Michael Dubin’s a problem solver.
This story first appeared in the October 8, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
And the founder and chief executive officer of DollarShaveClub.com has made it his corporate mission.
“The purpose of the Internet in my opinion is to make our lives better and more enjoyable and that starts with solving problems,” Dubin said.
The problem for online merchants is that they have to “sell stuff to people,” he said.
“The best way to do that, the most lasting way to do that, the most rewarding way to do that is to solve somebody’s problem and that’s what we do at Dollar Shave Club: We solve problems for men,” Dubin said.
He said men shopping for razors in stores often have to find a sales associate with a key to open the “razor fortress” and then wait in line to pay. “It’s very frustrating,” Dubin said. “Our solution to this problem is three great razors, very affordably priced, delivered to your door without even having to think about it.”
The company started in 2012 and now owns 8.8 percent of the U.S. men’s cartridge market.
Part of the secret to Dollar Shave Club’s success is its tongue-in-cheek brand message that makes it easier for men to relate to buying grooming products. That extends from the pitch on its Web site, which promises one blade is “like a personal assistant for your face,” to packaging that reminds users that: “Your mother-in-law should be irritating, not your razor. Change your blade every week.”
The company sees a conversion rate of 5.6 percent, while about 55 percent of its traffic comes from mobile.
Dubin said 55,000 members a month refer a friend to Dollar Share Club, often echoing the brand’s own humor.
“Gone is this stigma to be a metrosexual — it’s a very outdated term at this point,” he said. “Guys are recognizing the connection between what you put in your hair, what you put on your face and body and the confidence you have, which ultimately translates into the success that you have.”
Ninety percent of men are buying their own shaving and grooming products and they’re becoming more aware of the category, showing more interest in details such as ingredients, Dubin said. So the brand jumps on that opportunity in its own way, with messages like this: “Dollar Shave Club must use some fancy ass cows to get their shave butter from because that was a damn smooth shave, tastes terrible on toast, though.”
Given Dollar Shave Club’s market-share growth, it’s a message that is resonating with a lot of men.