DTC Dispatch #016

Bows and Aprons and Prada, Oh My!

 📆 Another month down!

This week in DTC Dispatch:

🖥️ John Legend’s Loved01 personal care brand launches on Amazon

💳️ Loyalty programs are having less of an effect on consumer behavior, survey

🎀 Prada gives new meaning to bows and aprons

📱Reesa Teesa’s ‘Who TF did I marry?’ TikToks are like an audiobook

🛍️ How Pinterest’s ‘Inclusive AI’ is getting users to shop


John Legend’s Loved01 personal care brand launches on Amazon

Singer-songwriter John Legend has brought his year-old personal skin care brand, Loved01, to the Amazon Beauty store, per a press release. The affordable, unisex skin care brand launched in January 2023 and currently sells products on its own website, Walmart and CVS. The majority of products are being offered on Amazon either as a single or double pack, the company said via email. The confirmed list of products includes a face and body moisturizer, toning mist, exfoliating cleanser, face and body oil, shave cream, face and body cleansing bar, cleansing wipes and hand wash. All products retail between $10 to $15.

Our take: Since Amazon is arguably the largest online retailer, it is a smart move for John Legend and team to start selling the Loved01 products on their storefront. The products are affordable and are being sold as single or double packs. With the plethora of products on Amazon, the affordability of these products will help the brand succeed. In the beauty and skincare market, we are continuously seeing celebrities create their own lines and brands. Will we see more celebrities turn to Amazon to sell their brands?

Loyalty programs are having less of an effect on consumer behavior, survey

They say loyalty is a virtue—a must-have for businesses to thrive.

But new survey data from Upside shows a disconnect between loyalty programs and consumer behavior for grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience retailers.

  • Up to 51% of respondents said they don’t factor in a loyalty program when picking where to shop.

  • At least a third (33%) said they haven’t purchased more frequently since signing onto a loyalty program.

  • And 58–63% of consumers said a store not having such a program wouldn’t affect their shopping habits.

Our take: When making a purchase, consumers are flooded with options. Retailers have used loyalty programs historically to attract and retain customers in an oversaturated marketplace. According to Upside’s survey, loyalty programs might not be enough to sway consumers. Consumers are looking for new and innovative products when deciding on where to purchase a product from. Brands who stand out have niche offerings that attract customers. Loyalty programs are not enough in today’s market.

Prada gives new meaning to bows and aprons, historic elements of women’s wardrobe, for next season

Don’t call them nostalgic, the bows and aprons, silken slips and hats that filled the Prada runway. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons recovered elements of a women’s wardrobe history and reconstituted them into something “modern.”

“It’s a history of women,” Prada told reporters backstage at the fall-winter 2024-25 preview show on Thursday. This act of reinventing items fished from deep inside the closet “frees them from their cage,” Prada said, giving them new meaning.

The looks are modular. Woolen aprons, facing front or back, partially obscure slip skirts, closing with bows or floral appliques — the silken touches defy the male silhouette. The skirt combos are paired with an accompanying jacket with a silken back panel, or twinsets in bold color combinations, royal red and purple, yesteryear olive and pink.

Our take: High fashion has to continuously be evolving and thinking of innovative ways to capture the attention of consumers. When industries run out of new or original ideas, oftentimes we see history repeat itself and trends from 20 or 30 years ago come back in style. Prada has taken a different approach to history repeating itself by bringing back a trend that was not conventional used in high fashion. Can Prada turn bows and aprons into high fashion?

Reesa Teesa’s ‘Who TF did I marry?’ TikToks are like an audiobook

TikTok’s latest viral superstar is Reesa Teesa, a Georgia woman who posted 50 videos — just under 10 minutes long apiece — chronicling her tumultuous relationship with her ex-husband. That’s over six hours of content, all about a stranger’s experience living with a compulsive liar. But millions of viewers are eating it up, clinging to Reesa’s every last word on a platform with a reputation for ruining our attention span.

I can’t go for a walk without headphones (lest I be alone with my own thoughts), so I’m constantly listening to podcasts and audiobooks. But Reesa’s videos marked the first time that I went for a walk while listening to TikToks, my phone tucked away in my pocket. And apparently, that’s what the storyteller intended.

“The series, ‘who the f— did I marry,’ is not something that you have to sit down and hold your phone and watch,” Reesa said in a TikTok on Wednesday. “I did it the way I did it so that way, you actually can listen to it as an audiobook, chapter by chapter, in order.”

This format might be unconventional, but it’s working. Even by TikTok’s standards, Reesa’s rise is meteoric. She had 50,000 followers on Friday; now, less than a week later, she’s about to hit 2 million. And Google Trends says that “who tf did i marry” is the most-searched item related to marriage this week.

Our take: Social media platforms like TikTok have shown how one post or video can blow up and become viral overnight. This is what happened with Reesa Teesa’s story when she posted a 50 part video series on TikTok. This format has been unconventional to even TikTok, with most viral posts being one video or one post. People became captivated in Reesa’s storytelling and continued to listen to each video to hear what happened next.

Other content creators, and even brands, could use Reesa’s instant fame and success to influence future posts. People were engaged by Reesa’s multi-video story, so we may see this unconventional format pop up.

How Pinterest’s ‘Inclusive AI’ is getting users to shop

As a source of inspiration for everything from hair styles to fashion, social media — like magazines before it — has served some users better than others. Marginalized groups haven’t always seen images of people with their features when searching for ideas online.

Pinterest, which built its base of nearly 500 million users largely as a place to find and save inspiration, sees artificial intelligence as at least a partial solution. The company introduced AI-powered filters for skin tone in 2018, allowing users to search for images of people with the same skin color as them, along with one for body type last September. Pinterest also launched a separate filter for hair patterns in 2021 that lets users find images of people based on hair texture.

The company’s “inclusive AI” automates what would be a grueling manual process of sifting through its catalogue of 5 billion images to serve user images of people with similar features. Pinterest also sees it as a way to help it build out its social commerce.

The personalization it provides attracts more Gen-Z users, who have a higher expectation for personalized content and are spending more time on the platform than other groups. Since they’re finding the kind of inspirational content they want, they’re also more willing to click on tools like Pinterest’s shoppable “product pins,” which take users directly to a retailer’s site to buy.

Our take: Personalization and inclusion is more important than ever for consumers. People want to buy products from brands that use models and people of all shapes and sizes. The new Pinterest AI tool allows users to find products being modeled by people with similar features. Being able to relate to the products more will seemingly result in higher intent to purchase the products from the retailer’s site. It will be interesting to see how Pinterest continues to use AI on its site.


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