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Dollar Shave Club: Disrupting the Shaving Industry

By Nader Tavassoli, Karin Kollenz-Quétard, Jamie Anderson


The case describes how Dollar Shave Club proved to be a disruptive force in the shaving industry, one dominated by Gillette for over a Century. It did so without a single patent to its name, and with a direct-to-consumer subscription and a content-based customer engagement model that was new to the shaving industry, but not to consumer products at large (e.g., Nespresso and Red Bull, respectively). The case demonstrates the disruptive power of a digital platform model, and highlights how new marketing capabilities can disrupt traditional channels. It challenges P&G owned Gillette to formulate a strategic response in light of Unilever’s threat to acquire the upstart business. The case provides online links to a rich set of free videos that include a CEO interview, competitive advertising, and analyst commentary.

Learning objectives

  1. How to respond to disruptive business model innovation.
  2. How to engage consumers through digital marketing innovation, in particular, content-based marketing.
  3. How to manage dual business models and manage channel conflict.


Publication Date: July 2018
LBS Case Code: CS-18-017
Subjects: , ,
Pages: 12
Format: pdf