📦 What Creative Thinker Are You?
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

No one is immune to this one. We all do it 😉

If you’re new to DTC, welcome! You’re in good company with fellow newcomers from Camping World, ourCommonplace, Alberto Collections, Ice Barrel, Every Man Jack, and UpCircle. 🥂

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

🌊 How brands are making waves on TikTok

🔥 Get the most out of your subscription service with an optimization guide from Ordergroove

👟 The guru of Kuru, Sean McGinnis from Kuru Footwear

🤯 Skyrocket your sales with Impact’s Guide To Influencer Marketing

💭 Find out what type of creative thinker you are

👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe , so you never miss out.


TikTok on the clock and these brands don’t stop 🕺

Not to state the obvious, but…

TikTok is taking the DTC world by storm! 🌪️

The hugely popular social video app:

  • Generated $4.6 billion revenue in 2021—an 142% increase year-on-year 🚀
  • Got people downloadin’... a massive 656 million times in 2021 to be exact 📲
  • Boasts 1.2 billion MAUs 😏
  • Plans to TRIPLE its revenue from ads in 2022 💵
  • Speaks to the younguns—63% of Gen Z use TikTok daily 🧒

The central truth of creative on TikTok, is to create TikToks… not ads. Savvy brands know this and are moving fast to jump on the bandwagon. Why?

TikTok videos influence purchasing decisions. Big time. 🤠

There are 8.1 billion tagged videos to prove it.

TikTok is still a baby. The barrier to enter the game is still low, leaving the door wide open for DTC brands.

Here’s a breakdown of 3 brands doing cool things on TikTok. Consider what they are doing and incorporate some of their strategies into yours.

1. BlendJet  [40k+ followers]

Blenders are not the most exciting product…

But, here’s the thing. BlendJet is not boring. We repeat. BlendJet is NOT boring.

Not even a little.

BlendJet has developed a fun brand personality, and a cool TikTok strategy that:

  • Features fun and likable creators ✅
  • Participates in TikTok trends ✅
  • Shows how the product works ✅
  • Encourages viewers to purchase ✅

Here’s one example of a video BlendJet did where it piggybacked on a TikTok trend of making margaritas on the beach using the BlendJet blender.

The result? Let’s let the comments do the talking:

10 of the 70 comments we’re from happy owners of BlendJet or people looking to purchase!

Keep scrollin’ for more brands making waves on TikTok.


It's a subscription gold rush out there

Every DTC merchant wants to get the most outta their subscription program to help grow their business. 🚀

And with consumer demand at record highs, it's no surprise that brands are flooding the market with subscription offerings...

But merchants with unique program incentives, frictionless experiences, and churn-fighting capabilities will stand out in a crowded space and win loyal subscribers. 💪

To help brands turn their subscription program into a market leader, Ordergroove created The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Subscription Program , a comprehensive guide that's jam-packed with best practices and use cases.

In the guide, you'll learn how to:

  • Maximize subscriber enrollment and retention
  • Drive larger average order values
  • Determine if your subscription program is optimized for success

👉 Get the optimization guide right here.


2. Run Gum [488k+ followers]

Nick Symmonds is the guy for Run Gum. He’s also a two-time Olympian, entrepreneur, YouTuber, and the company’s founder. 💪 Their TikTok videos go somethin’ like this:

1️⃣ Symmonds challenges passers-by to a test of physical endurance like  pull-ups or a race.

2️⃣ He sweetens the deal by paying (in cold hard cash) for either participation or a number of reps completed.

Here’s an example of a bench press challenge where he gave strangers $1 for every pound they could bench.

The videos are fun and in line with the vibe of Run Gum.

Each video:

  • Has a central character (Nick) ✅
  • Has a main theme (mini-challenges) ✅
  • Includes branded hashtags ✅

When you see a Run Gum video, you know what you’re going to get.

You’re going to see Nick Symmonds challenging random people to fun athletic events.

You’ll see people walk away from the challenge, and you’ll see the brave ones compete and get paid.

Either way, you’ll remember Run Gum as an endurance product and maybe even pick it up next time you’re at the store.

3. Duolingo  [3.2m+ followers]

It’s impossible to talk about TikTok strategy and not mention the internet’s new favorite owl, the Duolingo owl.🦉

And yeah, we know, Duolingo is an app, but there’s still something DTCs brand can learn from its TikTok strategy.

Duolingo absolutely nails what makes an excellent TikTok. The videos are short, authentic, and funny. Ultimately, they’re there to make you lol, which is what TikTok is all about.

Here’s why Duolingo's videos are so on-point. 📌  They…

  • Personify the Duolingo logo (the green owl is a real mascot that wanders around the office doing hilarious things)
  • Communicates a central message about how language learning will improve your life
  • Are hilarious (did I say that already?) 🤣

Do yourself a favor and rip a page from the Duolingo handbook.

Consider creating a mascot or personification that’ll entertain your customers and sell your products.

And what do all these examples have in common?

  • They’re normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill TikToks ✅
  • They’re authentic (which Gen Z loooove!) ✅
  • They’re not sales-ey or ads ✅

Marketers need to hit these points to help drive purchase decisions on Tiktok. It’s that simple.

Will you be using TikTok in your DTC marketing soon? Let us know your plans, we’re all ears 👂


Skyrocket your sales by launching influencer campaigns

Influencer marketing is an incredibly effective and reliable channel for DTC brands to gain consumer trust, grow brand awareness, and increase sales. 🚀

But if working with influencers is new to you, where do you start?

