the market. What new product types could you launch that are 100% aligned with your company and audience? Is there a way to have visual similarities or themes throughout your products, so they all feel cohesive with each other?

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All Birds

Image Credit: All Birds

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DTC sock brand, Stance specialise in socks and due to the low MOQ/new-product-development costs has launched a lot of them. They spotted an opportunity to create new product lines designed for specific sports niches. Starting with running, Stance redesigned a sock to suit players as much as possible, they then teamed up with influencers in the sport. Once that worked, they moved onto cycling, basketball, golf and more.

 

Creating new versions of an existing product positioned for a specific audience could help you recruit new customers. This could be as simple as changing your positioning through marketing and website copy. Or you could start developing new versions of your existing products to better serve specific niches. Have you heard from customers who are part of a specific sport, hobby or profession? This could be a good place to start.

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Stance Socks

Image Credit: Stance Socks

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