business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I may have been on vacation for the past two weeks, but I still kept my eyes open for examples of how companies challenge orthodoxy in order to establish their differential advantages and relevance.

And I found one in a new video produced for Unilever-owned Dollar Shave Club, which disrupted the traditional razor blade business and now - as it evolves into a company that has a broader product portfolio and, in the words of Advertising Age, is “more than a razor subscription service” - is looking to demonstrate that it “is a place to turn to for advice as well as products.”

CEO Michael Dubin explains it this way: “As a startup, we were a company that sent you razors in a box once a month or every other month. We're moving into being a company that sends you everything you need in the bathroom to look, smell and feel your best.”

Being different, though, means being really different. So Dollar Shave Club is out with a more-than-three minute YouTube video, entitled “Get Ready,” which will be cut into shorter versions that can shown on traditional media outlets, designed to show exactly how this evolution is going.

You can watch it above. i hope that, like me, you find it both funny and evocative of the message this brand is trying to communicate.

The music is Steve Lawrence singing “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” The goal is to show some of what men go through then they’re in the bathroom … and it even includes a cameo by CEO Dubin in which he demonstrates that he’s willing to go above and beyond for his brand, which he says continues to grow at a double-digit pace.

I think it is an Eye-Opener … and not just because the video is so unconventional. It also is because it is so unconventional for a brand owned by Unilever, which clearly has decided that the best way to nurture the brand is by not getting in the way of its attitude.


KC's View: