Appeared for a few years now, the Digitally Native Vertical Brands are brands essentially born in the digital age. They are characterized by a specific customer experience process. From product design to delivery, DNVB does not use any intermediary. It is in a way their trademark accompanied by the marketing of a unique and targeted product.
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Today, there are no less than 447 DNVBs in France spread over different sectors of activity such as well-being, clothing and even food.
Digitally native vertical brand: Definition
A Digitally Native Vertical Brand is a brand created primarily online that sells its products directly to consumers without going through an intermediary. It is an exclusively digital brand born in the digital age offering a product targeted to a defined market that controls the process from design to delivery.
What are the main characteristics of DNVB?
The concept of DNVB was invented by Andy Dunn when he created the Bonobos brand in 2007.
One of the criteria best characterizing the concept of Digitally Native Vertical Brand is undoubtedly the customer experience. User feedback plays a major role in the DNVB process. It is essential for the company setting up a DNVB to meet an expectation and satisfy a need. Some companies even set up a page on their website specifically dedicated to the customer approach. The client is very often the co-creator of the brand.
The DNVBs are also characterized by the offer they offer. It is essentially a niche offering. In other words, the company introduces a product that meets a very specific need with a specific target as well. With this type of offer, the DNVB stand out by the specificity of the product put on the market. In addition, distribution costs are clearly reduced due to its limited target and the product is all the more qualitative with a lower price than the competition.
Another criterion specific to DNVB is the aspect of fair price. Indeed, the Digitally Native Vertical Brands do not offer the lowest price, but a relevant price. In general, the price of a DNVB is always lower than a similar product on traditional sale, because they have the advantage of not going through various intermediaries. Cost savings are therefore achieved, because from the purchase of raw materials to marketing through the manufacture of the product, the DNVBs manage all the stages themselves.
Digitally Native Vertical Brands also have a unique relationship with their customers. They fully involve them in the development of the brand and customers also have a major role in the development of new offers. The DNVBs improve their presence on social networks by promoting their brand, their products and the values that represent them. Having a continuous link with customers allows them to be constantly alert to their needs and expectations. The DNVBs must be available for their audience.
The history of DNVBs has a very important role in their development. Indeed, buyers are sensitive to the stories that brands tell. It awakens emotions and touches emotionally. The minds and hearts of customers are therefore much more tuned when their senses are put into action. Through the story of their journey, the DNVBs attract. They build their brand image around a real story about their values, their vision of the future and their concept. The appeal of consumers also goes through the “human” side of DNVBs.
The last characteristic that can sometimes describe some DNVBs is commitment. Some consumers are much more inclined to trust a brand that promotes its ecological commitment, for example. Both on a societal and ecological level, the DNVBs play on the origin of the products or on their way of designing them. They offer and offer information to their customers on their entire process. It is a process that strongly appeals to buyers through this transparency. Here again, the emotional side comes into play.
What are the key success factors of DNVB?
The first key factor in creating a DNVB is simply finding the right product. Designing a product that meets a specific expectation of a targeted audience is the basis of a DNVB. For this, the brand must know the main problem of its target by carrying out studies. If certain markets are saturated and the brand still wishes to enter them, it will have to play on differentiation and offer a unique product. So the analysis of the target, the taking into account of its needs and the study of the competitor’s prices are the first steps to be carried out.
Then a Digitally Native Vertical Brand, as a vertically integrated company, has control over the entire process of its supply chain. It therefore eliminates any intermediary who could intervene from manufacture to sale to customers. For this, the DNVB must have an excellent mastery of the process by surrounding itself with a team of experts with technical knowledge in each area concerned. A control over the entire process allows better management of stocks and customer returns.
One of the key success factors of a DNVB is influencer marketing as well. Again, this is an extremely powerful lever. The DNVB promotes its brand and its product through social media while creating an increasingly strong community. The intervention of influencers is an excellent way to reach a target already engaged. This technique thus makes it possible to develop its communication with a targeted audience and to obtain relevant feedback. This is endless brand and product advertising.
An important step to be favored thereafter is the extension of the DNVB with the opening of a physical point of sale. Once the product is launched, opening a store can be considered to improve the customer experience in a whole new way. This type of point of sale is also called a “pop-up store”. This openness makes it possible to avoid long-term real estate contracts. But some DNVBs have also ended up opening permanent stores given their success. The physical store allows customers to have different experiences. Smelling a candle is simply not possible through a digital store.
Examples of DNVB brands
As digital development continues to grow and consumer behavior constantly evolves, the DNVBs have established themselves in recent years. Here are a few examples of brands that have been able to infiltrate a market that was for some already very competitive.
The famous natural cosmetics brand whose founder is Justine Hutteau was launched in 2019. The main wish of its creator was to play on the transparency of the product. She relied on healthy, non-controversial ingredients and completely organic formulas. The brand has established itself in less than two years on the competitive market for hygiene and beauty products. Consumers committed to ecology and healthy products were therefore won over by this new brand. RESPIRE has also been able to create a real community on social networks by sharing its values of transparency and seriousness. The brand improves its products while interacting with its community regularly.
Julien Sylvain, the founder of the DNVB TEDIBER has established himself in a very competitive market, the mattress market, by creating his brand in 2015. Here again, the brand has totally stood out with its unique product: a delivered mattress at the customer’s for 100 nights of testing. It is with this very simple offer that TEDIBER has experienced tremendous growth since its creation. In an extremely competitive market where there are many offers and where prices vary from simple to triple, the brand has differentiated itself and won over a targeted audience.
The DNVB SHANTY BISCUITS was created in 2013. Its credo: to offer fully customizable cookies online. His arrival in the social network Instagram propelled the brand to the limelight. It became known through this and since then has experienced an explosive development. SHANTY BISCUITS has a community of around 100,000 subscribers and has created a bond of loyalty with its buyers. In addition, the biscuit factory produces personalized shortbread, considerably reducing its waste. It replaced the plastic film of its freshness sachets with a bio-based vegetable film based on wood cellulose and part of its packages are made of corn starch. The brand has been able to use proximity to its customers and the environmental aspect.
MANO MANO was created in 2013 by its two French designers Christian Raisson and Philippe de Chanville. The brand has established itself in a market where competition was almost non-existent: the online sale of DIY equipment and home products. MANO MANO has demonstrated technological innovations, set up community DIY platforms, supplemented by expert advice, tutorials, etc. DIY enthusiasts were therefore seduced by the unique offer on offer.
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