DTC Platforms Business Models (1.2)
ViaHero, Sprezzabox, and Schoola utilize a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) business model that build a brand through personalized customer-relationships, continuous stream of first-party data, and go-to-market strategies. ViaHero has focused on community engagement to ensure the company reflects the values of its consumers and is responsive to those demands. Sprezzabox has developed strategic business partnerships to diversify its consumer products and uses its Instagram primarily to drive inspiration, thus business profits. Schoola has partnered with social revolutions and e-commerce platforms to gain attention and momentum for funding. These and other details are presented below.
- The startup company was founded in 2015 and has now expanded its travel service to 21 countries and cities and counting. In several interviews, the leaders of the company have stated that their ultimate goal is to make ViaHero the go-to app for travel planning. The destinations added in September 2019 were Buenos Aires, Peru, Philippines, Rio de Janeiro, and Thailand.
- The company has not made any announcements since September 2019 regarding their future expansion to other countries or cities.
- Recently, ViaHero has reaffirmed its commitments to sustainable "green" tourism and has championed its model as a leader in that revolution.
- In a DTC business model, a company must adapt and stay up-to-date on current innovations to stay relevant. In this regard, the company is now expanding its ambassadors and referrals programs by building partnerships with locals, training locals to become skilled tour guides, and increasing kickbacks to the local economy.
- The ambassadors program has also been revamped due to recent critiques in social media about the danger of influencers. ViaHero is devoted to promoting "responsible tourism", which includes its social media influencers or local guides/ambassadors.
- Lastly, the company has focused on white label marketing in order to make its website more user-friendly and allow for easier communication between local guides and travelers.
- Sprezzabox was founded in 2014 and has acquired several companies since its inception.
- Most recently, in 2018, Sprezzabox and Esquire partnered together to create its own tailored monthly subscription box.
- Philip Sblendorio, the CEO of Sprezzabox, stated that there would be more surprises to come as a result of this partnership. Yet, nothing has been stated to this date.
- Sprezzabox inspires and maintains a successful subscription box company through visual inspiration on Instagram, style tips and tricks on its website and in each monthly box that has a monthly brand interview.
- Sprezzabox has been successful in developing regular user content, but has yet to announce plans for product innovation or new product development.
- Schoola has not relied on social media engagement or direct community interactions. Rather, it directly with schools and hosts semi-annual clothing drives at the schools.
- In exchange for clothing donations, Schoola sells clothing pieces at a low cost to families in need, and donates 40% of the proceeds to save kids' programs like art, music, and PE.
- In order to boost donations, Schoola offers discount coupons to certain e-commerce sites and local stores. Some schools even allow digital fundraisers through Groupon.com.
- In this way, Schoola has been innovating its outreach methodology to factor in which stores and fundraisers are most appealing to the parent demographic.
- The latest strategy Schoola enacted was to partner with the Malala Fund, wherein donations were to be delivered in Malala bags, and the proceeds would be divided among Schoola, the school, and the Malala Fund foundation. Schoola, in essence, piggybacked off the foundation's reputation.
- Since this partnership initiative in 2016, Schoola has not announced or made any plans in regard to product development or innovation. The company is fortunate enough to be able to rely on the stable backing of its partner schools.
After exhaustive research through social media platforms, news and media sites, company interviews, industry development blogs, pages, and conference publications, it appears that none of the sites listed have made many clear plans for the future, innovation, or new product development. We also looked for interviews done with the executives or leaders of these companies through magazines, news sites, and other media sources to know if they have mentioned new product innovations and development or future plans but this approach was not fruitful since the only statement we found was from the CEO of Sprezzabox but it does not have details on future plans regarding its new partnership. The unavailability of this information might be due to some competitive reasons. Summaries about each company's current marketing and digital outreach strategies have been provided instead. ViaHero had the most information available in regard to its future plans. However, the future plans discussed in the available sources were detailed four years ago, and the interviews with its founders and directors were conducted few years earlier.