Dollar Shave Club CEO’s take on “marketing products men didn’t know they wanted”

In its research, Mintel concluded that due to the perception that men get more attractive as they age, they believe they don’t need to take care of their skin. In comparison, “women use cosmetics to signal beauty and youth, which are the attributes men look for. Men, on the other hand, have traditionally signalled status and wealth as the attributes women look for.”

Phil White, European planning director at Geometry Global suggested that “the key objective among all manufacturers is turning a regime that you have to do into a ritual you want to do”.

This has led to the launch of unique companies such as Bulldog.

Founder Simon Duffy explained that he wanted to do something really different with Bulldog. 

“We wanted to compete with some of the major brands in the industry like L’Oreal, Nivea and Gillette, and I think as men we felt really frustrated with the skincare options that we had,” he said. “There are a few things that hold those brands back. One of the core things is that men feel like a total after-thought, you couldn’t find more famously female brands, than the brands that men have to choose from. Our plan was to take amazing natural ingredients and do it in a way that meant we could compete and offer men something new in men’s skincare.”

Read more about Bulldog:

But, agreeing with White’s sentiments, Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dubin is certain he’s found a way of “marketing products men didn’t know they wanted”.

The company has 1.5m active members, all of whom get a package every month, or every other month. It was also noted that the company saw increasing growth due to 90 per cent of men now buying their own grooming and skin care products.

“They want that control,” Dubin said. “They recognise the connection between what you put on your face, on your hair, under your arms, on your body, and how good you look, smell, and feel. And that has everything to do with how confident you are as a guy when you’re out there trying to be – you know, to live your life and be successful.

“And it’s funny. For so long, the perception has been that you’re somehow feminine if you’re paying attention to what you put in your hair or on your skin. But it’s not. Gone is the stigma of this word ‘metrosexual’. You don’t really hear it anymore. It used to be a dirty word, but it’s not in use anymore.

Read more about men’s personal-care companies:

“So it should make sense that guys are into their own grooming and skin care because guys get into whatever it is that they care about. If you ask a guy who likes whiskey, he can tell you what kind of barrel it was aged in. And what could guys care more about than how they look and how they feel and how they smell. And that’s what we help them do better, more conveniently, more affordably.

Furthermore, Dubin explained that guys appreciate a more honest and direct approach. 

“We are making a really big bet on this moment in time where you’ve got a lot of men focused on their grooming and skin care, a growing number every year. And maybe you could say that it’s more of an evolved man that’s thinking about this stuff, but we think that we have this opportunity to convert the guy who is the Pert Plus guy, the Irish Spring guy, the guy who just kind of uses whatever he’s been using and hasn’t been putting a lot of thought into it, we think we can reach that guy and tell him, ‘Hey, you should be investing in your grooming and skin care’.”

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