Breaking Business With A Razor

If you're going to follow a leader, make sure that leader is doing it right.

So many businesses are trying to be louder by being softer.  You soften your message to gather a larger audience, then you use more exclamation points to break through the clutter.

The result is an audience who knows you you are, but doesn't care. You're no longer remarkable.

What's remarkable about a razor is that you don't have to use a lot of pressure to penetrate your target.  The sharpness of the edge separates with ease and accuracy. No one knows this better than Dollar Shave Club, the new company determined to introduce you to a new way handle your beard.

Rather than break down their strategy from the public perspective, let's go in reverse.

  1. The product is marketed as a service. Schick competes with Gillette for shelf space in the grocery and drug stores, but DSC goes straight to the consumer to solve a problem no one thought they had. By turning your widget into a subscription, you keep your competition out of your customers' pockets, hearts and minds.
  2. The message is clear: You're over-paying for razor blades. I didn't know I was over-paying for razor blades even though I have sticker shock every time I refresh my supply at Walgreen's.
  3. Their use of YouTube puts all their creative marketing efforts into a single video. It's so good that it has achieved 8.5 million views in 10 months.
  4. They are easy to share. As soon as you subscribe (which is ridiculously easy), you can be rewarded for sharing their service. Schick never knew who I was as their customer, but DSC knows who my friends as soon as I post about DSC on Facebook. And they give you free blades when your friends sign up.

Dollar Shave Club decided they wanted to lead the industry in a different direction. To do that, they had to go someplace where they could beat their competition. 

// Kyle Sexton is an award-winning marketing strategist and international speaker. His innovations have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, and his book, REMEMBERSHIP - New Thinking for Tomorrow's Membership Organization, is fueling transformations in membership organizations throughout North America.  He can be reached at 888.899.8374 or get his free resources at