Direct-to-consumer (DTC) and startup brands have been eating away at the margins of long-established legacy brands for years. From belts to booze to Keto snacks, no industry sector is safe from the onslaught, which is just beginning.
Perhaps the brand that really made marketers take notice of this trend was Dollar Shave Club. Launched in 2011, it quickly captured seven percent of the U.S. shaving market and 30 percent of U.S. shaving e-commerce sales by 2016, according to CB Insights.
Dollar Shave Club, a startup subscription razor company, went head-to-head against CPG powerhouse Procter & Gamble (P&G, owner of Gillette), one of the largest CPG companies in the world, and arguably won. In 2016, it was acquired by P&G competitor Unilever for $1 billion. Just three years later, another shaving startup, Harry's, disrupted the industry and was acquired by Edgewell Personal Care, the owner of Schick and other brands, for $1.37 billion.