For a few weeks now, these newsletter issues have been described as “politely supervise,” “passive aggressive” and “throwing the kindest, most savage, shade.”
(Thanks for compliments, fam.)
If we were to go see a therapist about why that is, we’d probably settle on this: We’re frustrated by how much we’re overcomplicating the simple stuff at the expense of spending more time on the complicated stuff. Now, our therapist would ask us to go deeper on why we feel that way, but our therapist doesn’t subscribe to this newsletter, so we’re going to rant on this topic instead of exploring why we feel some sort of way.
This realization hit us Thursday when we posted on LinkedIn about whether we’re overselling the value of LTV for CPG brands. And the most simple, genius comment came from Liquid Death’s Hamid Saify:
Just buy more Liquid Death — 😀 That’s the goal
Somewhere along the path to DTC, it seems, we ended up losing our way.
Conversations are filled with buzzwords, concepts from other industries and verticals are invading the space, and everyone is preaching different metrics that we’ve perhaps forgotten about the coolest part of CPG: the dizzying number of people a single product can serve. Sure, some of this is a positive. And, sure, your marketing efficiency is important; and maybe you use CAC understand that. Cool.
But most of this stuff?
It seems to be tactics-level details at best and noise at worst. Somehow, we find ourselves wrapped up in it. And that’s dangerous. Stay there too long and we run the risk of thinking about the brand-customer relationship in absolute terms. That we own the customer because we own the channel.
As O.G. readers of this newsletter know, we believe that’s a flawed view that can lead to complacency and brand decline.
What traditional CPG has always recognized is that the brand-customer relationship is relative—that the customer has incredible choices and that it’s on the brand to find ways to get the customer to buy more.
But notice that buy more isn’t segmented or cohorted. It’s just buy more: whether you’ve bought your first can of Liquid Death or you’re on your thirteenth case in three months.
Because getting someone to buy more is complicated enough as it is.