Nik Sharma on what it takes to become a $10M DTC brand

Join us as Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands and a DTC investor, describes what separates the brands that make it to $10M vs the brands that don't.

  1. “For a brand that’s sub-$10M in revenue, there has to be some kind of economic moat in the company that gets them to $10M.” @mrsharma #DTCPOD
  2. “You have to be consistently focused on product launches, figuring out what’s coming next, and listening to the customer.” @mrsharma #DTCPOD
  3. “Performance marketing should extend something that is already great. It shouldn’t be the tactic to build the business.” @mrsharma #DTCPOD
  4. “Having a developer on board allows you to move quickly - you can make changes, build landing pages, test site changes, implement pixels faster.” @mrsharma #DTCPOD
  5. “From the brands that I’ve seen grow the best, you have to be testing and launching new creative on a weekly basis.” @mrsharma #DTCPOD

We Speak About:

  • [01:00] About Nik
  • [02:35] What Nik looks for before investing in a DTC brand
  • [04:00] Nik’s advice for staying ahead of competitors
  • [05:35] What Nik thinks about first-mover advantages
  • [07:00] Nik’s thoughts on performance marketing and growth strategies
  • [10:15] Nik’s take on balancing moving fast, being good, and beating competitors
  • [12:25] Why you need to be profitable or breakeven on the first purchase
  • [13:25] How brands can be successful
  • [14:45] The importance of having a developer on your team
  • [15:05] What some of the smarter DTC brands are doing with pixels
  • [17:30] Why Nik loves user-generated content
  • [19:05] The importance of having a huge stack of creative ready to go
  • [20:25] The brands Nik looks at for inspiration
  • [21:35] What’s next for Sharma brands

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need a moat

Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands and an active investor in the DTC space, joins the POD to talk all things DTC.

Nik has worked with a lot of notable DTC brands including Judy, Hint, Dream Pops, and more.

To reach a $10M level, Nik says that brands need to have an economic moat. That’s essentially a distinct advantage that competitors will have a difficult time copying.

Your moat could be ingredients that people don’t have as easy access to, supply chain benefits people don’t have access to, or even a celebrity endorsement.

Even though you need to have a moat, you don’t need to worry about your competition much.

With a moat, it’s going to be very difficult for competitors to just copy your brand. Nik says you really shouldn’t even worry about them much.

Having a moat isn’t the only ingredient to success

It’s true, the $10M-plus brands do have a distinct competitive advantage. But if you’re not careful, you could blow that advantage.

One of the pitfalls Nik says to look out for is performance marketing.

Performance marketing should be used to extend something that’s already great, not build the business.

Being too reliant on performance marketing or gaining press is a dangerous path. Nik has seen many brands fail this way.

If you go the performance marketing route, make sure that you are breaking even or being profitable on first purchase.

Nik also suggests adding a developer to your team. A developer can help you test changes on your website faster, launch new pixels, and be more agile.

Many brands don’t think of hiring a developer in-house but Nik says it can be hugely beneficial.

With pixels, you can even fire certain pixels based on average order value.

Make sure you also focus on user-generated content

Another key element to success is authentic content.

Content that looks native to a platform performs better on that platform because that’s what non-sponsored content looks like as well.

The best brands have a huge stack of creative ready to go. They are testing and launching creative on a weekly basis.

Stay tuned as Nik discusses other ways brands can be successful, what he looks at before investing in a brand, and what brands he looks to for inspiration.

If you’d like to learn more about Trend and our influencer marketing platform for influencers and brands visit You can also follow us for tips on growing your following and running successful campaigns on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Text Nik: 917-905-2340