Truff's 8-figure Marketing Playbook
The most valuable DTC brands expand into omni-channel to become truly dominant.
And it comes with unique challenges that can kill a company.
To start, you have to appeal to consumers outside your typical target and convince a broader audience to adopt your products.
Truff, an upscale hot sauce first sold exclusively on DTC.
Then they expanded into select luxury retail boutiques, and eventually most mass retailers.
At each step, they figured out how to appeal to a broader, mass-market audience on top of the niche, cult following they built.
Here’s how they did it.
Truff's inaugural brand collaboration was with Bagel Bites in May 2021.
Which led to a partnership with Noodles & Company, where they introduced a limited-edition mac and cheese dish featuring Truff’s black truffle sauce, served across 450 locations nationwide.
Since then, their partnership program has taken off.
They’ve collaborated with brands like Hidden Valley and Taco Bell to iconic brands like Super Mario Brothers and streetwear brands like Warren Lotas.
The sheer variety of partnerships might seem surprising, but they align with Truff's goal to reach a broader audience, resonate with customers, create buzz, and inspire them to try new products.
The partnerships are intentionally selected to appeal to different segments of the mass market:
- Iconic + Mass Appeal: Hidden Valley Ranch is a mainstream product.
- Household Name with Nostalgia: Taco Bell inspires childhood memories.
- Iconic + Hyped Fans: Super Mario has a dedicated fan base that creates massive hype and buzz. The collab had 15,000 sign-ups on the online waitlist before launch and garnered over 5,000 social media shares in the first hour.
- Streetwear brands with cool + cultural relevance: Warren Lotas aligns with their image of offering cool and luxurious products - amplifying their upscale image while reaching the streetwear community.
Brand partnerships is adjacent to influencer partnerships.
Just like a content creator has an audience you want to tap into, brands have customers you can tap into.
Here’s how you can implement it:
- Brainstorm a list of 20 brands your customer loves.
- Identify the obvious + non-obvious.
- Where is the broadest potential for audience growth?
- Evaluate the potential for mutual benefit.
- Start small, and send tailored pitch proposals for the selected brands.
- Start with small, limited-edition collaborations.
With each collaboration, review what worked and what didn’t and apply best practices to larger and larger partnerships.
This is how Truff’s went from a premium DTC brand to over 20,000+ retail locations in a matter of years.