The Path to Purchase: 5 Disruptors who step off the beaten track

By Blackdog - 2 years ago


We’re living in the era of the attention economy, where consumers are distracted by a constant flurry of marketing messages, day in, day out. The linear path to purchase of old now seems a little more like crazy paving in the modern world.

Brands need to work harder than ever to stand out, and grab attention, or as we call it ‘Captivate People’.

We have a methodology for doing this, but more on that later.

So to catch people’s attention, companies are switching the traditional purchase funnel ( poor old AIDA) and replacing it with disruptive alternatives that leave competitors struggling to catch up.

Below are five examples we think are interesting:

Fly Now Pay Later

Offering to spread the cost of flights, hotels and package holidays, Fly Now Pay Later is looking to take the Klarna commerce model into the travel industry. The company has partnered with leading travel brands like Malaysia Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines and Crystal Travel to allow customers to split the cost of their holiday and build a repayment plan that works for them.

Fly Now Pay Later is flying high with investors. The company sealed a $75 million funding package at the start of the year, adding to the $60 million it raised in two previous investment rounds.



As more consumers look to buy electric vehicles rather than petrol-fueled cars, one company is helping them overcome one of the biggest hurdles to purchase — the price. Onto is an app-based electric car subscription service.

Rather than buy or lease electric vehicles, consumers can choose from a wide range of the latest models (including the Renault Zoe, Hyundai IONIQ and Audi Q4 40 e-tron) and pay one monthly fee that includes charging costs, breakdown cover and more. It often works out as a cheaper alternative. The company raised $175 million in Series B funding last year, bringing total funding to $245 million.



New York-based Birchbox is a leader in eCommerce subscriptions. Customers get a curated box of beauty products each month, all of which have been personalised based on their beauty profile. It’s a popular service, with 300,000 global customers trusting Birchbox to deliver the beauty products they need.

The company was recently acquired by FemTec, a women’s health startup, for more than $45 million. The company aims to relaunch Birchbox as a personalised healthcare and skincare brand.



TheLittleLoop is the “shared wardrobe for kids.” This ethical, environmentally friendly company aims to do away with fast fashion and offer parents a zero-waste alternative to children’s clothing. Customers use a monthly credit allowance to rent clothes. Once those clothes have been outgrown, parents can send them back. The credits they spent are returned to them and the clothes are rented out by other customers. TheLittleLoop doesn’t just help customers to be greener, though. It can also save customers as much as £900 per child per year.

TheLittleLoop hit the headlines recently when it received £140,000 of backing from Stephen Bartlett and Deborah Meadon on Dragons’ Den.



If you’re already renting children’s clothing, then why not rent their toys, too? That’s the concept behind Whirli, the subscription toy company that charges customers £10 a month to get access to almost £100 worth of toys.

Children outgrow toys almost as often as they outgrow clothes. Renting them rather than buying them leads to significantly less waste. The savings can also be significant when you rent rather than buy, with one mum claiming to have saved £4000.

The company isn’t just attracting interest from consumers, though. It received £4 million in a seed round led by Octopus Ventures. The company already has plans for the future, with door-step trials and investments into fully electric deliveries on the cards in the year ahead.


So there you have it, straying from the usual path to purchase can be a successful detour worth taking. You don’t have to tear up the payment playbook to captivate your audience, but thinking differently can be a real benefit.

In the Blackdog strategic toolbox is something we call EEAD.

It stands for Entertain, Engage, Advise and Direct. To captivate people, you need to earn their attention, land a key message, repay them with an exchange of value and guide them to a purchase decision. EEAD is our methodology to speak to the right people at the right time in the right places.

Get in touch if you want to know more about that.