The Dollar Shave Club Disruption Is Not All That

Read my previous article on Dollar Shave Club and you’ll see how Dollar Shave Club converted me from a Norelco electric shaver to a blade shave several years back.

I wasn’t someone looking for a less expensive razor. I was researching their marketing tactics and they offered me discounts to close that first sale. I added an item to the shopping cart. They identified me as someone who’s interest. After I ignored a few more of their discounts, they offered me razors and a razor handle for FREE. I took it.

Why do I bringing this up? Dollar Shave Club, started with two guys about 10 years ago who sold to Unilever for $1 billion in 2016. This 190-person company took on market giant Gillette to win a HUGE chunk of their business.

I continue to use Dollar Shave Club products, but the disruptor is not the same little daring, quirky company that courted me so smoothly. Since selling to Unilever, they lost something.  I’d get their packages in the mail and it would always include this quirky paper newsletter with stupid (and I mean really stupid) articles. Just think of what you can write for guys of all ages when you produce a toilet paper alternative called, “One Wipe Charlies.” 

It’s not that I needed or even wanted the newsletter or products like beard oil (that I bought after I sprouted my beard), but these things connected me to them. It also reminded me that they were this little folksy business producing my blades.

Why do I bringing this up? Because even disrupted markets can be disrupted. Changes caused by this pandemic update the rules we played by. Right now is the perfect time to challenge assumptions. Is there a gap in the market you can exploit and deliver a better mousetrap to serve a poorly service need? 

There’s communication between businesspeople, sales teams and prospects, teachers and students. Zoom was the immediate solution, but what’s missing that a small business can address. Zoom is the big boy in that market, but what other niche solutions are needed that Zoom can’t deliver.

Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash and others have tackled the food delivery space.  They have grown because of the pandemic, but where are they falling short? What can another small business to do meet a need and succeed in that?

The response to George Floyd’s death with all the protesting and rioting has presented something completely different. When you thought the pandemic toppled everything you thought could happen in 2020, here goes something else.

For the first time in my lifetime, I’m hearing race discussions between white people I had never discussed before. I’m reading books and articles on white and black topics that didn’t interested me at all a week back.

What opportunities does this open up? If you have expertise in diversity, or law enforcement or education/training or spiritual/religious subjects do you have to offer to meet a demand that didn’t exist before?

The only thing I predict is that things will keep changing. Can you see something in that change that you can tap into and then make a difference giving people what they need?

Hope this helps.

Jorge Diaz

Jorge is an online marketing evangelist, speaker, author, coach, consultant, and adviser. He is the founder of Jorge Diaz Online and digital agency Larry Jacob Internet Marketing. He's leading a movement dedicated to transforming small business thinking. Having spent 20+ years in corporate software development and 8 years building small business online marketing systems making use of marketing automation platforms like Infusionsoft, Jorge has worked with hundreds of owner led businesses to increase revenue, systematize lead generation and grow their businesses.

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Carlos Garcia - June 5, 2020 Reply


Great post about Dollar Shave club. They kicked Gillette and the New England Patriots team owner, Robert Craft right in the pants. Love how you showed how a complete unknown came in with simply an idea and changed an industry.

    Jorge Diaz - June 6, 2020 Reply

    Carlos, Glad you enjoyed the article. With so much negative news, I like to highlight success stories. Good creative thinking and hardwork pays off for a lot of business owners.

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