Keep It Simple, Stupid! Launches. James Ellington Prepares for Olympics

I’m quietly pleased that –  our online subscription service (SUB) for King of Shaves launched without any drama!  I’m also pleased that we turned it around so quickly.  The impact that the US based Dollar Shave Club had was substantial – not just with their very funny viral video, but “how they went about it” and really getting their service close to their customers.  Hats off.  Not so good for them was the demand spike that knocked out their supply chain for a couple of months – something we could not countenance – so we’ve done a few clever things with our site in the background (thanks Nik!)

In short, is a modern, quick and easy way for us to connect with our customers, in the UK, EU & USA/Canada.  Unlike DSC, who sell generic private label razors, using a 1970’s 2 blade razor as a ‘loss leader’ was not an option for us, as we design, manufacture & sell our own patented & patent pending products.  So, we chose to price our Azor 4 extremely attractively – £3 per month, Azor handle free in the first month, and add £1 for our latest Azor 5 (the handle of which is way heavier and more expensive to manufacture).  We chose to ship 3 cartridges per month (as opposed to 4) feeling that as our cartridges last longer, it seemed silly ‘forcing’ people to change cartridges just because they knew they’d have another shipment coming (reason to cancel).  Finally, we’ve introduced our latest Azor S for Women, which is currently only available online at our Sub.

Although our launch was covered by the Daily Mirror, and by trade magazines, Marketing Week & Marketing, we had a ‘mega’ article lined up, which – I hate to say it – was spiked, due to what I’ll call “intensive lobbying” by one of our nervous competitors (some of whom are calling out how long their cartridges last – which I know for a fact doesn’t stand up to consumer feedback).  So, some things worked out, some things didn’t.  But, the fact they were lobbying, means they’re nervous.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be adding more products to the site – we’ve had numerous requests for our shaving oils – which we should be able to ship easily through the post – sending our AlphaGels is more problematic, due to their weight, bulk & cost.  But, of course these are available from retailers, or our conventional online store.

Right now, our ‘Join our Sub’ video has had a fraction of the views of Dollar Shave – we chose not to use casual blasphemy to promote it (did include the obligatory social media bear though) but a few of our fans have posted their own in response, and I have my own ideas about viralising our offering, but “all in good time”.

Whilst that’s been going on, James Ellington – the Olympic Athlete we ‘shaved’ from eBay has returned from training in the USA, and is now in the build up to the qualification trials for the games.  He’s running well, is quietly confident, and has been picking up some great coverage.  Right now, all James needs to do is concentrate on an objective he’s been aiming for all his life, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to give him a shot at the ‘Run of a Lifetime’.

Watch this space for details of our advertising campaign that will break in the run up to London 2012, and of course – more about what we’re up to at King of Shaves as we prepare (as Marketing Week put it) to launch “the iPhone of razors”.

Have a great bank holiday, one and all.  Wrap up!