Have you seen the quirky, funny, bathroom humor tinged ads for the Dollar Shave Club? If not, you’ve missed out on some astounding marketing and branding efforts. You could say that they’ve been lucky, but it’s much more than that – their branding is unconventional, inspired and quite intentional. And best of all, it’s been incredibly effective.

If you don’t know about the DSC, here’s what they’ve done. They launched a subscription service for razors, razor blades and other men’s grooming products and, with the help of some clever videos that went wildly viral, had 12,000 sign-ups within the first two days in business and a year later was up to 330,000 subscribers.

Here’s a look at some of their genius branding techniques:

  • Videos and ads heavily laced with bathroom humor – apt since that’s where all of their products are intended to be used
  • Videos and ads laced with profanity and macho topics – on the money since their target demographic is dudes
  • Referring to their program as a membership rather than a subscription service to give it a bro club feeling
  • Offering their expanded product lines only to members
  • Heavy use of social media with content created for each channel from tweets to Instagram to videos, far more than just YouTube
  • Constant interactivity with customers across all social media channels with humor and an eye on excellent customer service


Not everyone can do what the DSC dude has done

Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dublin stars in many of these videos. Many business owners aren’t up to this sort of front-line marketing presence, but Dublin studied improv comedy at the renowned Upright Citizens Brigade. He has years of experience creating video content for companies like Nike and Nintendo.

In short, he already had experience when he started his own company and knew what he wanted to accomplish with his marketing efforts. What’s more, he wasn’t constrained by the boundaries of proprietary that larger corporations were so he could feel free to use the techniques he felt would work best.

What you can learn from the DSC dude

These are not techniques that will work for most companies. For instance, toilet humor won’t sell your catering or network consulting services, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons to be learned that you can apply to your own branding and marketing efforts.

  • First is to know your audience. Dublin well knows the kind of guys that buy his goods and you should know your customers that intimately as well. Know their pain points, what makes them tick, what they need, how much they’re willing to pay for it and how they want it delivered.
  • Second is to know the language of your audience. Dublin’s irreverent humor is the dialect of his demographic. You must know yours and speak to them using the terminology, slang and tone that will engage them and encourage them to trust you and transact with you.
  • Third is to know the channels they prefer. Not every marketing channel may be a fit for your target demo. You must know where they are looking to make sure your messaging is present and so you don’t waste time and money delivering where there is no audience.
  • Fourth is to know your brand vision. Your company will be branded, if not by you, by others. By taking control and architecting it from the get-go, you drive that branding and control it. Dublin wanted a boy’s club vibe and created it. Know what you want and create it.

If you’re looking to take your branding efforts to the next level, Fingerprint Marketing is ready to show you what’s possible. Contact us now for a free consultation to find out how our award-winning team can supercharge your marketing and deliver the results you need.