A Close Read of the Fastest-Growing DTCs

The results of a wild, surprising year in retail did for digital-first brands

With the new year underway, we've seen a revealing of lists of fastest growing DTCs hit the internet in recent weeks.

What's surprising about these lists is surprising the brands are. Some of them, like Peloton, are household names. Others yet, are a bit more niche. What's more perhaps more interesting to delve into is the fact that—in spite of a pandemic—not all of these brands

Or as Halie LeSavage of Retail Brew put it, "Somehow, it wasn’t a parade of toilet paper and sweatpants brands." From Retail Brew's list, you can see the wild cross-section of the entries.

What Business Insider added to the discourse was a run of the fastest-growing brands of from Q4 2020, which included some of these above-listed entries, but also Matchabar, Vinebox, and Kiwico—all DTCs that rely heavily on the subscription model.

Of course, this is some ways speaks to what being home-bound consumers has wrought. Whether it was through meal kit deliveries, online fitness classes or at-home educational materials, the demand for convenience, the ease of subscription models, and the allure of new DTCs all that embodied new consumer behavior forged in the upheaval of 2020.

All told, there's something unique about the DTC space that makes hard to reduce. It seemed to start as mattresses or glasses or sneakers in the public imagination, but it quickly morphed into something else entirely. As Ana Andjelic perhaps put it best: "A DTC brand is never just about its product. Instead, it is aligned with a broader social, cultural or environmental purpose. For example, it nourishes body and soul, it creates a community, it unleashes a human passion, it enforces a sense of togetherness, it creates a ritual, or it taps into centuries of craftsmanship. WeWork is not just glorified real estate; it elevates the world’s consciousness. Great Jones is not just cookware, but it’s about tapping into the power and pleasure of making food with one’s own hands."