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A Toast to Massive Growth

Abby Sullivan Feb 21 2020

Today, what DTC companies can learn from wine. Plus, our neighbors over at Toast raise the big bucks. And finally, we take a look at the BBC, for which some say, "It has to be a subscription model.”video embed



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Cheers to growth: What DTC can learn from the wine industry

Compiled by Grace Gagnon

Visiting a winery—during any given season—is perhaps one of my favorite things to do. If it’s summer, there’s no better feeling than sitting amongst the vineyard greens, sipping on a cool white wine. Or, in the wintertime, by the fireplace, with an oaky red and a piece of chocolate to wash it down. 

(Promise, I do have a point here other than making you thirsty for fermented grapes.) We’re connecting wine with DTC, thanks to David Hoos, Director of Marketing at The Good—a company that helps ecommerce companies improve their conversion rates. 

David begins his Twitter thread claiming, “DTC brands could learn a lot from how wineries approach their customer experience and growth.”

But before I break down some of his main points included in the thread, I want you to picture yourself at a winery. (I promise it’ll help nail down the points.) 

David lists eight total but we’re going to share a select few.

First up: wineries think long-term. As David said, who best to learn from than the folks who sell products that literally take years to create. Wine is a long-term business simply because grapes take time to ferment, but so is SaaS and DTC thanks to the recurring revenue model. Building and improving products are a lot like grapes—they only get better with time and resources.

The next point we found interesting: wineries make retention central to business. Many SaaS and DTC companies treat retention as after-thought, when clearly it shouldn’t be. Wineries keep retention at the forefront by offering different membership tiers and promotions. 

Finally, wineries use authentic origin stories to differentiate themselves. Almost every vineyard I’ve been to has a unique story. The story could be that the vineyard has been in the family for 100 plus years or that the grapes are grown in an interesting climate.

Either way, learning about the story makes me more connected to the overall experience. Think this way with your products. Even though you may be in SaaS or DTC, you can make the experience more human by sharing a story… Maybe share your founder’s journey of being bootstrapped or how the idea came about. 

And, if you have even further ideas on this, we'd love to hear 'em.


Toast to growth: How this POS system is nailing it

Up next, our friends over at Toast, the all-in-one restaurant point of sale system, land $400 million to reach a valuation of nearly $5 billion.

As a self-proclaimed foodie and loyal to the Boston restaurant scene, I’m ultra intrigued by this one. Toast is seeing absolutely massive growth, as tens of thousands of restaurants joined its platform last year, and the company’s revenue grew 109% as a result.

Toast’s technology is all-encompassing, combining restaurant POS, front-of-house, back-of-house, and guest-facing technology with a bevy of third-party applications.

So, sure, they have the money, but—what is Toast doing so well that others in the space should mimic?

Chief Financial Officer Tim Barash says product offerings are the next focus for the Toast team.

And we know product-led growth, or PLG, is a fantastic strategy, built for both consumers and companies.

The way in which people buy and use software is drastically changing. Consumers are more eager to try a product than to converse with a salesperson—paving the way for a PLG approach. 

Letting your product lead means companies must reconfigure their marketing, sales, and service strategies to keep up with consumer demands. The future is product-led, and we now have our eyes on Toast as an example of who's nailing it in the realm.


Subscription vs. tradition: What's next for the BBC

Broadband TV News reports that “the extent of Britain’s Conservative government’s agenda on the BBC has become clear with a plan to replace the £154.50 Licence Fee with a subscription.”

And Downing Street wants the BBC to make a total switch to that subscription model. Because apparently, the whole operation needs “a massive pruning back.”

The Sunday Times says the BBC would be forced to reduce its TV channel offerings and sell the majority of its national and local radio stations.

But there’s backlash here. The BBC has launched an outspoken defense of the license fee model, as opposed to the subscription switch—claiming that the change would lead to an earnings loss and, with it, popular shows.

BBC chairman David Clementi says he’s open to debating the future of the company, but “A subscription service would be unlikely to have much regional presence.”

So the debate remains; And the government will need to make a seriously convincing argument for the BBC’s downsizing, especially due to diehard public loyalty.

What are your thoughts on the potential for a subscription push here? The license fee is tradition, but we’re pretty subscription-biased—so we're keen to hear your take. Send me your take to and we’ll connect. 


Weekend Wisdom with Patty McCord


That’s it for your February 21 episode of Recur Now. Check back here Monday for more. 

A heads up for our viewers, we are actively hiring. From sales and marketing roles to analysts and engineers, our crew is growing across the board. You can go to to learn more and see if working with our team is the right move for you.

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By Abby Sullivan

Content Marketer

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.