How does a tiny startup company like Dollar Shave Club compete with razor titans like P&G, and sell millions of razors and “male wipes” to the masses—despite a minuscule paid media budget and zero retail presence? And more importantly, what can we learn from them?

DSC

Zag when everyone is zigging.

Instead of paying for placement at major brick-and-mortar retailers across the country, including extremely expensive end-cap displays, Dollar Shave Club ships its personal care and grooming products direct to consumers on a schedule through various membership plans (e.g., five two-blade razors for $1 per month, 40 wipes for $4, etc.).

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

Dollar Shave Club launched their brand two years ago with social media only, which included a brilliantly hilarious 94-second pitch delivered by their CEO Michael Dubin. Besides gaining more than 16 million views, Dollar Shave Club is on track to do $60 million in sales this year, taking more than 6% volume share of the American razor cartridge market.

Tap into a humorous human truth.

Today’s consumer uses a very sophisticated technology to interpret advertising. It’s called a b.s. meter. And the surest way to set it off is by introducing yet another incredibly expensive 5-blade vibrating razor with “revolutionary new technology” endorsed by a pro tennis player touting nothing but features & beni’s. Instead, DSC has tapped into a humorous human truth that speaks to their audience in a language only they’d appreciate.

Imitation is the sincerest form of…you’re doing something right.

Besides watching sales numbers continue to increase, you know you’re on to something big when you start seeing copycats popping up all over the interwebs. Which includes a recent subscription feminine products business startup, HelloFlo, who recently got funding from P&G for their shockingly funny video First Moon Party that has already amassed over 27 million views in two months.

Welcome to a brave new marketing world, folks. Where even “bobbing for ovaries” is child’s play.