1. Effectively managing growth and acquiring new customers are the top priority

One of the things we heard most often from founders and CEOs of the most popular digitally native brands is that their growth shows no signs of slowing down, and that acquiring customers is at the top of their list of their priorities. They’re exploring many methods of doing this: social media marketing is of particular importance to these digital leaders.

2. TikTok is the breakout star of social media advertising

Acquiring new customers has always been top of mind for retailers, but there has always been a debate around the most effective way to use their social media: is Facebook most effective? Instagram? As it turns out, with the new iOS update on Apple and Facebook’s increased advertising prices, a new MVP has entered the game.

Enter TikTok, the breakout star of social media marketing. 

The short-form video format encourages engagement and allows brands to show real people using their products. ‘Influencers’, popular video creators on the platform, have built-in followings that may not otherwise be aware of a brand and act as a trusted source to verify the quality of a product? Don’t just take our word for it – the hashtag ‘unboxing’ has been viewed 45.4 billion times on Tiktok. We heard CEOs and company founders discussing the importance of leveraging influencers as a way to drive growth and expand their reach.

3. Single-SKU brands are expanding their product offerings

Some brands have exploded in popularity due to one core product. Beis’ travel bags, Caraway’s pot and pan sets, and Flag & Anthem’s shirts are customer favorites that have catapulted their brands into cult favorite status. Brands whose primary products have become legendary in their space are now expanding their offerings with complimentary products.

4. Creating a community that centers the brand is a top priority

The Forum highlighted a unique approach that some of the most successful digitally native brands have taken: creating a community that comes built in with their products. HATCH Collection, a maternity wear brand, has created a community that delights customers whether or not they buy a product. Their goal was to build a space where expectant mothers felt welcome. The brand’s growth has proven the success of their strategy and we heard that more and more founders are looking to be more than to be a brand: they want to make their shoppers feel like they are part of a community.

5. Debates around the benefits of opening a physical store as a digitally native brand

Community building can be difficult without a physical space: we heard that more digitally-native brands were looking at building physical storefronts where their customers can engage directly with their brand in person. These highly-curated spaces reflect brand values, not just serve as a space to show products.

The Foremost 50 attendees are all highly respected innovators in their space, so remember, you heard it here first: keep an eye out for your favorite brands on TikTok, and possibly even a store coming to your city.