Digital Native Vertical Brand (DNVB)

Describes a brand that is initially created, sold and distributed online only.

I say initially, since to scale and be distributed more widely, the ultimate aim of the owner may be to gain traditional retail distribution.

The classic example is Dollar Shave Club, a men’s shave subscription service, which gained awareness through a charismatic owner proclaiming the benefits of the brand (price and convenience) via viral videos.

This Fortune article suggests that the company did not in fact make any profits from its founding in 2011 until its purchase by Unilever in 2016, instead relying on investor funding.

Many other DNVBs, including food, cooking and petcare are subscription-based, but not all.


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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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