The King of Shaves Subs scheme launches this month and offers men three razor cartridges each month for £3, including postage and packaging. King says the initiative is modelled on the Dollar Shave scheme launched in the US last year by another company offering a similar monthly subscription charge.
It hopes to take on Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand by going straight to the consumer.
Will King, founder and King of Shaves CEO, says that while the direct selling subscription model offers a new revenue stream, it is not designed to be a major selling channel.
Speaking to Marketing Week, King says: “Everyone knows shaving is expensive and the UK is in a bad place [economically]. We’re shouldering a lot of the costs and not getting rich from the subscription model, it’s a brand connection thing … it will never be 99% of our sales but maybe 500-1000 subscriptions a month.”
The subscription model could potentially be rolled out to other products in the King of Shaves range such as shaving oils.
The brand will launch an email marketing and social media campaign to promote the subscription service as well as press advertising starring its brand ambassador and Team GB Olympic hopeful James Ellington (pictured).
King hopes the partnership with Ellington will take the brand into the ‘high performance’ space ahead of the launch of its high performance razor product next year.
The brand is planning to launch its high performance razor product, which king describes as the ‘iPhone 4 of shaving’, next year and plans to ramp up marketing activity around the launch with its first multimillion pound ad spend.
The activity around the subscription model is a final push to gain traction with consumers in 2012 ahead of the launch next year, according to King.
He says: “If we don’t embrace new sales channels and ways of doing business other people will, so it’s important for us.”
King of Shaves brought in advisors Alpha Advisory PTE last year to handle a potential sale of the company.