The Razor’s Edge: Harrys.com Takes on the Shaving Market
Clifton D. Petty, Kelley Still Nichols
January 1, 2018
Strategy & General Management
Strategy, market disruption, pricing strategy, competitive positioning, process innovation
Business Case Journal
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.