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International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research

Table 1 DTC Brand characteristics and examples

From: Determinants of consumer attitudes and re-purchase intentions toward direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands

Characteristics Descriptions Examples
Co-creation Process of building experiences and resolving problems with joint efforts by customers and brands Everlane: Reflecting customers’ feedback to change materials and redesign details of items
Glossier: Building the brand based on conversations the founder had with influential female figures on beauty products
Cost-effectiveness Unique business model to offer high quality products at reasonable prices without the presence of middlemen Warby Parker: Selling eyeglasses between $95 and $145 which is lower than the average price of branded eyeglasses ($263)
Gymshark: Selling products between $25 and $60 which is lower than high-end alternative fitness clothing competitor brands
Website attractiveness A website’s sole store front role to communicate brand identity and retain customers through thoughtfully designed website interfaces, such as icons, colors, graphics, music, and page lengths Everlane: Website as only store front, which is perceived clean and aesthetic to consumers; highlights the brand’s sustainability efforts
M. Gemi: Website entrance with a short clip that shows the brand’s association with Italian craftmanship
Sustainability Eco-friendly and social activities embedded into a core of brand concept; providing transparent information about supply chain and pricing policies Reformation: Accentuating the brand’s sustainability efforts through proactively sharing environmental impact of products and reporting on sustainability initiatives
Allbirds: Brand identity rooted in sustainability, such as measuring the environmental impact of their products, using natural and recycled materials, and funding external sustainability projects
Brand uniqueness Unique products and brand stories to differentiate from traditional brands; emphasis placed on the brand origin; product function/design specialization in niche categories Bonobos: Offering uniquely designed product (e.g., pants that conform to the natural shape of the waist for comfort)
Away: Minimalistic product designs with unique features like phone charging batteries
Social media engagement Social media often the primary channel for marketing; hyperactive brand-customer interaction through social media; customer’s behavioral manifestations in social media beyond purchase as an online community Glossier:
1) Brand’s Instagram and YouTube offers information of the brand and products
2) Consumers’ sharing experience of products in the online community
1) Turned fitness influencers into brand ambassadors
2) User generated contents, such as work-out videos, were shared on its YouTube channel to motivate other users.
Innovativeness Innovative business model, products, and brand storytelling in which consumers perceive brands as being able to provide new and useful solutions to their needs; incorporation of cutting-edge technology (e.g., augmented reality, virtual try-on) Warby Parker: Named on the list of innovative companies, highlighting technology of virtual try-ons
  1. Developed by authors based on literature review and interviews