Michael Dubin conjured Dollar Shave Club initially as a way to help a friend's father offload a surplus supply of razors. The idea was good; the marketing, genius. I have a background in media, marketing, and brand development--and I did improv training with the Upright Citizens Brigade for eight years. So I did the bulk of Dollar Shave Club's creative work in the beginning.
It was very scrappy. The day it went live, our site crashed from all the traffic--but within 48 hours, we received 12, orders.
We moved pretty quickly beyond selling just razors. Our members definitely let us know they wanted more, and we always knew we would do other products. Inwe came out with a shave butter. Then we launched butt wipes, something that we learned through our research a lot of guys were secretly using already.
I don't think anyone saw that coming. Sincewe've launched in at least one new category a year--shower, hair care, skin care products--and the prep for these launches starts years before they happen.
The marketing "How did dollar shave club start" is critical to DSC--it's so vital that we get that right. Great storytelling is why we've been able to grow so fast. That and the pretty low barriers to entry when it came to men's grooming products.
In the beginning, you're figuring things out on the fly and everyone is wearing many hats. For a good part of the first year, we were all doing the same things--responding to emails, printing labels, making trips to the warehouse in the middle of the night. By latesomething started to shift in the company. You get to a point--usually it's between 50 and 80 employees--when you need to start bringing in some process and organizational discipline.
As the CEO, you have to realize you can't do everything yourself anymore. And teams need strategists, but they also need the right layers above and below to execute in specific areas. And I don't mean stacking people on top of one another hierarchically. I'm talking about ever-deeper layers of specialization and focus. Around this time, I started up an internal creative agency.
We needed to build a really robust campaign How did dollar shave club start our first made-for-TV spots, which poked fun at how hard it can be to get into the "razor fortress" in most retail locations. I found some entrepreneurial creatives who could do more with less--we still had to be pretty scrappy--and an incredible project manager who could keep us on track. A lot of companies outsource much of their creative work.
We wanted this expertise in-house precisely so we could be more nimble. This small group has grown to about 20 people.