Can cult online brands go mainstream without selling out? | Econsultancy

Many brands have bloomed online by forging communities more akin to a subculture of fans than ‘consumers’.

Combining the appeals of ecommerce – low overheads and economies of scale – with an ability to tap incredibly engaged communities using social media and data has played out well for many brands, particularly in the fashion and lifestyle space.

But digital tools aren’t the whole story behind these brands’ success. In fact, for its capabilities in building tightly defined and highly engaged fan bases, digital targeting can wind up creating something of a brand’s own filter bubble – in which the scope of a brand’s potential audience is limited by those it already knows intimately. Of course, sustainable growth may require brands to diversify beyond a purely online strategy.

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