Direct 60 List | 2023

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The Direct 60 are Brand Leaders at the Forefront of the Direct-to-Consumer Pivot.

Hailing from incumbent (traditionally wholesale) enterprise brands, these calculated risk takers and new adopters are retooling their company infrastructure for this new world where every brand is a direct-to-consumer brand. These leaders continue to embrace technology, innovation, and next-gen strategies to transform their businesses & industry.

Executives on the Direct 60 List are selected for their ability to make a meaningful, material, and long-lasting contribution to a brand’s revenue growth from D2C channels. They are deploying a combination of initiatives to meet the brand D2C growth objectives including — strategic investments in baseline technology and/or point solutions; advancing the brand’s relevance and appeal with existing and new customer segments; developing new products, categories, sub-brands, or service offerings (such as resale) to keep up with changing customer expectations or needs; spotting and mastering innovation trends; creating delightful, unique and optimized customer experiences; changing the brand’s internal culture to be more agile, customer(not product)-centric, and data-driven.

The Future of Brand-To-Consumer

The Direct 60 list is one of three lists that Lead releases every year that highlights the future of brand-to-consumer. The Lead also publishes The Foremost 50 list of digital-native brands and The Leading 100 list of technology start-ups. Together these lists represent direct-to-consumer innovation in fashion, beauty and consumer industries. The Lead brings together these innovators at The Lead Summit, our annual flagship event. Check out the list below to see if you spot any of our 2023 Summit speakers!

The Direct 60 Insights Report Presentation & Awards Ceremony will be held at The Direct 60 Forum on October 19th, 2023. For more information and to apply to attend, click HERE.

"Success is utilizing all channels to lift each other. If you’re just looking at the P&L of ecom, physical stores or wholesale in an individual vacuum, you’re looking at it wrong. You should, of course, look at what’s driving your business but to think that your physical stores aren’t fueling your ecomm traffic/sales, or even your wholesaler retail business (or vice versa), is a huge miss. Success is all about finding profitably and that could mean one of those channels is breaking even or a loss leader, but blended, they’re driving healthy revenue and profits."
"I don't think it's possible for marketers specifically in the D2C space to solve some of these problems on their own. You are dependent on creating a shared vision with your partners in merchandising, finance, IT, and elsewhere to win with the consumer. It's a new model of alliance and reliance on key cross-functional business areas to bring winning strategies to life. Effective marketing is dependent on partnership."
"We’re witnessing the democratization of influence. The fluidity of the algorithm on platforms like TikTok has created space for anybody to have influence and the chance for all voices to be amplified. Going viral no longer requires a massive following and this evolved model has flipped the script on who can become a creator. As we enter a new digital era, we’ll see less reliance on influencers with enormous audiences and more value placed on the impact of fostering authentic bonds and creating true brand advocates from the ground up.”
"The future of direct-to-consumer engagement is evolving rapidly. Fostering authentic connections, leveraging data-driven insights, and embracing emerging technologies to provide elevated, personalized, and immersive experiences is the key. At Cos Bar, we're committed to staying at the forefront of this evolution, ensuring that every interaction with our clients is not just a transaction...but a meaningful, long-lasting relationship."
"We know that Gen Z and Gen Alpha are resale natives, and they are looking for items that will stand the test of time. Every season Kate Spade makes iconic, joyful statement pieces for our community of brand fans. That sense of joy is timeless. We feel proud that whether you buy a new item from us now, or a pre-loved one from five years earlier, that product will still look gorgeous and chic.”
"Embracing change is at the core of successful business transformation. The true power of change lies not just in the grand strategy, but in the art of harmonizing technology, consumer insights, and operational finesse to create a consumer-centric organization that is data-driven and agile. As the saying goes, 'What gets measured gets managed.' This cultural shift can only happen with using data to understand your consumers, measure your progress, and make informed decisions."

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