Disruptive Company: Dollar Shave Club

Disruptive Company: Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club started by solving a big problem that most men face: the frustrating experience of buying razors at the store. They started with a simple proposition, selling three great razors at an affordable price. They’ve since grown to more than three million paying subscribers by emphasizing the customer experience. Disrupting the shaving industry was made easier by the fact that drug stores like CVS and Walgreens didn’t take the business seriously. The razor shopping experience at a typical store is overwhelming: you first have to find the person with the key to unlock the razor display. They probably are not going to be able to help you with advice on which razor to choose. At the end of your razor shopping trip, you finally get to wait in line to overpay for a razor that might not even be a good match for your face. Dollar Shave Club was able to do an end around the store shopping experience by offering their razors on a subscription basis at an affordable price.

Dollar Shave Club Isn’t Afraid of Competition

You might think that the lowly razor is an odd market to disrupt. After all, aren’t commodity products open to competition because there’s no barrier to entry? Although there is a danger of someone else coming in and replicating their model, Dollar Shave Club believes in their brand loyalty. They’re essentially doing for razors what Starbucks did for coffee. Before Starbucks, there was only a limited number of choices of coffee. Brands like Folgers and Maxwell House gave you mass produced ground coffee in a can or glass jar. Most people reluctantly bought it, knowing that they were being forced to drink terrible coffee because there wasn’t a choice. Starbucks redefined their industry by realizing that coffee was an important part of daily life. It was a special ritual that most people prepared daily. The cultural aspect of drinking coffee is what the mass producers didn’t understand. So along comes Starbucks, who builds an entire lifestyle around drinking coffee. The Dollar Shave Club isn’t going to be the last company to ship razors or men’s grooming products on the Internet. But what they’re doing differently is telling guys there’s a much better experience for them if they become a member. Dollar Shave Club isn’t going to sell you a 5-blade razor that vibrates. They’re going to ship guys high-quality razors so they can confidently shave and get on with their day. They’re going to do it at a price that drugstores can’t match. And they’re going to ship out monthly (or every other month), so guys don’t have to stand in line to buy an everyday necessity. From their no-nonsense advertising to their product delivery, they approached guys in a way that spoke authentically to them.

Dollar Shave Club Emphasizes The Customer Experience

It’s crucial that businesses think of their products as an experience for their customers. And to create a unique user experience, you have to invoke emotion. From the very first time that you see an advertisement all the way through to getting the box in the mail, the experience that you get each month is more than a razor thrown into a box. For example, Dollar Shave Club also includes a magazine (called The Bathroom Minutes) within every order. Over 3 million people are getting this magazine from them every month. They’ve also invested heavily in an online content platform. Building content into the Dollar Shave Club platform is a great outreach strategy. They want people coming back to Dollar Shave Club daily because, just like shaving, they want to be part of their customer’s daily life. The Dollar Shave Club, by providing an experience that’s beyond the bathroom and the mailbox, is building a marketing strategy that’s hard to duplicate.

Dollar Shave Club Has a High Retention Rate for Its Subscribers

Since launching their first advertising video in March of 2012, the average customer tenure has been 3.2 years. People are sticking around because, in addition to appreciating quality razors, they like to be part of the brand. This is why the Dollar Shave Club is successful and will continue to be successful moving forward. They understood that men want control over this area of their lives. They understood that men never liked giving control of their grooming product selection over to their wives. They also understood that men were tired of randomly grabbing some razor off the drugstore shelf. Guys in the U.S. are a few years behind Asian and European men as far as grooming, but American men are starting to pay more attention to their personal hygiene. They recognize the connection between what you do to yourself in the morning before going out and how confident they feel walking out the door.

Hot companies like Dollar Shave Club are eventually able to take over a niche because they approached it strategically. If you’re looking for the right strategy for your business, contact us for a consultation today.