Comprehensive Guide to launching a Direct to Consumer (D2C) Brand

D2C Brand

Launching a new brand can be a daunting task when you don’t know how to go about it. The only thing you need to decide upon before you begin these steps is the reason you want to launch a new brand.

A few reasons could be lack of good products in the market, profitability, playing the high-volume game, or just the urge to start on your own.

In this article, I have listed the steps to launch your product in the least amount of time.

Step 1 – Market Research

Market Research can be split into three parts:

Product Trend Analysis

Read about the product on Quora, Reddit, Amazon/Flipkart reviews. Look up the search volume for this keyword on google using Google trends and other SEO tools such as

Customer Research

Once you have identified a product you want to sell. Speak to 20 – 30 customers to understand their product usage patterns, brands they buy and what is lacking in that brand.

Competitor Research

Study the competitors in the market. Note down their USP, marketing strategy and locations that they cater to. Also, note down any form of negative reviews from their customers.

After your market research, hopefully, by now you will be able to identify the key problem to solve. If not, start over with another product. Another thing you could do is meet a few entrepreneurs in the respective industry and speak to them about their journey. This will definitely help you in the long run and reduce a few mistakes that you would do starting up.


Step 2 – Break the Problem down

Find the why. Write down your story as to why you are passionate about solving this problem.

As this takes time, make sure you keep thinking about this and tweak it over a few weeks of working on it.


Step 3 – Audience Segmentation

Try to ensure you go to the most granular level during this exercise, as this would help you make the right choices in the future steps.

Note down the Gender, Age Group, Profession, Income Bracket, and Cities you would cater to.

(The reason we classify the cities is to identify Tier 1 or Tier 2/3 cities as this would require different forms of communication and positioning.)


Step 4 – Find the Product Manufacturer

Unless you intend to create your product, you could always find a manufacturer and repack that product with your brand name.

An excellent website to use would be IndiaMART. You can use many other websites (Depending on your product), but make sure to sample the product to check the quality before buying from the Manufacturer.


Step 5 – Regulations and Mandatory Requirements

 The following are the list of things you should apply for in India –

  • Company Incorporation
  • Product Barcodes (EAN/UPC Number)
  • Required permissions to sell the product following appropriate guidelines.
  • An Email provider such as G Suite or Zoho, as it is always better to communicate with


Step 6 – Brand Identity

 Think of a name for your brand. While going about nomenclature a good rule of thumb is to:

  • Choose one that reflects the problem the brand is solving or the Brand USP.
  • Have a nice ring to the name.
  • Think of 2 alternatives and seek feedback from family and friends.

Once you finalize a name, head on over to a domain provider such as GoDaddy and check if the name is available to purchase.

After purchasing, you could create your website on your own using WordPress or Shopify.

Next, you would need to create a logo. With this, also work on your brand guidelines such as Fonts, Colour Scheme, Brand Tonality. Having identified your audience, this should now be easier to finalize.

Also, start working on your content for the website and product cataloging—the more creative, the better. Take references from a few sites and write descriptions that keep the customers hooked.

It would also be a good time to finalize how you would ship the product, as shipping experience is another essential parameter to establish brand recall.

Fiverr is a great website to hire a freelancer to do any of these tasks for you.


Step 7 – Become the Expert + Community Building

It is essential to start this step early as it would help in the later stages of marketing. But, by now, you would need to know the Ins and Outs of the Industry and how your product is manufactured.

Second, you would need to start building your community. To understand why this is important, head on over to this article.

The aim of this step is to not only publish content on social media but also establish yourself as a thought leader in this space. Using Linkedin and other social media, start with talking about the Industry and the problem at hand.


Step 8 – Pricing

By now you should have your website up and running with all the brand elements incorporated. After negotiating the best prices with your manufacturer, it is time you decide the MRP.

It would also be good to have a margin above 30%. Without getting into the details, you could just multiply your total COGS by 2 and set that as your MRP. (Make sure to verify it later when you have all the costs). It is always better to keep the MRP a little higher and provide discounts on it.

This is preferred because starting with a lower MRP and increasing it later is a pain!


Step 9 – Final Steps

Order in your first batch from your Manufacturer.

You could also register yourself as a seller on other platforms such as Amazon/Flipkart as this would also give you good traction.

Once you get your physical product, do a good photoshoot. It is highly recommended not to ignore this step as this would be one of the main aspects customers decide to purchase with.


Step 10 – Soft Launch

Once you have your product with you, identify a few influencers who would receive your product and review it. To know more about how to do Influencer Marketing the right way- head on over to this article.

Also, give a few of your family members and friends your product and get them to review it (Preferably on video). If they decide to purchase it from you – congratulations you made your first sale!

With Influencer Marketing and a few good review videos, you are good to Launch! With you concentrating on building your community much before launching you will probably find it easier to get the first 50 – 100 customers organically.


Bonus Tip – As you would have to shell out about 5 – 10 lakhs as initial capital depending on the cost of the product, it would be wise to reach out to an Idea/Seed stage VC or Angel Investors before launching.

If they agree to get on board with you, you can then concentrate more on the brand elements and hiring the right resources for all these tasks. They would be more likely to trust your capability because of your organic reach and followers since you have been active in the community.

Of course, you could push fundraising from Angel Investors/VC for later. Just that you would now have to figure a way to achieve good market adoption, repeat purchase rate, funding Inventory and Marketing Spends all on a shoestring budget.

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