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Dollar Shave Club Glides Into Market Via Razor-Sharp Video Strategy

Four years ago, buying a razor was a frustrating experience, with products kept in stores behind locked doors--a sign of their high prices. That’s when Dollar Shave Club set out to disrupt the grooming business with a cheaper, painless subscription model. The first task was to get men to consider a new way of doing things.  

“It all started with video. That’s what really birthed our brand,” said Adam Weber, CMO of Dollar Shave Club, which last month was acquired by CPG giant Unilever for $1 billion. The company’s founder and CEO, Michael Dubin, made a video starring himself that poked fun at the industry and what it felt like to get ripped off. “It was funny, but it also hit on an emotional vector for guys. That allowed it to go viral, which helped us build the conversation from the beginning,” Weber told me.

Weber, who joined the company six months later, still relies on video to tell the brand story. But the available distribution platforms have changed quite a bit in the intervening years. “The video landscape has become a lot more digitally centric,” Weber said. “It’s mobile. It’s social.” That lets marketing efforts be more targeted but also demands videos customized for the different channels. “Every cut has to be different,” he said. “YouTube has to look different from Facebook, which has to look different from Twitter, which has to look different from Snapchat.”

Highlights from this week’s Marketing Superstars podcast also include:

  • How to get consumers to think about a new approach to buying (5:50)
  • The value of video as a storytelling medium (9:45)
  • Making the most of the changing video landscape (13:11)
  • Customizing content to fit the channel (16:40)
  • The value of keeping production in-house (19:40)
  • Measuring the ROI of video through “softer” metrics (22:23)

Listen in iTunes.

Click here to listen to previous episodes of Marketing Superstars.

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