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Digitally-native brands are entering more wholesale partnerships and breaking ground on their own retail footprints as they seek out cheaper acquisition methods and learn the power of creating an offline experience. At the same time, traditional brands are taking on digital and direct-to-consumer channels—an inversion of the digitally-native brand trajectory. As brands of all sizes and ages increasingly embrace a multi-channel strategy—each channel has its own pros and cons—this shift illustrates that relying too heavily on a single channel, even if a brand exercises authority there, can be highly problematic in the long term. After the digital revolution, 2018 illuminates that diversification is still necessary to stay ahead of the pack—something that will likely never change. Case studies include Casper, Comme des Garçons, Fenty Beauty, Harry’s, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Rimowa and Tommy John.

Fast or Frivolous 2018 is both a follow-up to our flagship report—a continued exploration of what 19 of the brands featured last year and others have faced over the course of 2018—and now an ongoing annual survey of the consumer brand landscape. This section accompanies:

See the Insight Collection to glean more lessons from 2018’s consumer developments and how 19 brands navigated these changes.

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