What Are the DTC Opportunities Right Now?
The Signal: The quarantine period turbocharged e-commerce spend over the past few months.
To get a view on which e-commerce product categories are currently looking attractive, the Trends team asked ThoughtLeaders — a marketing intelligence tool — to provide us with data they’ve collected that will help you identify market opportunities.
ThoughLeaders tracks brand mentions across thousands of influencers on non-Facebook/Google ad channels, including YouTube, podcasts, newsletters, and blogs.
To identify which DTC brands have been expanding their ad footprint, we looked at direct-response ad tests across the aforementioned channels in Q2 2020 vs. Q2 2019.
How Everlywell Created a National Infrastructure for At-Home COVID Testing in Under 2 Weeks
Just over 3 months ago, Julia Cheek, the CEO and co-founder of Everlywell, appeared as a guest on our My First Million podcast. At the time, the coronavirus had just begun to spread to the United States, and her company — a 5-year-old startup that provides at-home medical testing kits and lab results — had no plans to produce an at-home test to detect COVID-19. She even laughed the idea off as a little crazy: “If we did, I don’t think I would be here right now,” she joked.
But within days of that conversation, Cheek and her Austin-based team were busy attempting to create a test. By mid-May — following a furious stretch of testing, initial government approval, and an unexpected turnabout — they became the first digital health company to receive FDA emergency use authorization for an at-home COVID-19 test.
The thought that a small startup would play such an integral role in responding to a global pandemic seemed incredible: “If there was ever a situation where a 90-person company had to be part of the national response to a pandemic, then there’s something wrong,” Christina Song, a senior Everlywell official, told us in a recent interview.
The Leads Mega List: 100+ Tips for Growing Your Business
Each week, the Trends team curates the most actionable articles we can find into the Leads section of our weekly email. Below is a list, organized by topic, of all the best Leads from our first year (updated June, 2020). Let this be a resource you refer back to whenever you’re facing a new challenge in your business.
What companies are freezing hiring; what companies have laid off workers; what companies are still hiring; and who wants to be hired during the pandemic. Coronavirus job listings by company. 5 tips for reducing coronavirus business risk. How to Zoom like a pro. How startups should grow in 2020. A designer’s guide to pivoting in the pandemic. 10 ways to ensure your restaurant (or small business) survives the pandemic.
What companies will be hardest hit by the pandemic? How to apply for a small business coronavirus relief loan. How to stock up without getting ripped off. How to raise VC during the coronavirus. And how to work during a pandemic. How to respond to a disrupted supply chain. 8 creative coronavirus pivots.
Growth & Lead Generation:
How a Marketer With No Culinary Experience Bootstrapped a $25m Edible Cannabis Business
You can trace a direct line between today’s massive cannabis gummies market and Nancy Whiteman.
Whiteman, an entrepreneur from Colorado, was working as a marketing consultant before she launched a bootstrapped company she took to calling Wana Brands in 2010.
She didn’t have a culinary background. Honestly, before 2010, she didn’t even know that cannabis-infused products existed. But in the past decade, she has spun a decentralized edibles market teeming with off-kilter experiments — THC-infused pizzas and baklavas were not unheard of — into a juggernaut with $25m in annual revenue.
Trends Year-In-Review Quiz
Think you know your Trends stats? Try our 5-question quiz, which draws on some of our most popular posts, covering everything from collectible auctioneers to the boring business that mints billions (trade shows).
30 Companies Defining the Future of Media & Pop Culture
This presentation was put together by Trung Phan. Send questions or comments via email or Twitter.
It was inspired by Blake Robbins’ Twitter thread highlighting the companies shaping the future of media & pop culture.
Blake is a partner at early-stage venture fund Ludlow Ventures. Follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his newsletter on Substack.
Trends subscribers can download a PDF of the presentation here.
Blake’s Original Tweet Thread
Slide Deck Contents Page
A Snapshot of the 30 Companies
1. David Dobrik
Recreating Friends & becoming Jimmy Fallon for Gen-Z
AMAs with Founders
The most successful people in the world don’t get there alone. We believe strongly in learning from the success and failures of one another. So, every so often we bring in someone that we think has unique insights — whether they founded a huge business or deeply understand a problem that many of us face. We’ll continue to invite inspiring people to share their stories, and give you an opportunity to interact with them directly. We’ll update this page with any future AMAs, and welcome your suggestions of other people we should talk to (email [email protected] with your ideas).
Read if you want learn about building a strong consumer brand without much paid marketing, effectively using omni-channel marketing, and regulatory problems related to the CBD industry.
Read if you want learn about the next evolution of advertising and social media, cofounder relationships, early-stage acquisition, and how to build a cohesive story when raising venture capital.
The Solo Founder’s Guide to Getting Media Attention
Now more than ever, it’s important to understand how PR works — and how you can use it to your advantage. So we put together a brief guide to show you the way.
Read on for tips, tricks, and resources from 4 expert sources who have helped clients get their products featured in publications like The New York Times, Forbes, and other national outlets. With the help of these experts, several of whom are active contributors in the Trends community, some companies have scaled to $1m+ in sales in just one year without spending a penny on advertising.
Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to acquire “earned” (AKA free) media pick-up for your product or service. We encourage you to read our whole report, but feel free to click through to the section that interests you most:
- Step 1: Understand Your Audience
- Step 2: Build Your Media List
- Step 3: Share Your Story
- Step 4: Rinse & Repeat
- Tools & Templates
Meet Our Experts:
Need Help Launching Your Business? This YouTube Host Has Answers
Doc Williams has helped hundreds of people start and grow their businesses. The self-described “solutions architect” (AKA digital marketing expert) has worked with everyone from powerful NFL agents to VaynerMedia.
In the early days of the pandemic, he realized that many people needed advice on how to pivot. So — using his skills as an entrepreneur, live streamer, and consultant — he launched a nightly streaming show called “Build With Me” to help founders get their ideas off the ground.
“People have asked me — they like my videos and tutorials,” he told me last week. “I was like, ‘Let me just do this live. I’ll do what I do anyway, I’ll just record it.’”
4 Futurists Break Down Post-COVID Opportunities
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve turned to all kinds of people — including virologists, Ph.D.s, and market analysts — to explain the challenges we face in the present. But who can help us better understand the next-order effects of this crisis?
One answer: Futurists, professionals in a variety of fields who, through rigorous analysis and research, make projections about what the world might look like someday. Futurists aren’t prophets, but they offer a unique perspective on navigating uncertainty.
Our analysts and writers spoke with a number of prominent futurists, focusing on how COVID-19 might impact various sectors in the short- and long-term. A few takeaways:
- A hitch in global trade could inspire a localism movement in various sectors like tourism, shipping, and production.
- We might see an uptick in 3-D printing and other self-sufficiency tools.
- The crisis could accelerate the intersection of AI and biology.
- Educational content on immersive platforms (VR, MR, XR) is poised for growth.