The answer is right here: The ultimate guide to influencer marketing.

The straight-shooting, highly practical ebook covers all the basics, including tried and tested best practices for everything, from finding partners to measuring your ROI. 🎯

It's also packed with campaign examples from DTC brands you know so that you can learn from the best in the biz.

At impact.com, their goal is to make thriving in the partnership economy easy, and they've worked with some of the biggest names around, including Adidas, Uber, and Levi's, so you're in safe hands.

👉 Get the only guide you need to kickstart your influencer campaigns.


🎧 This week on the pod, we were joined by the CMO and marketing guru of KURU Footwear , Sean McGinnis.

KURU makes the world’s most comfortable shoes designed for pain relief beyond belief.® Whether for work, exercise, or simply improving the health of your feet, each pair is made with a patented KURUSOLE that keeps your feet supported, flexed, and comfy. 👟

In this convo with Sean, we discussed the importance of SEO, how to boost website conversion rates, alternatives to discounts, and whether or not paid ads “work” for higher-priced products.

‍The Takeaways: 👇

🚀 Simple changes to boost website CR

When Sean started in 2019, KURU had just undergone a huge brand overhaul and website revamp.

As a result, their SEO traffic, revenue, and conversion rates took a big hit. ⏬

Here are some super simple changes they were able to make for an immediate boost in CR:

  • Increased the font size across their website ✅
  • Made it more obvious that they offer free shipping, returns, and exchanges ✅
  • Enhanced the UX on the topbar navigation and updated product categories based on personas & keyword research ✅

Is your CR not where you want it to be? Try making these changes and see what happens! 💡

💰 An alternative to discounting

KURU prefers not to offer standard discounts on their shoes.

Instead, they have a “KURU Cash Program” that gives shoppers 5% back in points on all purchases that they can use on a future order. 💸

When they want to run promotions, they’ll often do “points accelerators.” For example, for Black Friday last year, they offered 3x points back (15%).

Rewards programs can be a great strategy if you’re not into discounting: they tend to drive repeat purchases, customer loyalty, and LTV. Just make sure your product is well-suited for it (AKA there are multiple different SKUs to choose from or your product is conducive to regular reordering)!

💰 What Sean would do with an extra $50K

“My hypothesis…still to be disproven to this day, is that paid social is [better] for quick-decision, snap-decision, low consideration, probably low-risk purchases…not $150 shoes that solve a problem.”

But, as a good marketing guru would, Sean would use the extra $50K to test this hypothesis.

“[I would use it on] 100% new creative for social…I would match your $50K with another $50K…and go and create a whole wide swath of creative to test on paid social.”

Sean’s ideal scenario would be to test 10x-ing their spend on paid social for a month and see what happens. We love it! 👏

👉 Listen to the full convo with Sean, the guru of KURU, here !


Is your creative falling flat? Reshape your mindset

Creativity is the cornerstone of showing viewers how your brand provides value.

Sometimes creativity can feel like a perfect storm, and other times it’s a slow grind. When you hit a creative rut, it can be helpful to identify the different kinds of thinking that go into creativity. 🧠

The Creative Team at Pilothouse wants to help you level up your creative thinking, so check out these insights from futurist Adam Jorlen that we’ve been geeking out on lately.

The thesis is that by focusing your creativity on these five types of thinking, we can mine new ideas and levels of creativity.

1️⃣ Divergent

  • If you’re able to draw connections where others might not see them and look at more than just singular elements, you may be a divergent thinker.
  • The divergent thinker can come up with radically new ideas or directions.
  • If everyone is thinking about going left, they would go right. It's rebellious, abstract, and post-modern.

2️⃣ Lateral

  • Lateral thinking doesn’t involve a straight line from problem to solution.
  • Letting go of assumptions allows your creativity to find new options or solutions.
  • To quote Jorlen, "divergent thinking is following an extreme path, while lateral thinking is following the least likely path."

3️⃣ Aesthetic

  • The word aesthetic has weaved its way into our everyday language.
  • The key to aesthetic creative is going beyond what looks nice and seeking to find harmonious patterns in your pursuits.

4️⃣ System

  • System thinking simply put, is the ability to understand how things function as isolated concepts, and then how they interact to create a whole.
  • It’s important to understand the hierarchy, placement, and use different isolated things, and then connect the dots between them all.

5️⃣ Inspirational

  • Inspirational thinking is that weird experience of 'having a breakthrough' or feeling like some insight or idea comes from the great beyond. 💡

What type of thinker are you? Do you think marketers are more susceptible to one type of thinking than another? 🤔

If you’re in a creative rut or need some new and fresh creative angles, reach out to the Pilothouse creative team! 🚀


👟 Nike to ramp up its DTC business.

⛔Standalone IGTV app about to shut down.

🛒Connected Checkout by Ownit was launched to help DTC brands lift conversion.

🌠25% of people will use the Metaverse for up to an hour daily by 2026.

📽 TikTok soon will make 10-minute long video upload possible.


👟 Restructuring Google Ads for Customer Avatars with Sean McGinnis from Kuru Footwear.

🐶 40% Repeat Purchase Rate (Without Email) and True Meaning of Product-Market Fit with James Petrellis from Mighty Munch.

🥣 Mascots in the Metaverse: How to Make NFTs Work for Your DTC Brand with OffLimits CEO Emily Elyse Miller.

🦷 Tend Merges Dentistry with Hospitality and Disrupts the $300B Space with Matt Fitzgerald.

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast  on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Ashley R. Cummings and Rebecca Knight. Edited by Claire Beveridge.

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