Michael Dubin proved his business acumen is as sharp as his comedic timing during a fast-paced, idea-packed presentation.
This story first appeared in the May 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The founder and chief executive officer of the e-commerce site Dollar Shave Club, Dubin shot to fame with a video called, “Our Blades Are F—ing Great.” Its success helped the company grab more than 5 percent of the U.S. men’s razor market on a volume basis in just two years, by fulfilling Dubin’s first mandate when creating a new brand: Cut through the clutter, then focus on solving a specific problem.
“When you solve someone’s problem,” said Dubin, “you earn their trust. And that’s what it’s all about.”
In Dollar Shave Club’s case, the problem being solved was the unpleasantness and expense associated with buying razor blades in traditional retail environments. To build trust, Dubin continued, brands must also keep their promises and deliver great customer service. As an example, he told of a customer who had stopped paying his DSC invoices after losing his job. When the company learned what had happened, they sent him some free blades so that he would “look great on interviews,” Dubin said.
The customer wrote to Dubin, saying, “What an awesome gesture. I start my new job on Monday and have been touting DSC to anyone who will listen.”
That level of service creates customers who happily — and freely — tout the benefits of the brand, Dubin said, showing positive comments posted on Facebook. “Notice how these guys talk to us,” he said. “They want to be part of the brand. They speak our language — it’s language we’ve given them. We have a deep emotional connection with our guys, our loyalists and champions.”
DSC plans to capitalize on that connection by launching more than a dozen new products in the next 18 months. “We want to own the men’s bathroom,” said Dubin. “It’s a multibillion-dollar industry that’s growing up to 10 percent a year. We want to make our mark.”