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What do TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker, Dollar Shave
Club, Bonobos, Casper, Poshmark, MeUndies, Birchbox,
The Honest Company, Everlane, and others like them
share in common? Each in its own right represents a
new breed of bold consumer product start-ups that
opened new markets and opportunities. As born-digi-
tal companies, these start-ups can focus on developing
new product, service, and brand models from scratch
without the legacy shackles that govern business
as usual and traditional commerce. These consum-
er-product darlings developed creative and compelling
ways to cultivate new customer relationships through
innovative and more personal, business-service models.
Connected consumers instantly gravitated toward
their relatable mission and purpose, and also cleverly
targeted product sets, and mobile-first designed apps.
News media attention turned them into rock stars. Even
leading e-commerce and global consumer packaged
goods (CPG) companies were forced to take notice.
For example, Dollar Shave Club took on industry
giants Schick and Gillette with a creative, modern
commerce business model. In just four years, Dollar
Shave Club disrupted the traditional shaving market
by building a massive brand and strong relationships
with connected customers. The company’s hilarious
and unconventional promotional video and YouTube
marketing strategy was not only edgy, but also
incredibly effective in reaching its target audience.
Dollar Shave Club’s use of technology is representative
of a new genre of digital-first business models, focused
services and low prices. But, what is really most important
is that, unlike Gillette and Schick, Dollar Shave Club really
understood its targeted connected consumer market and
curated relevant messages in key channels designed to
keep them engaged. For example, with each blade delivery,
customers get a copy of Bathroom Minutes magazine. It’s
designed to resemble the traditional newspaper comics
and includes shaving and life tips and questions and
answers. The service blends good products, convenient
services, and affordable (cheap) prices. The entertain-
ing content delivered in contextually relevant media
helped the company rise out of nowhere to generating
$150 million in revenue in 2015. A year later, Unilever
bought Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion, an estimated
CHAPTER 1 The New Disruptors and the Rise of Modern Commerce
five times more than expected revenue(2)
—a testament to
the start-up’s innovative marketing and the importance
of connected consumers to the future of business.
Dollar Shave Club is just one representative of emergent
brands that understand connected customers and
up-end models of rival traditional players. Other
innovative start-ups such as Warby Parker, Bonobos,
Casper, Poshmark, MeUndies, Birchbox, and Stitch
Fix are building new brands and business models,
which are already generating hundreds of millions
in revenue at the expense of traditional retailers. In
another recent acquisition, Hudson’s Bay Co., owners
of Saks Fifth Avenue, also purchased Gilt Groupe for
$250 million(3)
. Consumer values and new competi-
tion are moving too fast for laggard brands. As a result,
mergers and acquisitions are at an all-time high(4)

Publié dans : Marketing
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