Social Marketing is something that is new and untested in the business world; however, Dollar Shave Club has demonstrated that a social-only approach can not only be effective, but it can also be the new industry standard. Social marketing is an approach used to develop activities aimed at changing or maintaining people’s behavior for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. With over 18 million views to date on their debut YouTube video, the social only approach is proving to be a powerful tactic in marketing.
A few years ago Gillete and Schick were probably the only two razor brands that came to mind when you went shopping for a new set of blades every month. So how does this previously unheard of start-up even begin to compete with the goliaths of the razor industry?
Dollar Shave Club is simple. You head to their website, set up an account, and within weeks you are receiving razor blades once a month, every month, for as little as a dollar. With companies like GrubHub and Uber serving their customers at the push of a button, creating a frictionless transaction has become the new standard. Consumers no longer want to get in a car, drive to a store, and buy a product. With all of these services just a couple of taps away, the consumer is increasingly less inclined to physically travel to a store and buy a product in person. They are expecting that the company will make the process as convenient as possible.
Ridiculously expensive razor blades and what seems like a monopoly over something that men are more or less expected to do every day—shave. Dollar shave club aims to disrupt this market by offering high
caliber razors at a fraction of the price. Dollar Shave Club is affordable, “For a dollar a month we send high quality razors right to your door” a consumer no longer has to worry about running out of razor blades, having to run down to the local convenience store, and paying upwards of $36 just for four blades.
Dollar Shave Club connects with their community. Since 2012 they have run campaigns such as “Chairman’s Choice,” and DSC Member spotlight where customers can not only be heard, but have a spotlight. A company that solves a problem, for a cheap cost, and cares about their community? No wonder DSC had 12,000 orders within the first 48 hours of launch.
So, how did a company like Dollar Shave Club gain so much traction in such a short amount of time? Their marketing has become inherently viral due to the unique and quirky nature of their social-only approach to
online content. Traditional billboards and magazine ads are stationary and only influence those within a certain vicinity. Because society is becoming increasingly connected through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, all it takes now is a few shares of some fresh content to gain traction and spread rapidly over the internet (see Blue-Gold Dress debate here).