The brands upending retail, an exclusive invite, and hot cannabis startups

CasperDirect-to-consumer brands like Away, Brooklinen, and SmileDirectClub grew up on Google, Facebook, and Instagram, upending the retail business along the way. Now, they’re starting to broaden their horizons.


Direct-to-consumer brands like Away, Brooklinen, and SmileDirectClub grew up on Google, Facebook, and Instagram, upending the retail business along the way. Now, they’re starting to broaden their horizons.

“We found that digital platforms scaled well for our first few years, but we struggled to cut through the clutter and tell the story we wanted,” Caroline Bank, associate director of marketing at ice-cream brand Halo Top, told my colleague Tanya Dua last month.

That presents a sizeable opportunity. As my colleague Lucia Moses reported this week, in the TV world,NBCUniversal and CBS are building teams to go after direct-to-consumer dollars. Comcast Ventures is even training startups like Away and Hippo to become TV advertisers, and says they’re spending millions of dollars a year on TV.

(It could also be good news for other social-media platforms. Popular direct-to-consumer brands like Brooklinen, Curology, and MeUndies are flocking to Story Ads on Snapchat Discover, for example, as Instagram gets crowded and pricier.)

It’s small fry right now, with DTC brands representing just 3% of TV advertising, though that’s growing. But it’s a rare bit of good news for the TV business, which faces competition for TV ad budgets from the likes of Roku,Hulu, and Amazon.

Separately, I’m excited to announce that Business Insider is hosting a finance event at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, June 10, from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. IGNITION: Transforming Finance will feature top Wall Street executives and innovators who are disrupting from within.

Attendees will hear from the likes of Omer Ismail, the head of digital finance for the Americas at Goldman Sachs, Megan Brewer, head of the technology innovation office at Morgan Stanley, Huw Richards, the head of digital investment banking at JPMorgan, and more.

Interested in attending? Admission is free but space is limited. Please complete this form to be considered for our invitation list. And as always, you can contact me at [email protected] if you have any ideas or suggestions.

— Matt

Quote of the week

“Every pitch, every presentation is primarily about telling a story and not about designing beautiful slides, necessarily.” – Mitch Grasso, a Silicon Valley founder, on how to design the perfect pitch deck.

In conversation

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