A Valuation of $1.7 Billion Dollars within 5 Years. How a Men’s Razor Brand Seize the Blank Market.

Dec. 3, 2023

With the gradual enrichment of material life, people are paying more and more attention to their appearance and personal image, which allows the global skin care market to maintain a stable growth trend. Compared with the fierce competition in the women’s care market, the men’s care market is obviously in a relatively blank state.

According to EDITED data, by the end of 2023, the global men’s care market revenue will reach 23 billion U.S. dollars. The prospects are broad but the competition is not yet fierce. For cross-border sellers, this is undoubtedly a blue ocean category. So how can men’s care brands seize the opportunity?

Men’s razor brand Harry’s not only subverted the DTC market, but also reached a valuation of US$1.7 billion in just 5 years. Let’s take a look at how this man’s care brand did it.
Comoany Introduction

Harry’s was founded in 2013 by Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider with the goal of creating a high-quality razor experience without the high costs associated with most existing players in the industry.

(Andy Katz-Mayfield, left, and Jeff Raider, the founders of Harry’s, which sells razors and other personal care products directly to consumers over the internet.Credit…Michael Nagle for The New York Times)
The two founders began a search for the highest quality razor blades on the market, which eventually led them to a 91-year-old manufacturer in Eisfeld, Germany (they eventually purchased the factory outright). The factory, currently staffed by more than 600 German engineers, designers and production workers, is able to deliver the best-in-class products.
Once major business and production plans are launched, a brand and market strategy needs to be developed to lay the foundation for the company’s success. Below, we highlight the key reasons that turned this small startup into an industry giant.

The power of storytelling

Storytelling is an important but often underutilized aspect of marketing, and it has really helped cement Harry’s strong position. Harry’s utilizes two classic storytelling archetypes in its marketing: the “popular prophet” and the “scrappy loser.”

Story prototype 1: The popular prophet
Starting with their About page (“Our Story”), Harry’s positioned themselves as the solution to a problem that’s plagued men for decades: too-expensive razor blades.

(Andy Katz-Mayfield, left, and Jeff Raider, the founders of Harry’s, which sells razors and other personal care products directly to consumers over the internet.Credit…Michael Nagle for The New York Times)

Additionally, they define what they do, who they do it for, and why they do it.

Without their “why,” Harry’s becomes just another “me-too” online retailer hoping to make a quick buck in a lucrative industry. But with it, they represent ordinary people and a cause worth supporting (more on that later). Interestingly, if you look closely enough, you’ll see that Harry’s branding himself as “a popular prophet.”

Put it this way: People know razor blades are expensive. However, few companies address this situation and explicitly mention it in their marketing. Harry’s knows that good marketing is the result of saying something to buyers that reinforces and confirms what they already believe.

So this is an archetype that resonates with the audience on an emotional level. This way, Harry’s was able to get 324 backlinks to its About page:

Story prototype 2: The scrappy loser
When Harry’s launched in 2013, they entered an industry that was highly dominated by top brands, with Gillette having a 66.3% market share at the time:

Everyone loves a good underdog story, and Harry’s capitalized on that fact by establishing himself as the new guy who could take on the giants. In the beginning, Harry’s faced challenges that many considered insurmountable. But Harry’s accepted and assumed this role–a grass that stood up to Gillette, trying to shake the big tree.

We all love stories of heroism, and we especially love rooting for the underdog. They’re regular persons—just like you—and they’re worth investing in. Like many products, razor blades are a commodity that can be purchased cheaply. And, once customers invest in your brand, they stay loyal and are willing to pay a premium.

Experience Officer Recommendation Program

Harry’s success is largely due to their pre-launch referral program. To do this, they launched a mystery-themed marketing campaign. In addition to cryptic marketing, they also offer product incentives to their customers. Their pre-launch webpage was simple yet effective, showing a photo of a razor with the caption “Harry’s is coming.”

(Source:Harry’s official website)

Once users sign up, they are encouraged to tell their friends. They offer a referral program where the more people you refer, the more rewards you get. After 5 referrals you will receive free shaving cream. After 10 times, the handle and blade will be given as a gift. The referral incentives are still going strong, with users receiving a free year’s supply of blades after 50 referrals. This successful program brought Harry’s total email sign-ups to 100,000 in just one week.

