If You Can’t Beat Them, Buy Them:
Unilever is purchasing Dollar Shave Club, a five-year-old start-up for men’s shaving and grooming products. The online business founded in 2011 by Mark Levine and Michael Dubin in order to beat the high costs of razors. The company was able to disrupt the industry through its subscription based platform for ordering shaving products at a cheaper cost than purchasing supplies from a brick and mortar store.
The leading brand that dominated the industry, Gillette, had Procter & Gamble paying approximately $57 billion in advertising and shelf space. The Dollar Shave Club posted a non-comical advertisement on Youtube in 2012, and within 24 hours the company had over 12,000 orders. The advertisement received over 20 million views and the company ended up generating over $240 million in revenue. In addition to their success, the company also raised about $160 million in venture capital and capturing about 8% market share in a few short years.
The Dollar Shave Club has a lean startup focus that enabled it to compete alongside such a gargantuan company like Gillette – which can be inferred that technological disruption is able to affect a wide spectrum of industries, if not all.