“We sure as hell won’t be sending you any f***ing razor blades,” a man with a full, voluminous beard tells viewers of the first viral video for Dollar Beard Club.
He then goes on to explain that for a dollar a month, subscribers can get beard oil and other beard care essentials delivered directly to their doorsteps.
The company started as a parody of Dollar Shave Club, a similar subscription service for razors. But it soon grew into an internet marketing sensation in its own right.
“The Dollar Beard Club actually came about because it was our philosophy on life in general, and translated into a business,” says Alex Brown, one of the business’ cofounders. “We grew our beards because it represented confidence, not caring what others think about you and doing business on our terms.”
Brown and his colleagues, Chris Stoikos and Mike D’Agostini, were handling marketing and social media for other companies when the idea for Dollar Beard Club came their way in 2015. After receiving over 2 million YouTube views on their first video alone, the entrepreneurs knew they were on to something. And those views have translated to subscriptions.
“Social media marketing and viral videos drive the vast majority of our customer acquisition, and go hand in hand,” Brown says. “Because we create such great content ,we find that our cost per acquisition is quite low when driving traffic to acquire customers. We focus on building a community and in creating great content, which creates a massive sense of brand loyalty, and our sales happen as a direct result of this focus.”
Now, the same guys behind Dollar Beard Club are turning heads for an entirely different product: CoolBox, an updated tool box for the modern age that includes a whiteboard, audio equipment and a bottle opener. CoolBox recently earned an investment from the pros on Shark Tank, in an episode that aired earlier this month.
“ We didn’t have any particular strategy going in, to be honest,” Brown says of the Shark Tank experience. “It was more that we knew where we were going and what we needed to do to get there. That kind of attitude caught the attention of the sharks in a major way.”
In a turn of events Brown calls “serendipitous,” the first television commercial for Dollar Beard Club ran during the Shark Tank episode.
Brown, Stoikos, D’Agostini and their collaborators plan to continue developing new products, and to find interesting new ways to market them.
“ We want to be an intersection of content and commerce,” says Brown, “with our core business in beard products, but creating customized content and product offerings for various customer segments and in various industries. Because we have created a community and not just a customer list, the possibilities of where we can take the business are unreal.”