“Are the blades any good? No, our blades are f**king great.” – Michael Dubin, CEO, Dollar Shave Club
With a simple, but clever and witty marketing techniques, Dollar Shave Club made waves disrupting the traditional way razors were bought and sold. With the launch of its first YouTube video in March of 2012, Dollar Shave Club propelled itself into the limelight to eventually be acquired by Unilever for around a billion dollars.
How did they do it? As Alec Brownstein, Dollar Shave Club’s executive director, stated, they “bit down on a human truth and didn’t let go.” They figured out exactly who their audience is and tailored a message that fed into their audience’s needs. Though there’s quite a broad audience that uses a razor – basically everyone – they focused that audience to the every-day man. The guy who’s straight up, has a witty sense of humor, and doesn’t like to wait around to get what he needs. They catered to every one of those needs and double-downed on them.
Dollar Shave Club didn’t reinvent the wheel with their campaign either. They looked at a situation – buying razors is expensive and generally a pain in the ass – and created a solution that was straight up and to the point. They created a to-your-door service for $3.00 a month, you get four blades, no contracts, no BS. By doing this, they offered a real-life solution to real-life problems. They knew the people they were going after hate going to the store to buy an overpriced razor and created a trendy workaround to that problem.
The start-up success of Dollar Shave Club shows that doing the research to know your audience and tailoring a message to that audience will bring success. Attempting to cater to everyone will only leave your company standing in the crowd with other companies trying to stand out. By following these tips, you can find the best practices to build an audience best fit for your company and tailor a message that makes the most sense to them.
Why Define an Audience?
Defining who your audience is will help you focus not only on creating content for your brand but creating the right content that falls under the scope of the right people. Audience defining really goes hand-in-hand with self-discovery. There’s a popular expression for most new companies – eat your own dog food – which is slang for using your own product. By taking a step back and using your product as a consumer would, you’ll learn more about it and who would most likely use it.
Doing this will also open the door to a few other questions that will help you identify your audience. What age group are you trying to reach? What’s their income? How about their values? Tying back to Dollar Shave Club, they asked these questions and came to the conclusion that the every-day man would be the most likely contender for their blades.
DON’T Appeal to Everyone
One of the biggest mistakes a company makes when trying to create a marketing campaign or find a direction for their brand’s message is attempting to appeal to everyone. Unless you’re an established brand like Walmart or McDonalds, appealing to everyone is the quickest way to fade to obscurity.
In order to appeal to a specific demographic to direct your brand message, you have to do the research. One easy way to start this research and dissect the necessary information on your base is by hosting social media polls. Using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are quick and easy ways to get an audience engaged with you and your brand.
This engagement promotes excitement and an increased trust in your brand which then turns to new and repeat customers. There’s also another positive as well. Polls are equipped with analytical tools that will give information on age, location, profession and much more. Using that data will give you the information needed to know your true audience and customize a message they’re most likely to connect with.
Create Buyer Personas
Creating a buyer persona will represent how different segments of audiences will interact with your brand. By dissecting the information you have from your engagement polls you can create buyer segments and have a solid base on what their buying decisions are, what their motivations and beliefs are, and what their retention might be.
Building a picture of how your audience or potential audiences might interact with your products will allow you to custom-build a message that caters to their needs. An example, one buyer segment might be passionate about supporting their local animal shelters. Knowing this, a campaign is created where for x amount of product sold, x amount is donated to a shelter of your customers choice. Doing this fills the need of their motivations and shows that you are paying attention to them. This builds brand loyalty.
Content is King
The next step to defining your audience is creating an editorial strategy. Just shoving out content with no plan is like setting a boat adrift with no crew or navigation equipment. That boat will end up somewhere. Where, who knows?
To create that crew and provide the navigation set – your brand message – the information provided by user feedback from polls and the data collected from buyer personas need to be meshed to create content that’s meaningful. From those polls, you know your audiences buying behaviors, their beliefs, and morals, as well as their interests.
Creating an editorial strategy that is consistent and full of content that caters to your audience’s interests, will provide a fundamental understanding of your product and your company’s values. Creating this strategy gives an inside look at your company, gives talking points, and, from the data you’ve collected and dissected, is meaningful to your audience.
Unilever’s billion-dollar acquisition of Dollar Shave Club didn’t come from blind luck, it came because Dollar Shave Club created a brand with a distinct humor, culture, and lifestyle. They put the thought into what their audience wanted and double-downed on that want with some creativity and humor.
Still have questions? Schedule a free appointment with us and we’ll go through how to create the right message for you to gain the audience and growth you seek.