A round-up of the most interesting DTC (and beyond) news from the past two weeks…
Challenger canned water brand, Liquid Death, has raised $75m in a series C funding round. This new round values them at more than half a billion 🤑. It seems that the new round of capital will not change their brand direction. Which is cool as their marketing is by far some of the most interesting - see their Tony Hawk stunt, Martha Steward collab or recent waterboy sponsorship. However, they are exploring new products like flavoured water (sweetened by agave nectar and featuring just three grams of sugar and 20 calories per drink).
Whilst I understand their valuation may draw criticism, I personally like these guys and think their story is an excellent brand building case study. It’s hard to find many other CPGs that have created an authentically punk aesthetic with such a simple and universally consumed product.
Paypal is watching you
The payments giant has caused an almighty stir by announcing a policy that permits the company to fine users $2,500 for posting or publishing hate speech or “misinformation”. Paypal have since retracted the policy but it seems the damage is already done with social media platforms a blaze with criticism and announcements of people closing their accounts.
This is quite the conundrum. And PayPal’s previous censorship issues probably don’t do them any favours. On one hand I understand the ideological argument - how does PayPal decide what is and isn’t a breach? And what if the AI-powered monitoring system makes a mistake? But equally, if one needs to think whether they engaging in hate speech or misinformation then they probably are - right? Therefore, common sense would prevail. Maybe common sense is wishful thinking in 2022.
All I can say is. I’m glad I’m not working in PayPal’s comms team right now 😬
Shopify have released a new all-in-one retail hardware device called, POS Go. The main features of the new device are: (1) Checkout capabilities from anywhere whilst also offering detailed product information, customer notes and purchase history, (2) a fully integrated card reader allows retailers to accept tap, swipe and chip payment , and (3), a unified sales, analytics and inventory view.
Having recently ventured to London’s premier shopping destination, Oxford Street, I think anything that can enhance the in-store retail is a win. I was surprised at how clunky, non-digital and generally bad the experience was from the big high street retailers. So this feature, which will be aimed at D2C brands, will only enhance their ability to differentiate themselves from traditional players and create truly interesting (and useful) IRL experiences. Insert somebody like rayethestore. Viva La D2C 🎉
*credit to Verbal+Visual for their article on Shopify Go.
What else is clucking 🐥