Dollar Shave Club

It seems that virtually any type of consumer good product can be improved by using the Internet. We’ve seen it with movie rental, food delivery, floral arrangements, book stores, music, and now…. Shaving! Yes, the Internet has enabled men to get their beards shaved at a cheaper price and without venturing to the local drug store and scaling the walls of the “razor fortress.” For as low as one dollar a month, Dollar Shave Club sends its members new razor blade cartridges each month – they even throw in the handle for free.

Choose from three different plans – each of which includes shipping and handling in the monthly fee. The $1 plan provides a basic shaver for “guys who dig simplicity & precision” and delivers five cartridges per month to his home. Want a better shave? Then check out the $6 per month plan and get four cartridges each month with four stainless-steel blades and a 90-degree pivot head. Still want more? Then go for the executive look (“a personal assistant for your face”) using six stainless-steel blades at a $9 per month cost!

The company launched its business using a YouTube video campaign that cost $4,500 to make and has generated more than 5 million hits. The video resonated with males around the country and sales skyrocketed. The key to success for this company was a great offer and an entertaining pitch. Watch the video and judge for yourself.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students – have any of them heard about, or bought from, the Dollar Shave Club.
  2. Discuss why – and why not – this business model makes sense.
  3. Have students view the video at http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/
  4. What are the concepts that were used in the video to help it go viral?
  5. Have student review the site. Who is the target market? What is the key message?
  6. What are competing products/services?
  7. Divide students into groups and choose a common household product. Have each group prepare a storyboard for a video that could go viral.

Source:  Ad Age Daily, 7/19/12

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