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    Disruptor Brands are All About Direct Access

    Jay Rampuria, EVP, Global Business Development, ITWP

    When you think about what defines the On Demand universe it is, more than anything else, direct access. Consumers want direct, uninterrupted (disintermediated) access to their brands’ products and services and—in turn—brands demand direct access to consumers to gauge effectiveness of everything from marketing plans to package design and shelf placement.

    Not surprisingly, the current atmosphere has spawned a whole cadre of disruptor brands that are thriving on direct, one-to-one relationships. Think of brands like Casper, which made it easy to finally get a good night’s sleep; myriad home repair and maintenance companies that bring homeowners and craftspeople together; and then of course there’s Uber, which changed everything. Simply put, Uber is a direct line from consumers to drivers and back again. In fact, the brand has been so disruptive that experts often refer to the transportation industry as pre-Uber and post-Uber. (I would argue that Uber changed the way every industry functions—not just transportation.)
    Clearly, a vast number of online shoppers are becoming aware of and purchasing disruptor brands. This behavior change is prompting an increasing number of traditional companies to bring DTC companies under their corporate wings or consider new solutions themselves. Big, well established brands understand that consumers appreciate the level of control, and direct access they have when purchasing disruptor products. Market disruption is here to stay given the new digital, and distribution channels retailers have at their disposal.

    With a Real-Time Need to Understand Disruption – Why not Use a Disruptor?

    In the age of Uber, it’s not enough for brands to provide direct access to their products and services. They also need to maintain constant contact with their most important consumers, to stay abreast of constantly changing tastes and preferences. That’s where Toluna comes in, with its end-to-end on-demand consumer insights platform. This platform is fully integrated with Toluna’s proprietary, global consumer panel, and connects brands and consumers directly, in real-time, a disruptive force when considering traditional consumer insights solutions.
    In the On-Demand world, consumers now have unfettered access to their favorite products when and where they need them, and brands can communicate directly with their most important consumers. It’s the definition of Win/Win.

    Survey Proves Taste for Disruptor Brands

    In an effort to gain a window on the scope of consumers’ migration toward disruptor brands, Toluna recently conducted a pre-SXSW Direct to Consumer and Subscription Shopping Preferences Survey, which shed a bright light on consumers’ behavior related to direct-to-consumer (DTC), subscription, and retail products. Questions posed to 1,500+ American consumers included: “What type of offer would entice you to try a new DTC company?”; “Do you currently use subscription services and what kinds?” and “How often do you online shop?”

    Here is what we learned:

    • 57% of those surveyed have seen a disruptor brand in the last year
    • 44% report having purchased a disruptor brand in the last month
    • More than 50% report purchasing a disruptor brand within the last three months
    • As always, free trials are the way to engage with new customers, with 42% saying a trial would motivate them to try a disruptor
    • Food continues to be the category people feel will continue to be disintermediated

    What’s Next?

    When we think about what the next disruptive force will be (and trust us there’s something new happening every day), it’s clear that companies need real-time insight into their consumers. Agile decision-making is key, and insights are needed to power that decision-making.

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