Over the last decade, shaving goliaths Schick and Gillette have been engaged in a Cold War-esque arms race over razor blade count, “hair-stimulating” doodads, and expensive ad campaigns. Caught in the crossfire are stubbled consumers, forced to stomach skyrocketing prices or revert to scraping their face with dull generic blades. The best-selling Schick “Quattro,” for instance, sports four blades and a price tag nearing $20, all for a rubberized handle and three shaving cartridges. Need a razor refill? Expect to shell out another crisp Andrew Jackson for a set of four measly cartridges. With prices like these, it’s no wonder people are intrigued by a company named Dollar Shave Club delivering just that: razors delivered to your door monthly for $1 plus shipping and handling. The company’s completely-online business model and advertising is causing a stir in the shaving industry and saving its hordes of newly-won customers more money with each passing month.
The Dollar Shave Club’s genesis is described on their website as “two guys who were pissed off about something and decided to do something about it,” referring to the co-founders Michael Dubin, 33, and Mark Levine, 56, who hatched the idea while griping about the cost of razor blades at a party. The duo paired their respective expertise in marketing and branding (Dubin) and manufacturing (Levine) and gathered a million dollars-worth of investment with the pitch that they could undercut the shaving industry behemoths by advertising and selling their products exclusively on the net.
The phrase “viral marketing” is bandied about a lot these days, but seldom do companies find the right mixture of novelty and humor to capture the imagination of web-crawlers enough to drive online sales. The Dollar Shave Club is a notable exception. Their first ninety-four second Youtube ad features CEO Dubin wandering through the Dollar Shave office and warehouse explaining their service and trashing the competitions with edgy quips like, “do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a flashlight, a back scratcher and ten blades? Your handsome [expletive] grandfather had one blade and polio.” The ad—currently tallying 7.3 million Youtube views—has captured the attention of countless men plus the likes of ABC News, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal.
The same brand of wry humor present in their video ad translates to all of DSC’s marketing ploys, from a phony coupon included with membership reading, “Present this card at any bar in America for a free drink,” to a blog which holds photo contests encouraging customers to send in pictures of themselves “planking” with their razors. Their witty web-centric approach seems to be paying off as DSC has gathered nearly 10 million dollars in investments and hundreds of new subscribers every day.
While $1 two-blade razors are at the core of the company’s name and marketing gimmicks, the company also offers customers expanded options for higher—yet still very affordable—prices. That basic $1 package, dubbed “The Humble Twin” supplies users with a handle and five double-bladed heads complete with a pivoting action and a moisturizing aloe vera strip. From there, customers can bump up to the “4x” set up which includes four four-bladed cartridges for only $6 a month including shipping. Discerning subscribers in search of an even closer shave can also select the “The Executive” package, a six-bladed head, three cartridge set ringing in at $9 per month.
Business commentators are crediting Dollar Shave Club’s profits and popularity to the business’ unique embodiment of the three big Cs: Cheapness, Convenience, and “Cool” Factor. Plus, it probably doesn’t hurt that the razors look and function nearly identical to the ones offered on drugstore shelves. But Dubin and Levine don’t plan to bask in their newfound success for long; the company has openly stated intentions to expand their range of products and services offered and become “the Internet’s best ‘men’s company.’”
Whether the Dollar Shave Club continues its meteoric rise or fizzles out on the horizon, its cheeky advertising gags and bottom-dollar production will likely have a lasting effect on both the shaving and online subscription market. If you’re interested in investigating other trendy ways of switching up your hair removal regimen, contact Hair Removal Forum today or take advantage of our free hair removal clinic locator!