You may have already seen this. It’s a few weeks old already.If you haven’t, then take a look at this (real) video ad for Dollar Shave Club (if you can’t see the video above, then click here). Not only does it feature the actual company CEO, Michael Dubin. The video – which cost just $4,500 to make – was used to help secure venture capital financing from big-name companies such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz!
The results so far have been staggering. In the first ten days of launch, Dollar Shave Club signed-up 20,000 subscribers. In less than a month, their off-the-wall, built-to-be-shared video has been seen 4 million times.
The company is on target to secure more than $50 million in sales in the first twelve months of trading. This is in what most people would agree is a mature industry, dominated by just 2 or 3 major players. They’ve done this in a commodity market space with zero marketing budget, sales staff, distributors, resellers, print or TV advertising.
Regardless of how well (or otherwise) Dollar Shave Club does in the coming months and years, the big guys have been caught napping. An unknown upstart has come along and not only disrupted the established business model (i.e. sell the razors cheaply, and charge a fortune for the blades). But they’ve communicated their business value in a way that cannot be ignored. Dubin used to be a digital marketing director at Sports Illustrated. Clearly his experience has been put to great use.
The “safe” option would have been to market their product along the same lines at how the other guys do it. The problem with doing that is that the audience wouldn’t have noticed them. Honestly, if you covered-up the logo and tagline, could you really tell the difference between an ad from Gillette and an ad from Schick/Wilkinson Sword?
Daring To Stand OutDollar Shave Club dared to Stand Out. They realized that playing it safe was tantamount to commercial suicide: a new business model that upsets all that gone before is innovative, but that isn’t always enough. By combining a new way of looking at buying razors with a bold and risky marketing campaign, Dollar Shave Club look set to single-handedly change marketing thinking for an industry that’s been doing the same thing over and over again for more than half a century.
The Best A Man Can Get? Yeah, right. You can bet that Gillette and the rest are going to be watching very closely over the next few months.
This could be the iPod vs. the Walkman all over again.