Josh Delaney on The Future of DTC Brands

Josh Delaney -- a thought leader, eCommerce expert, brand builder, and Inc 5000 Award Winner -- believes the future of direct-to-consumer brands will be shaped by evolving consumer preferences, technological advancements, and changing market dynamics. Leveraging his expertise and experience, Delaney sold 5 companies in 10 years to both private and public companies and has been named “Milwaukee’s Most Notable Marketing

According to Delaney, here are some things to expect to see, that probably won’t change anytime soon:

Personalization Of Message

"Consumers expect personalized experiences. Brands that leverage data to customize their offerings and communications will thrive. Narrow down each segment of customers in your business and cater to them as specifically as you can. Personalize as much of your engagement with them as you can. Every time I get in my car it says “Welcome Josh Delaney”. I know it’s just a robot voice but it's cool. People will know it's your AI and automated systems and will still think it's cool. The brand with a better relationship with the customer wins."

Direct Community Engagement

"The future lies in building direct relationships with consumers through social media, content, and community-building activities. The best way I have seen to do this in the last few years has been intentional community groups like Slack, Discord, Reddit Groups, Facebook Groups, Skool, and Live Events. A place where your customers or group can organize, socialize, strategize, and solve problems together. Groups like this can not only be massive revenue generators but also a great place to ideate things out loud, get real-time feedback, and stay engaged with a customer base that typically has the highest lifetime values. Not to mention groups like this are usually the cheapest way to do this kind of engagement as well."

Tech Stack Upgrades

"From upsell/downsell checkout apps to AI-driven content creators, embracing new technologies will be key to enhancing the shopping experience. Make sure you’re using the most updated applications and plugins on your store. There are so many tested and proven programs now that can do so much monitoring and management of our stores for us. If you are not up to date with your applications and tech stack, you may burn out from doing things manually or paying 2-3x more for someone to actually do the labor. Work smart AND hard, but first work smart. Get all of your programs updated, research what works and doesn’t, and ask tons of questions when onboarding new software or tools. will give you some insight into what competitors are using under their hood."

Omnichannel Marketing

"The ability to quickly adapt to market changes and consumer feedback will distinguish successful DTC brands. That is why from what I can tell, if you want to be a major brand today, you need to be online and offline. Online stores and physical retail stores. Learning logistics for both your ecommerce business but also your wholesale and retail business will take you further than your peers in 2024 and beyond. We won’t just be internet people anymore, we’ll have to see how our packaging sits on a shelf now too! I like a good challenge."

Delaney leaves us with an ending note:

"These are trends that are not slowing down anytime soon and are the way of the future. Going back to tribes, communities, and higher engagement to earn consumers' trust back and prove to them you have real solutions for them with good intentions. Stay on top of your labor as it pertains to what new tech can do for you and stay on top of offline, retail, or wholesale options for your sales channels. Small brands are going really big here right now and this could be you."

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