Monday, March 19

Dollar Shave Club

I have to say that as a brand marketer, I'm not a big believer in private label products.  How could I be? I love the concept of being a brand and I love all that is brand marketing.  I have drunk the Kool-Aid(R).

But I have to say that I was a bit intrigued when I first heard about Dollar Shave Club.  It is an internet e-commerce sensation that certainly hit the ground running about ten days ago thanks to a viral video that sent thousands to a website to buy high-quality razors for a fraction of the price.  $1.00 for a month's supply as a matter of fact.

Gotta love the tagline:  Our blades are f**cking great.

The premise is that there's no reason to spend so much time and money on razors when you can join the Dollar Shave Club and have them sent directly to you every month for $1.00 (or a little more if you want the multiple blade varieties).  The CEO tells a mean, compelling story I have to say:  high quality, low cost, and convenient ... with a whole lot of attitude and a website that's very easy to navigate.  He's got the video hits and website traffic now to prove it.

What I love is that this company clearly understands how men (or some men) think about shaving and shopping/buying razors.  They did their homework, that's for sure.

Maybe this isn't private label after all ... I smell a brand in the making ... perhaps even an inspired brand.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of North America at Cohn & Wolfe
Author of The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor at NYU


  1. Great ad! However, for the higher quality blades it still may be cheaper to buy from a Club Store or online. The Executive seems similar to the Gillette Fusion which I use. You can buy 8 fusion cartridges from for $27.00 with free shipping. That's $3.38 per blade vs DSClub $3.00 per blade. I have been shaving my head since 1995. I don't think I need to use 36 cartridges in a year which DSC will get you. These blades last a long time, don't be fooled by Gillette and Schick telling you blade is no good when strip changes color. The Fusion blades last at least one month and still give me that smooth shave. Its like the printer telling you are out of toner,or ink but you still have a ton of printing capacity left. Thus while Dollar Shave club may be Cheaper per blade it may not make sense to keep membership for a year as you would be spending $108 vs about $40 if you keep buying the Gillette blades from discount retailers.

  2. Interesting ... I did notice how the price point moves up and it is true that you don't really control product usage this way. Depends on what you find valuable I suppose. JIM

  3. Just got my blades in yesterday and they are terrible. The razor is such poor quality it broke first use.

  4. That's a bummer. Key point in "The Experience Effect" - the brand experience must be consistent. Say what you do, do what you say. Jim.