Andrew Neelon on DTC Data Monetization


Andrew Neelon (CEO of 1Rec) highlights a unique opportunity for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands leveraging their rich customer data to inform broader business decisions. While many DTC brands cater primarily to affluent millennials, their customer address data offers insights into demographic trends and regional growth. This information reveals not only where their marketing efforts are succeeding but also aligns with broader population growth and migration patterns.

A compelling example shared by Andrew is from his experience at Bonobos. The company decided to open a store in the Shaw District of Washington, D.C., based on the influx of their core customers in the area. Historically, Shaw was not known as a prime shopping location, but the data indicated a significant and growing presence of their target demographic. This strategic move, driven by data, resulted in securing inexpensive rents and coincided with the neighborhood's redevelopment, showcasing the predictive power of their customer insights.

Andrew notes that this kind of data can serve as a leading indicator for real estate investments. For instance, his contacts in real estate private equity began using the presence of a Bonobos store as a confidence signal when evaluating property investments. This scenario underscores the untapped potential of DTC data in predicting neighborhood changes and influencing real estate decisions.

Looking ahead, Andrew envisions a future where DTC brands could monetize their data by collaborating with aggregators to inform real estate and other investment decisions. These brands are currently not fully exploiting their data's potential because it falls outside their primary focus. However, leveraging this data creatively could unlock new revenue streams and strategic opportunities, capitalizing on the valuable insights they possess.

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