26 Jul 2016

Billion Dollar Shave Club

So…shaving.

Most of us tend to find shaving a personal topic of discussion and something you would generally avoid talking about. But Dollar Shave Club (DSC) has brought our grooming habits to the forefront of many conversations whilst gaining a $1 Billion acquisition by Unilever.

Back in March 2012, the subscription razor service uploaded its renowned launch video entitled “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”. The video featured CEO Michael Dubin taking audiences on a side-splitting tour through their warehouse, comically highlighting the inconveniences every shaver faces. Their clever content prompted 12,000 orders in a two-day span after it was released, and has received over 23 million views. By taking a mundane topic and creating a sharable and entertaining piece of content, DSC set the ball rolling and their success can be found to stem from this nugget of video marketing gold.

So how did the men’s grooming startup, that sells razor delivery subscriptions and found fame with its machete-wielding CEO, strike a $1 Billion deal with goods giant Unilever? The acquisition is one of the biggest in the e-commerce market in recent years, and DSC will join Unilever’s portfolio of personal care brands including Dove and Axe. DSC, being best known for its viral advert (or its line of “butt wipes for men”) ostensibly doesn’t seem like the perfect fit for Unilever’s portfolio. Yet the company’s irreverent humour certainly hasn’t hampered its progress.

Ultimately, DSC have attained arguably the best case scenario for viral video marketing. But the key to Dollar Shave Club’s appeal is not so much its online prowess but the fact that it built a powerful brand in four years. The content they put together for members is simple and low-cost, but, like their launch video, they took an ordinary product and made it an extraordinary experience for the customer. Unlike other big brands, DSC makes the act of buying your monthly razors something worth looking forward to.

Why was it this Unilever were looking for? Well, despite being masters at traditional marketing, it is the direct-to-consumer brand building that DSC excel at that they’re in desperate need of (judging by the pretty penny they paid for it). Catching the world’s attention with it’s launch video; its distinct humour, culture and lifestyle proved that Dollar Shave Club isn’t just another razor company. The lifestyle DSC offered is what resonated with viewers and ultimately transformed them into customers, selling an otherwise ordinary product to an ever-growing audience of millions.

$1 billion stemming from a viral video… that’s definitely f****ing great!