The Surprising Business That Taught Me Razor Sharp Marketing

Razor sharp marketing tips from Dollar Shave Club

They get me every time.

From their TV commercials to their online ads.

From their branding to their product design.

From their clever messaging to their laser-focused marketing strategy.

I love Dollar Shave Club.

One of their ads on Facebook right now really caught my eye.

Dollar Shave Club his/hers razors

(Source: Dollar Shave Club’s Facebook page)

Simple, right? Direct. Easy to understand. And in today’s equality-focused American culture, absolutely on point.

With this one image, Dollar Shave Club tells me that their product will work just as well for me as it does for a man. And it goes even farther to tell me that other companies are duping me out of my hard-earned dollars by making me pay more for a pink razor.


In fact, all of their marketing is pretty spectacular.

But with most of their marketing, they’re doing something that many businesses hesitate to do. They’re targeting their marketing to a narrow market segment. In Dollar Shave Club’s case, that’s young, technologically-inclined men who buck tradition.

Here’s the lesson I want businesses to learn: Focusing your marketing efforts on a narrow market segment does not mean you alienate everyone else. Though Dollar Shave Club specifically targets men with their marketing –they are not missing out on attracting the female audience. With one small photo, they make it clear that even though they market to men, anyone can use their razors.

What else can you learn from Dollar Shave Club’s marketing strategy? Three things.

1. Humor goes a long, long way online when done right

No doubt you’ve at least seen one of Dollar Shave Club’s video ads. This one is arguably the most talked about. (Warning, it includes a little bit of foul language.)

In its first 48 hours on YouTube back in March of 2012, this video triggered around 12,000 people to sign up for their service.

It’s still shared all the time today.

So why was this video such an effective piece of content? Because while it’s hilarious, it also tells you everything you need to know about the company, the product and why you need them.

2. Authenticity doesn’t have to be in-your-face

When you built your business or when you began your career in marketing, you probably had authenticity drilled into your head.

Stay authentic to the brand message.

Stay authentic to your audience because they can smell slick sales tactics a mile away.

Not only does Dollar Shave Club ooze authenticity, but they poke fun at the inauthenticity of traditional men’s razor advertising.

And they do this without hitting you over the head with it. They tell you who they are, what they’re about and why you should sign up for their subscription service instead of going to the store and buying typical, overpriced razors.

3. No matter how great your marketing is, if your customer care doesn’t stack up, it’ll fall flat every time

I confess, my husband and I are Dollar Shave Club subscribers.

They made the whole process of signing up and selecting a razor so simple and so cost-effective, subscribing was a no-brainer.

When my husband changed his mind about which type of blade he wanted, modifying our order was as easy as a few mouse clicks.

Dollar Shave Club notifies us via email when our order is about to ship, and asks us if we’d like to change or add anything. They also notify us when our order has shipped.

They give us the option to receive more or fewer shipments, or pause shipments temporarily. If we ever wanted to cancel, it’s a matter of a mouse click.

Every month, without fail, we get exactly what we expect. We are cared for every step of the way.

Their marketing might have caught my attention, but their customer care keeps me sending them my money month after month.

Take Notes

If you want a great example of an effective marketing strategy, look no further than Dollar Shave Club.

What other companies out there are doing a great job with their marketing? I’d love to hear your opinion. Send me a tweet at @horizonpeak and let me know which companies are creating marketing content that YOU love.


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