This week I discovered a Santa Monica, CA, based startup called DollarShaveClub.com. As the company name says, they will send you five swiveling twin-blade aloe-stripped blades every month for one dollar. I have some clients who are trying this out and I’ll get a report back as to how reliable the service is and how good the blades are. Investors have put millions into the company.
I know one thing: their online ad is pretty funny.
What do I think? Maybe Gillette should be worried. Around 1900, a salesman named King Gillette came up with the idea of disposable razor blades. At first, he couldn’t sell the blades for as much money as it cost to make them, but then he had a wacky idea: he would give away the shiny new razor handles. If people wanted to use the free handles, they would have to continually buy the disposable Gillette blades. After a few months of blade sales, the cost of the handle was covered. And King Gillette got rich. That’s Big Razor Money.
Nowadays, Gillette’s strategy has continued on. The company is constantly releasing new models along with marketing campaigns geared toward making people with last year’s model feel like they’re no longer, well, on the cutting edge. Gillette’s current top-of-the-line model has five blades; actually, six if you count the extra trimmer blade on the back. And refill blades are $4. Yes, $4 each.
When will the madness end? According to a recent article in The Economist magazine, a mathematical projection predicts that razors with 14 blades will be introduced in 2100. I’d bet it won’t even take that long.
I’m thinking that DollarShaveClub.com is what we all need. As DollarShaveClub Mike says, “Stop payin’ for shave tech you don’t need!” Maybe the new money in razors comes a buck at a time…