DTC brand, Tuft & Needle, disrupts mattress behemoth Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB) from within. J.T. Marino (@johnmarino) co-founder of Tuft & Needle and now Chief Strategy Officer of SSB believes big brands who merge with DTC will need to flip marketing on its head from brand marketing to product marketing, direct to channel. He believes that the direct channel is where customers or potential customers learn about brands, who they are and what their products are after being targeted with digital ads. Then, even if those consumers don’t directly purchase a mattress from that one digital ad, it may help them decide to go to a retail location and purchase a mattress. “Even though your direct channel might be small, it’s what’s driving demand for your products and your brand in those other channels,” said Marino. He urges big brands who are being disrupted to stop looking at P&L of channels and understand how direct to market can drive other retail channels.
If it’s successful, I think it’ll be a case study of what do big companies do that are getting disrupted and how those companies can embrace the disruptors,” said Marino. “This is like, ‘Well, what if we go get to disruptor and bring them inside in the house and give them the keys.’ It’s a big risk and they took a big shot, but we studied them and how to take them down. Now we have rebuild them.”