The Razor’s Edge: Harrys.com Takes on the Shaving Market
For nearly a century, the men’s shaving products market was dominated by two brands-Gillette and Schick. Harrys.com and Dollar Shave Club (DSC) disrupted this quiet market in 2011. Using humorous marketing and a direct-to-consumer subscription model of distribution, DSC grew to a $200 million company in five years. Harrys.com was launched soon after and had over 100,000 subscribers within their first year. Harrys.com founders had experience building a direct-to-consumer eyewear brand and built on this experience to position Harrys.com in the men’s shaving market. Purchase of a German blade factory gave the company a solid foundation for defining the brand by quality. However, Unilever, a major global company with personal brands like Axe, acquired fellow “disruptor” DSC. The Harrys.com CEO faced several options such as competing as the remaining independent company or seeking a favorable acquisition.
- Identify disruption in an established industry caused by a process innovation.
- Evaluate the impact of a new entrant in a consolidated industry.
- Discuss the strategic tradeoffs of a focus cost leadership strategy based on subscription service.
- Evaluate the competitive positioning of incumbent firms (Gillette and Schick), new entrant through acquisition (Unilever-DSC), and remaining disruptor/innovator (Harry’s.com)