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What Does Shaving Have to Do With Your Marketing?

The answer to this question is, "Everything," if you want to stay in business and be successful for a long time, you need to look out for disruption.

I switched to shaving with a razor two years back, after 39 years shaving electric. I blame it all on Dollar Shave Club. I started shaving with Norelco electric razors because as a kid with acne, razors just didn't work. When I graduated college, taking a job with IBM meant shaving every day. Electric continued to be my choice.

Fast forward to me in my 50's and I didn't fit Dollar Shave Club's typical target audience. I wasn't complaining about the high price of razors. I was, however, doing some market research for a client that wanted to do something similar to what Dollar Shave Club does. I visited their site and started tossing items into their shopping cart. Guess what happened? These sharks (and I mean that in the nicest way), courted me like pros.

Keep in mind I wasn't looking for a less expensive shave. I was researching their marketing tactics. They started offering me discounts to close that first sale. Adding that item to the shopping cart identified me as someone with a serious interest. So they made it easy. After a few discount offers, they offered to give me a razor and a razor handle for FREE.

I said, "What the heck," and grabbed it. Except on a few very rare occasions had I hadn't ever shaved with a razor. Now that I am older, my skin isn't acne filled and it isn't all that sensitive. I gave it a test drive and discovered I really liked how much closer a razor shaves you compared to electric.

Cha-ching!! DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB wins over another one.

Since getting that first set of razors from Dollar Shave Club, I've upgraded to their executive razor which is $9 a month. Now I buy shaving cream, face wash, hair gel, shampoo and soap from them.

Why am I bringing this up? Dollar Shave Club, started by two guys 7 years ago, sold to Unilever for $1 billion in 2016. This 190-person company took on market giant Gillette won a HUGE chuck of their business. They did it by meeting a demand many people had while Gillette was adding cute uninteresting features to their expensive shaving product.

This isn't the first time I've spoken about disruption. I've talked about Blockbuster vs. Netflix, Amazon vs. bookstores, and Uber vs. taxis. These new guys saw a market need and what the Internet and new technologies could do and constructed new businesses that toppled the establishment.

While at Digital Marketer's Traffic and Conversion Summit a few week's back, two stage presenters pointed out Dollar Shave Club and what they were able to accomplish by tapping into a demand ignored by the major player. What trend is happening in your industry that may be invisible to you now that can mean a massive change in how people buy what you offer? Don't be the last one to see it and become a "has been" or experience a huge loss like Gillette. Keep your eyes open.

Hope this helps.