Production House: Transforming DR Products Into DR Brands

Amir Tukulj

Reflecting an evolution that has been underway for the past few years in our industry, the success of direct-to-consumer marketing is increasingly becoming more reliant on brand-driven models. Companies realize that owning a direct response brand translates to long-term business stability and profits.

At its foundation, a DR brand is a relationship between product and consumer, offering consumers a sense of what they can expect when they engage with the product.

In order to establish a DRTV brand in today’s cluttered consumer product arena, marketers need to be where the consumers reside, work, travel, and play — and that means a multimedia approach encompassing both traditional media and digital platforms. Marketers also seek to build community, a function of digital marketing and social media.

Keys to building brands include:

  • Expert and consumer-friendly spokespersons. Products like H20 Mop and AB Doer — both with two decades of marketplace success — work with Anthony Sullivan and John Abdo, who bring well-earned credibility, boundless enthusiasm, and deep product category expertise to their spokesperson roles.
  • Keep the product innovative and fresh. The latest H20 Mop includes a bigger water tank, which moved from the base to the handle allowing for easier maneuverability. The AB Doer 360 is the latest addition to the brand, offering a “dynamic fluidity seat” that delivers 360-degree movement to impact the midsection, pelvic/buttock regions, and hips and legs.
  • Satisfy the customer. This goes directly to the heart of a DR brand. Companies must deal with complaints in a professional, thorough, and immediate manner. Keep in mind that customer experience is a social media hot button: positive product reviews and happy customer experiences can propel a brand, while negative experiences can curtail growth.
  • Robust social media. Numerous studies show that today’s consumer heads to search engines to research products they first see on television — and then to social media for validation. Today’s social media platforms have become central to influencer marketing, offering destinations where consumers can get the fast information they seek from their peers. While program testimonials are important, the trust factor is far more pronounced with testimonials posted on social media, as consumers tend to prefer unsolicited peer opinions. Building and maintaining a brand means engaging with the consumer via Facebook, Instagram, and You Tube. While social media still has a ways to go as a revenue generator, the platform has certainly put consumer testimonials and referrals on steroids. To continuously lift the brand above the competitive fray, it is critical to feed the social media beast with a constant flow of specially-created content, such as videos featuring your product spokesperson and other experts, consumer testimonials, text and graphics, tips and third-party content.
  • Digital marketing. Creating a DR brand requires a combined media campaign to address all core consumer touch points: television can deliver a broad message to a larger audience, while mobile and digital allow for more surgical precision in messaging specific demos and preferences. Incentive offers will help yield more clicks. Mobile marketing is now a necessary element in any DR campaign that seeks to transform products into brands, linking consumers to a specific web page, or providing quick and compelling product information and pricing via video or text and graphic.

Television continues to be a mass platform, but campaigns need to be married to other forms of content marketing in order to build awareness and capture sales. Clearly defined positioning, a well-identified customer base, compelling messaging, expert spokespersons, strong packaging, multimedia campaigns, building community, consumer trust — these are the fundamentals that have propelled DR products into brands.