How Dollar Shave Club Grew From Viral Video to $1 Billion Acquisition

by @businessenglish
How Dollar Shave Club Grew From Viral Video to $1 Billion Acquisition

Let’s talk about shaving.

For some people, shaving may be a strange, personal topic of discussion. It’s just something you need to do, not something some really want to talk about - but "Dollar Shave Club" changed all that.

Back in 2012, the subscription razor service (сервис подписки на бритвы) turned heads (приковали к себе внимание) with its now legendary launch video (промо-видео) that took audiences on a hilarious walk (веселая прогулка) through their warehouse (по складу) and poked fun at little annoyances every shaver faces (шутили над маленькими досадными моментами с которыми каждый сталкивается при бритье).

With this nugget of video marketing gold (с этим идеальным примером маркетингового видео), they took a boring topic (скучная тема) and made it entertaining and worth sharing (достойная того, чтобы ей поделится) with a friend.

Today, that video has been viewed over 22 million times, and DSC has grown to 45 full-time employees (штатные сотрудники), 1.1 million subscribers (подписчики), a $615 million valuation in 2015, and most recently a $1 Billion acqusition (приобретение за 1 млрд) by Unilever. 

But how did they do it? 

#1 Offering a Real Solution

At its core (в основе идеи), Dollar Shave Club is an every-man’s brand (бренд для каждого мужчины) with a simple value proposition (понятное ценностное предложение).

Name-brand (брендовые) razors sold in retail stores cost too much, but with DSC you’ll have quality alternatives automatically delivered to your door for as little as $3.00 a month. No contracts, no hidden fees (скрытые платежи).

Founder and CEO, Michael Dubin didn’t reinvent the wheel (не изобрел велосипед заново). He simply created an affordable solution (доступное решение) to a real problem shared by men everywhere.

If you have a product or service that no one will want or need, not even the greatest marketing will help it sell, but Dollar Shave Club presented a more effective solution to an age-old need (вековая потребность).

#2 Creating a Unique Customer Experience

Now this is where DSC truly broke the mold (ломать шаблоны).

Dollar Shave Club is a young, smart, stylish, yet playful (шутливый) brand. When you join the club, you’re not just signing on (подписываться) for low-cost razors and blades, you’re investing in the monthly “delight” (удовольствие) that comes along with it.

As a member, you get in on the joke (вникаете в смысл шуток) and belong to an exclusive community (относитесь к эксклюзивному сообществу) that no other brand offers.

If your brand can give someone an experience unlike any other (уникальный опыт); something they can share on Instagram, or mention to their coworkers around the watercooler (упомянуть своим коллегам "на перекуре"), they will be that much more pleased (and loyal) in the long run (в долгосрочной перспективе).

“From our packaging (упаковка) to our digital presence (присутствие в интернете) to our media strategy, the DSC brand identity informs everything we do". 

When you first sign up for the club (вступить в клуб), you are met with a friendly welcome email that confirms your transaction (подтверждает оплату), welcomes you into the community (приветсвует в сообществе), and explains how you can get more out of it (обьясняет как получить максимум пользы)

Shortly after, your first shipment arrives with:

  • A beautifully branded box
  • Another playful welcome note
  • Your shaving products
  • An explanation of the upgrade process
  • Occasionally free samples, and “The Bathroom Minutes,” Dollar Shave Club's monthly lifestyle newsletter (including a note (записка) from the chairman, monthly quotes, and club news amongst other things.)

The content they put together (соединять) for members is simple and inexpensive, but, like their launch video, they took an ordinary product (обычный продукт) and made it an extraordinary experience (необычный опыт) for the customer.

Unlike other big brands (в отличии от больших брендов), DSC makes the act of buying your monthly razors something worth looking forward to and smiling about - and they even have the added bonus of being more affordable. As a customer, you really can’t go wrong.

Social Engagement

In addition to their clever pieces of content (забавный контент), DSC also thrives on social engagement (вовлечение аудитории в соц. сетях).

For example, when members share a photo of their monthly box on Instagram or Facebook page, the brand reposts their favorites, and then rewards that member with a free t-shirt.

It’s little perks (дополнительные опции) like these that keep customers feeling special and interacting with the brand and community long term. When people are happy with your product or brand, they want to share their love of it.

“50,000 people a month refer a friend to the club (приводят друзей в клуб)” and this should come as no surprise (не удивительно). If you can put your advertising budget into building unique brand experiences (создать уникальный опыт взаимодествия с брендом), through your products, your events, your retail space, people will do the advertising for you”

Key Takeaway

Dollar Shave Club isn’t just an another razor company, it’s a brand with a distinct (особый) humor, culture, and lifestyle (стиль жизни).

At the end of the day (в итоге), it is this that caught America’s attention in the company’s launch video. It is what resonated with the public (резонирует публике) and made them want to know what it will do or offer next, and what sold an ordinary product to ever-growing audience (постоянно растущая аудитория) of millions.


  1. $1 Billion acqusition - приобретение за 1 млрд
  2. simple value proposition - понятное ценностное предложение
  3. hidden fees - скрытые платежи
  4. reinvent the wheel - изобрести велосипед заново
  5. broke the mold - ломать шаблоны
  6. an experience unlike any other - уникальный опыт
  7. digital presence - присутствие в интернете
  8. an extraordinary experience - необычный опыт
  9. social engagement - вовлечение аудитории в соц. сетях
  10. ever-growing audience - постоянно растущая аудитория
April 22, 2018
by @businessenglish