Preview

Dollar Shave Club debuts fragrance in an attempt to differentiate from other digital-first men’s health brands.

What happened

  • Dollar Shave Club, the direct-to-consumer subscription razor brand founded in 2011, is expanding to a new category: fragrance. The product line, Blueprint, is available online only and includes six scents, classified either as “warm” and “fresh” for $50 each.

  • The company has forayed into other product verticals both before and after its 2016 acquisition by Unilever, including wipes in 2013 and oral care in 2017. In addition to its monthly subscription, it now also offers a full-service option, which lets subscribers decide the frequency of shipments and adjust their product assortment based on individual needs.

Why it matters

  • Dollar Shave Club has a slew of competitors in the men’s healthcare and wellness space, including digitally-native brands like Hims and Harry’s, as well as legacy mass retailers. The company made waves when it first debuted its razor subscription program, largely tied to the co-founder’s viral marketing video. As it expands into new product categories, the company is offering a wider set of essentials to its customers to become a one-stop shop for men, but that’s exactly what Hims and Harry’s are attempting to accomplish as well, in addition to creating products for female customers. So far, neither of the other digital brands has launched a fragrance line, which makes it a good choice for DSC, but eventually, more product overlap is inevitable.

  • While Hims and Harry’s look to women to increase their customer base in the face of sky-high valuations, DSC must add new products to keep growing as its main shaving business slows down, both in the face of competition and as customer retention and acquisition declines. DSC looked to its current 4 million subscribers to inform Blueprint (for instance, it found that 76% of members own more than two colognes, which convinced DSC to launch with six scents). But it’s not yet clear whether fragrance will help the company expand its audience moving forward.

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