Accelerating the Launch of New to Market D2C Brand Threadbare


Higher Revenue Than Forecasted


Higher ROI


New Customer Rate Since Launch

About the Brand

Threadbare is a family-owned British direct-to-consumer brand with a focus on great quality pieces at great prices offering wardrobe staples from men’s shirts, knitwear and denim to loungewear and sweats.

The Story

Threadbare first launched its programme on the Rakuten Advertising affiliate network in May 2021 following recommendations from its agency, Customer First Digital.

This was at a time when Threadbare was a relatively new Direct to Consumer retailer, with the majority of sales coming via resellers and marketplaces. Due to this, awareness of the brand as a retailer was low, which typically makes launching an affiliate programme more challenging. In addition, Threadbare was entering a highly competitive market, with a significant increase in fast fashion brands entering the affiliate market, especially since Covid, potentially suppressing share of voice.

The Goal

  • Deliver £53.8k revenue in the first 12 months
  • Deliver an ROI of £5.78 in the first 12 months
  • Minimum of 7.5% of overall revenue to be contributed


A strong collaborative approach was developed between Threadbare, Customer First Digital and Rakuten Advertising, with a clear strategic plan implemented at pace. The strong partnerships formed, and reactive decision-making has enabled the programme to significantly outperform forecasts and continue to trend with positive Month on Month and Year on Year uplifts.


Accelerated Launch

A launch offer with higher commission levels was created to ensure publishers were recruited, engaged and actively promoting the programme. The top tier high converting publishers were the primary focus. All target affiliates onboarded by October 2021.

Full Funnel Marketing

Threadbare has been open to working with a diverse range of publishers with a focus on upper and mid funnel content publishers and influencers which have contributed 24.5% of last click revenue.

Reactivation Campaign

A campaign was launched to increase the number of traffic/sales driving publishers. An exclusive offer to promote the Threadbare brand was provided to more than 250 publishers and drove a 51.5% increase in traffic and 108.5% increase in sales.

Peak Exposure Testing

The early stages of the programme relied on commission increases to gain exposure on publisher sites. With increased competition, the teams commenced testing with paid for exposure across three publishers, who offered different opportunities to support the customer journey (from awareness to conversion).

The affiliate programme is now one of our top revenue driving channels and this is because of the hard work and dedication that has been put into our affiliate programme by all involved. I am so proud of the success we have achieved so far and excited for what we have to come this year and beyond.
Natalie Pendlebury
Senior Marketing and Ecommerce Manager at
Working in collaboration with the teams at Threadbare and Rakuten Advertising, we have made the affiliate programme one of the leading marketing channels for generating new customers and contributing revenue. We‘re proud to be partnered with a dynamic, open and innovative brand in Threadbare and believe that there is still huge opportunity for growth with our continued partnership with Rakuten Advertising.
Dave Trolle
Founder of Customer First Digital

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