Dollar Shave Club spotted consumer inconveniences, where most saw an over-served market. In the shaving market, men had
to choose between (supposedly) high-tech razors or low-cost, low-functionality tools. DSC aimed to change this by providing an end-to-end customer experience with affordable shaving products.
In 2012, DSC launched its online store and quickly disrupted the overpriced men’s razor blade market. It purchased its products from wholesalers, removed the traditional physical retail channel, and sold razors and blades online at a lower price.
DSC focused heavily on online marketing to replace the reach of the eliminated middle- man. Its launch video with founder Michael Dubin showcased the brand’s sense of humor and went viral. Editorial content accompanies each delivery, often with a humorous twist.
The company was acquired by Unilever in 2016 for approximately $1 billion.
Eliminate (or Go Around) the Middleman
DSC cuts out retail stores to sell directly. On the upside, this means saving margins traditionally paid to retailers. On the downside, it means losing the broad market reach of retailers.
Build an Optimized Direct Channel
The company launches its online store in 2012, which gives it full control over the customer experience, relationships, and data. DSC uses this channel to continuously test its product line and optimize its value proposition.
Differentiate Your Value Proposition
DSC competes on an end-to-end customer buying experience with affordable products. Its flexible subscription plans allow members to buy their first product for just $1 and then choose the products and shipping frequency.
Replace the Reach of the “Historic” Middleman with Innovative Marketing
Because DSC can’t rely on the reach of a retailer, it creates visibility and brand recognition with its viral videos. DSC keeps consumers coming back with educational videos and editorial content delivered with its unique brand voice.