3 Actionable Mental Models For eCommerce Brands

Strategy gets a lot of hate on DTC Twitter. This is one of several Tweets I’ve seen over the past few months from founders, operators and other startup/bootstrapped types.

I’m not trying to start ~beef~ here. I love Sean’s newsletter and I’m a certified Ridge-fluencer. But I feel the need to defend “strategy” because (this hurts to say this) there is a dearth of strategic thinking in the eCom and digital marketing world.

Confession time: I have an MBA degree (ducks for cover). Burned out mid-career professionals enter MBA programs across the country hoping to do more strategy and less operations. I was one of them! And a lot of senior folks/brand owners read this as “laziness”.

There are two sides to this story. On one hand, the former consultants and MBA’s I’ve worked with have been noticeably better at structured thinking. When faced with a big and vague problem, they’re more likely to formulate an approach that cuts through the noise.

On the other hand, I have seen consultants utterly fail at bringing their big, strategic ideas to fruition. And, while MBAs can make great marketing leaders at established brands, I can’t think of a single MBA who created something as emotionally resonant as Nike, Supreme or even LL Bean.

Both sides have strengths and weaknesses. And there are certain excesses endemic to the Fortune 500 world that trigger the bootstrapped crowd (I count myself among the bootstrapped crowd…one day I will share those piping hot takes…).

But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Here are three ACTIONABLE strategic principles you can use today to stop (or at least cut down on) the insanity at your brand.

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