Competitive Intelligence Tips for DTC Brands to Master Digital Transformation

Harvey Rañola |
 01/05/21 |
5 min read

Competitive Intelligence Tips for DTC Brands to Master Digital Transformation 

Many brands have felt the pressure to fast-forward their digital transformation this year. It’s a big undertaking for sure – and the quicker, the better. But that doesn’t mean cutting corners. Here we’ll look at a few competitive intelligence tips for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands to master their digital transformation.

Dialing in your competitive intelligence  and consumer intelligence to what other brands are getting right means efficiency. To that end, we’ll touch on five key areas, including brand examples, to help maximize your turn-around time:

  • Share of Voice
  • Consumer Sentiment
  • Industry Conversation
  • Identifying New Segments
  • Monitoring Mentions & Brand Passion

And before we get rolling, here are a few related statistics to get your wheels turning:

  • A recent PwC CFO Pulse survey found that 52% of companies planned to make cuts or defer investments due to the pandemic. Only 9% said they’d make those cuts in digital transformation.
  • Speaking to digital maturity, Deloitte found that “higher-maturity companies … were about three times more likely than lower-maturity companies to report annual net revenue growth and net profit margins significantly above their industry average – a pattern that held true across industries.”
  • 87% of top business leaders believe digital transformation is a priority, though only 40% of organizations have brought their digitization to scale.

With that, let’s dive in and see who’s doing what – and how you can too.


Share of Voice

Growing share of voice in a crowded market means making smart decisions that resonate with your consumers and drives consumer intelligence. Valentino is already one of the world’s top fashion houses and is amplifying its voice through high profile influencers.

Valentino recently partnered with none other than Lady Gaga to be the voice behind their Voce Viva fragrance campaign. The move is a perfect example of matching your brand values with your consumers through a like-minded influencer relationship.

And as you can see below, the move has pushed the brand into the social traction sweet spot – well outside of the crowd in both published count and social engagement.


Who doesn’t want to step up their influencer game and grow their share of voice? It’s a critical tactic in broadcasting your digital transformation journey.

If your influencer campaign feels a little dated, the Quid product is just the tool to help you out. Dial into any industry to discover key opinion leaders and influencers to maximize visibility, as Valentino did.

And you can get as specific as you need to dial down into any niche. Here we searched fashion houses, along with perfume and fragrance, to find the top voices in the space over the last six months.


Consumer Sentiment

Social media listening reveals actionable insights that can position your brand to reap a windfall of consumer love. Coupling that with emerging trends such as sustainability or relevant social issues is a sure-fire way to turn the heat up in the net sentiment category. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to tell everyone about it along the way.

BareMinerals is a make-up and skincare company founded in 1995 that’s committed to offering clean, natural beauty products. The majority of their products are vegan, and many are gluten-free. And as if that wasn’t enough, they are unwaveringly 100% cruelty-free. To be honest, their commitment to ecological and social issues is pretty extensive and resonates well with their target audience.


As you can see below in the Quid Social product, bareMinerals is raising the bar and getting a lot of love. It shows that thoughtful products and messaging from a brand that’s in touch with today’s issues is a recipe for success in the consumer sentiment department.


Industry Conversation

Understanding where you sit in the conversational mix with other brands is a critical component of competitive intelligence to guide you during your digital transformation.  And the ability to extract insights and from a host of conversational themes allows you to really dial in on your intel. Here’s a quick brand example.

Nespresso USA not only sells high-quality coffee but some really cool coffeemakers and espresso machines as well. They use recyclable aluminum capsules in keeping with their commitment to the environment and sustainability that transcends across the brand.

Here we placed Nespresso alongside two of their competitors, Keurig and Breville, in a crosstab analysis to see how things measure up across a few of today’s most important social metrics.


As you can see, Nespresso USA scores very highly in social responsibility and sustainability and is crushing it with Millennials and Gen Z’rs.


Approaching your industry conversation in this way gives you a two-for-one look into your brand health and that of the competition. And each segment is clickable to take you to the posts behind the numbers.


Identifying New Segments

Western Son Distillery, founded in 2011, produces a variety of spirits in addition to their flagship Texas Vodka. And like many of the other brands we’ve discussed, Western Son is committed to social issues that resonate with their consumers.

That said, whether your brand is the up-and-comer or a seasoned veteran, it’s essential to keep your competitive intelligence fresh. Identifying new consumer segments is crucial for maintaining relevancy in shifting markets. And a great way to do that is by exploring demographics for new marketing or product ideas that will augment your customer base.

Since Western Son also produces a wide array of flavored vodkas, here’s a look at the demographic interests in the space.


Users talking about flavored vodka are showing interest in movies, fashion, gaming and travel, to name a few. Each is clickable to explore further and presents a great way to brainstorm ideas. For example, a user in the movie sector mentions their affinity for vodka and sparkling water.

vodka tweet

Sparkling water has been a hit recently, so it could be worthy of further exploration for a marketing collaboration, new product line, or raising their lime vodka seltzer’s visibility into new demographics.

Mentions & Brand Passion

On the road to completing your digital transformation, the brand passion index (BPI) is a tool you’ll want to use often. The BPI displays topics as bubbles or topic images, mapping them into one of four quadrants on a grid comparing net sentiment and passion intensity to show like, love, dislike and hate.

And as you move your digital transformation to scale, it’s a great idea to keep tabs on brands that have found success in the digital realm. Ebay is an old-school ecommerce success story that has maintained relevancy throughout the years and has maintained a direct-to-consumer offering that has helped make everything vintage feel new again. And for as many mentions as they generate monthly, they’re sitting pretty regarding passion intensity and net sentiment.


Additionally, the BPI gives you an excellent baseline to watch your progress over time. But that’s not all – be sure to add in some of the competition to really dial up your competitive intelligence. Here’s what that looks like using a few of the leading U.S. airlines as an example.


Since digital maturity has measurable positive impacts on net revenue and profit margins, getting there quickly is the goal. And keeping your eye on the competition helps you to avoid pitfalls in the process.

So, no matter where you are in your digital transformation, shrewd social media listening informs actionable competitive intelligence that speeds up your process. Is your brand ready to grease the wheels of progress? Be sure to reach out for a demo, and we’ll get you on the fast-track!

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