How Dollar Shave Club Grew From Viral Video to $615M Brand

Let’s talk about shaving.

Wait, what? Is that awkward? Do you not want to?

For some people, shaving and grooming may be a strange, personal topic of discussion. It’s just something you need to do, not something some really want to talk about — but Dollar Shave Club (DSC) changed all that.

Back in 2012, the subscription razor service turned heads with its now legendary launch video that took audiences on a hilarious walk through their warehouse and poked fun at little annoyances every shaver faces.

With this nugget of video marketing gold, they took a boring topic and made it entertaining and worth sharing with a friend (not to mention, grabbing nationwide attention in the process.)

Today, that video has been viewed almost 20 million times and DSC has grown to a team of over 45 full-time employees, 1.1 million subscribers, and a whopping $615 million valuation.

But how did they do it? Here are the two major factors I uncovered behind DSC’s booming brand and business success.

#1 Offering a Real Solution

At its core, Dollar Shave Club is an every-man’s brand with a simple value proposition.

Name-brand razors sold in drug and retail stores cost too much, but with DSC you’ll have quality generic alternatives automatically delivered to your door for as little as $3.00 a month. No contracts, no hidden fees, or as they say “no BS.”

It’s a perfect example of product-market fit. Founder and CEO, Michael Dubin didn’t reinvent the wheel. He simply created an affordable solution to a real, relatable problem shared by men (and even women) everywhere.

By selling something people actually want and need (in an industry that has not seen much innovation in decades,) Dubin set the stage for both marketing and overall organizational success.

If you have a product or service that no one will want or need, not even the greatest marketing will help it sell, but Dollar Shave Club presented a more effective solution to an age-old need.

#2 Creating a Unique Customer Experience

Now this is where DSC truly broke the mold.

Dollar Shave Club is a young, smart, stylish, yet playful brand. When you join the club, you’re not just signing on for low-cost razors and blades, you’re investing in the monthly “delight” that comes along with it.

As a member, you get in on the joke and belong to an exclusive community that no other brand offers.

Johnny Earle (aka Johnny Cupcakes) explained the importance of this idea perfectly in his Bold Talk at INBOUND 2014 saying, “these little experiences make people happy. They give them something to talk about…”

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