111 episodes

The Modern Retail Podcast hears from retailers and entrepreneurs in the DTC space. Shareen Pathak, Digiday’s managing director of editorial products, hosts.

The Modern Retail Podcast Digiday

    • Marketing

The Modern Retail Podcast hears from retailers and entrepreneurs in the DTC space. Shareen Pathak, Digiday’s managing director of editorial products, hosts.

    Iris Nova founder Zak Normandin: Being on Amazon is a defense strategy

    Iris Nova founder Zak Normandin: Being on Amazon is a defense strategy

    Iris Nova founder Zak Normandin is betting on a suite of "no or low" sugar drinks -- sparkling teas, seltzers and lemon juices -- and on a new way to sell them.
    "Every brand has a phone number," Normandin explained on the Modern Retail Podcast. "When you want to place an order for a product you just pull out your phone, you text the brand directly."
    His lemonade brand, Dirty Lemon, has sold more than 2 million bottles since its founding in 2015, and per Forbes, 90% of those sales happened via text. And Iris Nova now is growing more, thanks to a cash injection of $15 million from Coca-Cola -- to whom, he said, he's open to selling to. "I think that that's probably the best path forward for us unless we can get to a place where, very quickly, where the company is profitable," Normandin said.
    Normandin called his research into the Asian market "inspiration" for the text message payment system. "I found that in Asia it was probably the most exciting, just the speed at which the market is moving is much different than here in the States," Normandin said.
    He talked about the fading clout of influencers, the tough path forward for direct-to-consumer companies and the value of text robots (even if none has passed the Turing test) on this week's episode.
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    • 34 min
    Ro's Will Flaherty: TV advertising gives you legitimacy

    Ro's Will Flaherty: TV advertising gives you legitimacy

    Roman launched in 2017 with a specific mission: Treating erectile dysfunction online, with doctor consultations and medication delivered right to customers.
    The company has raised $176 million in funding. It's also changed its name to Ro and turned Roman into just one of the the brands it owns, expanding its telemedicine offerings to also tackle nicotine addiction (with a brand called Zero), perimenopausal conditions (Rory) and more.
    "We really realized that we had built a platform that could treat and serve far greater needs than just that one condition area," said Will Flaherty, the company's vp of growth, on the Modern Retail Podcast.
    Flaherty talked about how Ro's differentiation lies in service over product, why TV is central to its strategy and more.
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    • 36 min
    Rebecca Taylor president Janice Sullivan: Retail's future is in rentals and resale

    Rebecca Taylor president Janice Sullivan: Retail's future is in rentals and resale

    Rebecca Taylor dresses aim to land between the feminine and something more irreverent.
    "Back in the day there was cool people and feminine people, but they didn't really cross over," the company's president, Janice Sullivan, said on this week's Modern Retail Podcast. "In Rebecca Taylor, it's where that meets," she added. "It's okay now to be a feminine feminist. It wasn't, maybe, years ago."
    A year after the departure of its founder, the designer sells dresses in six of its own U.S. stores, and rents them out on both its own website and Rent the Runway. It also just launched a new program that will take older Rebecca Taylor clothing in exchange for credits and discounts for new.
    Sullivan talked about the shopping experience, the rental business and why not to worry about cannibalizing your own market.
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    • 32 min
    Lerer Hippeau investor Caitlin Strandberg: Venture funding isn't to be spent on Facebook ads

    Lerer Hippeau investor Caitlin Strandberg: Venture funding isn't to be spent on Facebook ads

    Before startup founders woo thousands of customers, they often try to convince investors to get onboard with their company's mission.
    As a principal investor at Lerer Hippeau, an early-stage venture capital fund based in New York, Caitlin Strandberg is on the other side of the table.
    The fund has invested widely, including in DTC brands like Allbirds, Casper, Everlane and Lola.
    Strandberg joined the Modern Retail Podcast to talk about how the VC game has changed since the rebirth of direct-to-consumer companies, what she considers a waste of venture dollars and why early growth (in percentage, not in raw numbers) is key to gauging a company's potential.
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    • 43 min
    Modern Retail Podcast: 2020 will bring a DTC shakeout -- and a better understanding of the human cost of growing a brand

    Modern Retail Podcast: 2020 will bring a DTC shakeout -- and a better understanding of the human cost of growing a brand

    This week, it's a look ahead at what 2020 may have in store for retail.
    Modern Retail reporters Cale Weissman and Anna Hensel join host Shareen Pathak for a roundtable discussion about the beats and developments they know so well, from how Walmart and Target will seek to challenge Amazon to whether venture funding for direct-to-consumer startups will dry up.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 31 min
    Lalo co-founder Michael Wieder: We're not sticking with the old DTC playbook

    Lalo co-founder Michael Wieder: We're not sticking with the old DTC playbook

    Michael Wieder, the co-founder of Lalo, is betting on the baby stroller market.
    "We know that you're putting your most precious belonging in our products," Wieder said on this week's episode of the Modern Retail Podcast. "They have to be safe, they have to look good, they have to be an extension of who you are. If you don't trust us, then why buy us?"
    Wieder and his co-founders Jane Daines and Greg Davidson saw the new-to-parenthood customer as one facing many first-time purchasing decisions without much information to go on.
    "You get to a stage in your life where you're forced to make hundreds and hundreds of purchasing decisions for products you've never used before. That's unlike anything else you shop for," Wieder said.
    After launching their stroller, The Daily, earlier this year, Lalo added a second direct-to-consumer product to their line-up: a high chair.
    Wieder joined the podcast to talk about how to challenge incumbent brands, the DTC business model, and Lalo's next moves as far as new products go.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

CBrashie ,

Not so interesting

Love the Digiday podcast...and while the concept of this is great, it’s a light touch lacking depth of insights around strategy.

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