Seeing Michael Durbin of Dollar Shave Club present at this year’s Montgomery Technology Conference was a treat, not only because he lives up in part to the character portrayed in the well-known ad with nine million views on YouTube, but because it’s clear this startup CEO is no pushover when it comes to branding, positioning and messaging. It was one year ago to the day when Mike Durbin presented at Montgomery and told the story of his startup’s launch and its now widely viewed video.
Conceived in December of 2010 and officially founded in April 2011, Durbin and his co-founder, Mark Levine, launched the company ten months later after having invested $4,500 and an awful lot of sweat equity and creative capital in the video you see below. But the huge success of the video is not what impresses the most – it’s Mike’s solid commitment to the Dollar Shave Club brand and his strategy for brand communications. It has been one whole year since the company posted its launch video — they have not made a single additional video since then.
While the company has the benefit of a successful viral video to its credit, the patience and measured response to that success is remarkable. At the conference, Mike specifically spoke about the company’s commitment to build an enduring brand and called into question the brand communications strategies of startups that “try too hard to grab the mic too often.” He underscored a similar point in an interview with Fast Company some months ago: “The world is filled with bad commercials and people who are marketing too hard,” he said. We couldn’t agree more.