Dollar Shave Club: Definitely Standing Out

Gee Ranasinha  /   Business, Communications, Innovation, Video, Viral 4 Comments

You may have already seen this. It’s a few weeks old already.

If you haven’t, then watch 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 Dollar Shave Club signed-up 20,000 subscribers. In less than a month the 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 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, the big guys have been caught napping. An unknown upstart has come along and not only disrupted the established business model (sell the razors cheaply, 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.

Dollar Shave Club dared to Stand Out. They realized that playing it safe was tantamount to commercial suicide: a new business model isn’t always enough. They’ve single-handedly changed marketing for an entire 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.

About the Author

Gee Ranasinha


After founding a successful media production firm, Gee became worldwide director of marketing for a European software company. Today he's CEO of KEXINO as well as an author, lecturer, husband, father, and all-round nice bloke. He lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France with his wife and young son. More at

Comments 4

  1. Cathybishop

    Well yeah, I can see that! Obviously they dared to be different and dared to stand out from the rest of the pack. Truly original indeed. It’s good that there are firms which defied the ‘playing safe’ mentality and just think way out of the box. Amazing.

    1. Gee Ranasinha

      Hi Cathy,

      Great, isn’t it?  Can you imagine the faces of the VC company execs when they showed the video for the first time?!?!?  Fantastic. 

      Kudos to Dollar Shave Club for having the guts to go up against the established players. I’m sure that they’re all set for success. 

  2. Hxiong_bt

    So they simply put a nicly done video on YouTube and hoped that somehow people would show up? I feel there is more to this. Their service rocks that industry for sure. But getting the words out is a big challenge. How they attracted that many people so quickly is the amazing part.

    1. Gee Ranasinha

      I think that they got eyeballs so quickly due to 2 innovations: the business model and the chosen method of marketing.

      I agree that getting your message out, above all the existing noise, certainly isn’t easy. However, the fact that Dollar Shave Club realized this and chose to “Stand Out” gave them better than a fighting chance that a significant percentage of their target market would 1) see the video and 2) tell their friends.

      However, getting attention only gets you part of the way. There obviously needs to be a compelling value proposition at the end of the ball of string. You can have all the online views in the world but, if your target audience doesn’t buy into what your selling them, then you’re going nowhere.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *