Shave Money + Shave Time = A Billion Dollars

Sugar, spice, and everything nice.

These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect – oops, hang on. We’re not creating little girls here. We're talking about a small startup that's taken over by storm.

The experiment

In 2011, Michael Dubin and Mark Levine, co-founders of Dollar Shave Club, experimented with an emerging industry - men's grooming. 

For men, it’s the same old story… the same razor tale.

“If you go to the store to buy razors, you have to drive your car, fight traffic, then you have to find the razor fortress which is always locked, and you have to find the guy with the key. He gets to the register. It costs you $20 or more, and the whole thing is kind of primitive. I just figured there’s a better way to do it, so Dollar Shave Club is born.” -Michael Dubin, Founder and CEO

They changed the game and created the Dollar Shave Club – an online business that battles the epidemic of high razor costs and unpleasant store experience.

 
Damn Daniel, back at it again with the dollar blades

Damn Daniel, back at it again with the dollar blades

 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a membership
  2. Select one of their blades
  3. Get them delivered right to your door

"But, are our blades any good?
Nah,"

- Michael Dubin

- Michael Dubin

When you buy Dollar Shave Club's product, you're not just getting 5 fresh razor blades right to your door every month.

You're buying into their values: Everyone deserves an...

  • affordable
  • reliable

razor.

The explosion

A year into the startup, Dubin launched a video which led to exponential growth.

 
 
 
When we launched the video on March 6, 2012, literally within the span of 30 minutes, we started getting tens of thousands of orders for a company that had been fulfilling 2 or 3 orders a day… it crashed our servers, and we weren’t ready for that.
— Dubin
 

Investors started piling up and helped the startup raise $160 million in venture capital.

Now, Unilever, one of the big boys, is teaming up with Dollar Shave Club for $1B.

That's a lot of cheddar.

What does it take for this to happen?

For Michael Dubin, CEO of DollarShaveClub.com, it wasn't just pure luck or magic.

So, what’s the secret sauce?

Something about that video. Maybe the bear costume? Or a clear value proposition.

“Behind this video is a very great business proposition, that is, infused in a culture backed up with solid e-commerce.”

There's great humour in the "YOU" story and it's all delivered with a relevant value proposition.

There’s that universality which anyone can relate to.

 
ANYONE.

ANYONE.

 

we're all in this together

“For our members, this is the product that they need regularly. That’s why the subscription model really works, and I don’t love that term. I actually really like the term ‘membership’ instead, because it implies a deeper relationship and a greater warmth.”

 
Something about saving on razor costs just brings people together

Something about saving on razor costs just brings people together

 

What attracted European giant, Unilever, to the small startup?

Their ability to shave through the clutter of the"6 blades VS 4 blades VS 10 blades" mumbo jumbo. 

They form a trust bond with the average joe who likes to keep a clean face.

Unilever is not buying into their amazing technology or product, they're buying into all the elements of a strong brand.

It’s a win-win situation:

  • Unilever gets an entry into the shaving market dominated by their American competitor, Proctor & Gamble
  • Dollar shave club gets to expand its operations

The wave of the future

Dollar Shave Club's the underdog that found its way into the industry. They're competing against market leader Gillette with "a regular product". 

 
 

Dollar Shave Club says they're super cheap, but what makes it super interesting is they're transparent, funny and quirky enough to show you. 

They're just hardworking guys like you and me, they're not set up in random sweatshop (their whole video is shot candid style, it's not some fancy commercial).

(Have you seen the ones about butt wipes?)

After being exposed to Dollar Shave Club, you feel you can never go back to paying $20 for a pack of razors. 

“Stop paying for shave tech you don’t need, and stop forgetting to buy your blades every month. Alejandro and I are going to ship them right to you.”

Meet Alejandro

Meet Alejandro

Dollar Shave Club zigged when everyone was zagging.

They're the perfect example of people not buying a screwdriver but the 6 inch holes the screwdriver makes. 

You're not buying the razor, you're buying the feeling of shaving with a fresh razor for a much cheaper price. You feel like you cheated the system.


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