The past decade has been a prime demonstration of the power of change for industries and economies across the globe. As new products, services, technology, and brands emerge at record-breaking rates, consumer behavior has been changing faster than ever before.
In response to these innovations and accelerated by increased use of digital platforms, the e-commerce industry and number of direct-to-consumer brands has grown rapidly. In parallel to the rapid growth of e-commerce, Darkroom is built specifically for digital DTC brands — positioning themselves to be one of the most relevant agencies today.
E-commerce entrepreneurs themselves, Lucas DiPietrantonio and Jackson Corey founded Darkroom in 2017 after being unable to find an agency that met their unique needs.
E-commerce entrepreneurs themselves, Lucas DiPietrantonio and Jackson Corey founded Darkroom in 2017 after being unable to find an agency that met their unique needs. “We are entrepreneurs building for other entrepreneurs. We launched e-commerce brands ourselves before founding Darkroom, and we use those experiences to formulate winning growth strategies for our clients,” DiPietrantonio says.
“Our services are structured for the modern e-commerce brand. We’re venture builders at heart, and so we love to start from the ground up. That focus enables us to deliver real results for every client, whether they are pre-launch or already doing millions in annual revenue.”
To that end, every aspect of Darkroom’s services has been developed in contrast to many of today’s agencies. Not only are the agency’s founders experts in e-commerce and advertising, but each team member is too, with team structure and agency process built specifically for launching and scaling brands.
After reaching the Growth Marketing stage, brands are already poised for rapid growth and set up for scaling success. By using a team with real venture experience as the keystone of their agency, DiPietrantonio and Corey are ultimately able to deliver better results for their clients. This vastly improves client success and ensures that Darkroom avoids some of the common pitfalls that plague ambitious growth agencies.
Creating Digitally-backed Brands
As mentioned, an impressive number of entrepreneurs and startups have popped up in the digital economy recently, changing the way goods and services are delivered to customers.
Additionally, as the use of paid media has increased and competition has escalated, the effort it takes to make a brand perform has increased as well. Creating a brand that performs usually comes down to one thing — a strong brand and identity. DTC brands operating in a digital space simply cannot afford to work with agencies that don’t understand the importance of this key element.
Perhaps most important to Darkroom’s position as one of the most relevant digital agencies today is their deep understanding of the importance of a strong brand and identity and how that extends into every facet of a direct-to-consumer brand. As the first of Darkroom’s four pillars, the foundation of everything Darkroom does lies in brand.
With a traditional venture client, Darkroom begins by establishing a clear and all-encompassing brand identity with stakeholders throughout a three-phase, multi-month process delivering assets for visual identity, customer experience, packaging and more.
Branding efforts are overseen and often led by Jackson Corey, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Darkroom. Corey views a company as more than just a business selling a product or service.
“In a way, brands are like people. We all have a certain way of acting and expressing ourselves. Everyone dresses in a certain way and communicates in a specific manner. A brand does the same thing, except the expression is through its website, social media, packaging, pitch decks — anywhere a customer interacts with the brand — is a place where there needs to be intentional visual identity.”
The agency’s focus on brand and visual identity has not gone unnoticed, earning Darkroom a ranking as the top creative agency in Los Angeles by Built in LA.
Top-Tier, Cost-Effective E-Commerce Development
If creating a strong brand and visual identity is the first step to building a successful DTC brand, the second step is implementing it correctly. The first place this happens is on a company’s website, where customers learn about the brand, its mission, and eventually make a purchase. Hence the name, digital brands don’t live in stores, they live on a website.
Every facet of a brand’s site must be built and designed in a way that reflects the brand’s identity and values, is appealing to the customer, and functionally encourages a simple and seamless purchasing experience.
Traditionally, website development has followed the typical “Unattainable Triangle,” where customers needed to choose two of three options from price, quality, or customer service/experience.
Domestic development services often provide high quality and high customer service but at a high cost, while overseas development is traditionally more affordable but often lacks in quality and communication barriers are common.
Darkroom, seeing this white space, has developed a different model, achieving cost-effective, high-quality, and customer-centered web development services specifically designed for e-commerce brands. Currently offering seven different development services, Darkroom caters services to any client needs, from ongoing Shopify maintenance to WordPress development to large-scale development projects.
Darkroom has project managers and developers that form an in-house team based in Eastern Europe. Project manager communication proficiency and developer skill provides a satisfying customer experience and high-quality work, while exchange rates and cost-of-living differences enable incredible cost efficiencies. Using this model, Darkroom is able to provide hassle-free, affordable, high-quality digital product services for their clients.
Darkroom, though a full-service agency, has a specific model rooted in brand, which is especially applicable as more direct-to-consumer brands are created and founders need to go beyond creating just a “bland” to be successful.
Combining deep branding expertise with a cost-effective and high-quality digital product service, top-notch creative production offerings, and expert growth marketers, Darkroom has solidified its position as one of the most relevant digital agencies in the space today.