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Analyzing the Success of Dollar Shave Club (and How You Can Emulate It)

By Snap Agency July 11, 2017

Dollar Shave Club launched in 2012, and within two days they had 12,000 customers. By the summer of 2013, they had grown to 330,000 customers per month.

This number was growing, and these clients were paying a monthly subscription. Long story short, they became very wealthy very quickly.

The vast majority of their success came from a single video that has 24million hits on YouTube alone. DSC went on to build on this achievement with other viral videos and TV ads.

Video marketing is powerful

If there’s one thing to take away from their success story, it’s that video marketing is powerful. A single video was able to jumpstart the company and make it into a household name.

This video was back in 2012, and to this day there is still a huge opportunity for businesses that are willing to put themselves out there. Many SMB’s still refuse to create videos.

Dollar Shave Club has proven that you don’t need an expensive camera or a degree from film school. You can improvise a video and connect with millions of people across the globe.

It’s tough to go viral as a brand with a large piece of text or even a graphic. Most viral content is video.

With so many of us using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on our phones video are the best forms of content for us to consume.

Tell a story

Dollar Shave Clubs CMO Adam Weber said: “what video offers is a fantastic platform for storytelling.”

Viewers on social media and YouTube aren’t in the mood to sit there and watch you talk about how great your company is. They want to be entertained and educated.

They want to hear your story.

Dollar Shave Clubs video went viral because it was entertaining, funny and told their story.

They showed you their employees, they made jokes, and they explained why the product was created.

Storytelling is a skill that you can learn. It’s an opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors.

Every business has a story. You might have an interesting story about how it grew. Tell the world your story!

Personify your brand

In an era of corporate shadows and a lack of brand transparency, Dollar Shave Club wasn’t scared to show off their CEO.

He starred at the center of the video.

What DSC understood that many SMB’s don’t is that it’s easier to become attached to a person than a brand. It’s hard to be truly passionate about a business that is there to make a profit, but people can buy into a person.

Steve Jobs is the ultimate example. People love Apple because they make great products, but they bought into Steve Jobs. They believed in his vision, and they were excited by everything that he created.

Dollar Shave Club personified their brand. They used their CEO to explain the product in a fun and entertaining way. He wasn’t scared of looking silly, and it made the brand feel human.

Drop the corporate coverup

You shouldn’t be afraid of being human. There seems to be this ideology that it’s bad to have emotions or to be funny when you represent a brand.

If you’re an SMB, you don’t need to pretend to be a huge multinational corporation. Having a personality is okay. Your local customers want to employ you because you’re not a national company.

Even large companies like Old Spice understand that personifying their brand and having fun is important when you’re selling a product.

Obviously, there’s a clear line between being human and being unprofessional.

Make the most of going viral

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘one hit wonder.’ Dollar Shave Club did have one huge hit, but they were able to use it so effectively that it’s created a sustainable brand that continued to grow.

As a subscription service, their customer lifetime value was naturally higher than if they were only selling products individually.

However, they also hired a company called Retention Science who helped them to optimize their business model to prevent customer loss.

DSC built upon their first videos success by releasing more videos of a similar nature for their other products.

One thing to learn from this is that although they got fewer views on the next videos, they didn’t quit.


Dollar Shave Club was one of the first companies to recognize the power of video marketing. They managed to create something that was informative, entertaining and convinced us to buy at the same time.

Don’t be afraid to personify your brand and step away from videos that feel like they were only designed to sell us products.

Create something that people want to share, and they’ll do most of your marketing for you.