Welcome toThe Week in Direct-to-Consumer Marketing, a weekly round-up for marketers from Quad Insights that sums up the latest news you need to know surrounding DTC brand building and the changemakers leading the charge.

Examining Nike’s wholesale pivot

After ax​ing partnerships with Macy’s and the Designer Shoe Warehouse in 2021 — “a maneuver that stood out and was glossed up as a testament to its commitment to a direct-to-consumer sales approach,” Forbes’ Chris Walton writes — Nike has announced in recent weeks that it is seeking to re-establish both of them. But while casual observers may assume this is Nike’s way of hedging against a recession and/or recalibrating its DTC strategy, the reality is that “it is an example of Nike again giving a masterclass in omnichannel retailing,” according to Walton. Click here to read his analysis — including the one factor that underscores the intent behind all of Nike’s actions: timing.

Apothékary undergoes full rebrand

After experiencing tremendous growth early in the Covid-19 pandemic, direct-to-consumer wellness company Apothékary has undertaken a complete rebrand that went live on Wednesday, Retail Dive reports, giving the company a new visual look, a new customer experience model and more sustainable packaging overall. “Our values towards using plants as medicine haven’t changed; however, we wanted to look better and do better,” Founder-CEO Shizu Okusa told the publication, citing customer feedback as the main catalyst for revamping Apothékary.

Related coverage:

“Apothékary Undergoes Rebrand And Is Projected To End The Year With $25M In Sales” (Beauty Independent)

“The Apothékary Glow-Up: Why We Rebranded” (Apothekary)

DTC swimwear makers are navigating a tough market

Summer is here, but some direct-to-consumer swimwear brands are struggling to make a splash in the market, according to Ad Age’s Phoebe Bain, who notes that companies in the space are facing a perfect storm of increased competition, softening demand and marketing challenges tied to Apple’s new privacy regulations. But that doesn’t mean DTC swimwear brands — plus shapewear brands that are now introducing swimwear lines — including Summersalt, Ookioh and Parade are throwing in the metaphorical towel; click here to read Bain’s complete round-up of how these swimwear makers are looking to make an impression on customers this year.

Inside Tesla’s DTC edge

While polls show that most Americans don’t exactly have an affinity for the traditional car-buying experience, rigid, pro-dealer franchising laws have largely ensured that things won’t be changing any time soon — unless, of course, you’re Tesla (or one of its electrified peers). And that’s because the Elon Musk-led EV company has been selling directly to consumers since entering the market over a decade ago, and despite dealerships’ efforts to stifle it, The Week’s Peter Weber writes, Tesla has been winning its way through court battles and reshaping a customer experience that can be arduous, expensive and anxiety-inducing if you’re not gifted with a natural poker face. 

So, what happens next? Likely even more legal wrangling to keep DTC vehicle sales limited to electric cars, but only time will tell how legacy automakers may have to adapt to Tesla’s way of doing business — or vice versa.


New Florida Law Bans Direct-To-Consumer Car Sales, Protects Dealer Markups” (The Drive)

Further reading

“Mondelēz ‘still committed’ to DTC, focuses on basics to drive e-commerce strategy” (FoodNavigator USA)

Napa Valley’s Acumen Winery Names Ahna Jotter Direct-to-Consumer Manager” (Wine Industry Advisor)

Vuori launches footwear line with Clae” (Retail Dive)

“SodaStream Announces New Direct to Consumer CO2 Subscription Program” (PR Newswire)

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you next Friday with more news and analysis regarding all things DTC.