“Our campaign philosophy is based on our belief that the strongest and most effective way to introduce our new companies is through solid referrals,” wrote co-founder and CEO Jeff Raider. “Therefore, we focus to create a campaign to help people spread the word to their friends.”


In the early stages before a brand launch, visibility is crucial for the brand. A referral program is a great way to increase word-of-mouth awareness of your product, but the team didn’t stop there. To really reach a wider audience, Harry’s launched a massive campaign into publications, blogs and magazines and tested their product. Authenticity is key here and they are not interested in media sponsorship. The team at Harry’s provides a personalized note for each recipient, which includes individuals from the magazine’s beauty editor to a podcast host. They were able to increase this awareness without spending money on advertising and ended up with organic positive reviews for the product.

This prompted positive reviews from the likes of GQ editors, who gave the podcast hosts glowing reviews. The podcast hosts would organically ask about their razors without the conversation feeling like a paid ad. The main prerequisite for a strong partnership with the Harry’s brand is a mutual appreciation of the product itself, which is more important to them than untrue advertising.

In addition to the mutually beneficial promotional partnership, Harry’s has also benefited significantly from a 2016 retail agreement with Target to sell Harry’s products in stores. As Walmart launched a new website redesign in 2018, they knew they needed fresh new products to appeal to Millennial shoppers…introducing Harry’s. Partnering with Harry’s to initially sell its products in 2,200 Walmart stores in the United States.

Importantly, these large partnerships came several years after the early success of Harry’s. You have to establish yourself as a leader in your field and show enough potential to get the big platforms to invest big money in you, and that’s exactly what Harry’s has done.

Improve conversions

In addition to providing a great shave at a great price, Harry’s also excels at providing a near-perfect user experience. The company offers different options to potential customers in order to acquire them as a new business. Consumer didn’t complete the purchase? They will soon receive a cart abandonment email reminding them to complete their purchase.

Moving on, Harry’s was offering price cuts to buyers who are on the fence. Why? Because they knew they’ve captured the user’s interest (after all, they’ve already checked out). But they also knew something was preventing them from continuing to pay.

What exactly was keeping them from paying? Maybe it’s the pricing. Or most likely, it’s an objection to having to pay a down payment. The move to sell at reduced prices overcomes the primary objection of these hesitant users and assured users that no deposit is required.

But their efforts did’t stop there. Harry’s reduced the initial commitment by offering free trials of the product to end users, thereby providing them with more incentives. If the free trial didn’t work, they also promoted their lowest-cost package for just $5. The price was about 40% of the ordinary package, which was still very attractive to consumers, so it can promote the conversion of the first order.

In this case, offering an alternative, even if it means getting the potential customer to spend less money on their order, is the perfect way to close the deal on purchasing your product. Once the consumer is ready to purchase (based on any options they may have selected from the email), they are presented with an upsell opportunity to try and increase the overall order value.

For additional customization, Harry’s allowed customers to choose their own designated shaving plan as well as handle color during a free trial to make the entire experience uniquely personal.

According to similarweb data, male users of Harry’s official website account for 50.58% and female users account for 49.42%, and their ages are mainly concentrated between 25 and 34 years old. It can be seen that although these young female consumers do not have strong demand for razors, a large part of them are purchased by families or used as gifts.

The gift card launched by Harry’s can help some female consumers who don’t know how to buy quickly complete their shopping. It can also ensure that the gift is in line with the recipient’s intentions, so it can have a positive impact on conversions.

Another big achievement for Harry’s is their hyper-personalized and to-the-point advertising. If the user expresses any type of interest in the company, the ad fully acknowledges their place in the funnel process and attempts to win them over using very direct language.

Creative design in the ad provides additional benefits and illustrates why this interested but not yet activated customer should convert, grabbing their attention through snappy language and offer-based headlines. Similar to cart abandonment email campaigns, these ads also offer users a trial offer that will lead them to purchase the product outright.

Harry’s uses sensory adjectives and future rhythms to guide readers through the experience of using their products from start to finish, followed by a clear call to action to make a purchase.


In addition to Harry’s highly effective referral program, they run very effective personalized targeted advertising and have seen success on social media. With great storytelling, powerful strategy and the ability to build strong relationships, Harry’s sets a great example of how to market a brand without a big team or a bigger budget.

The biggest lesson we can take away from Harry’s is to carefully consider every step of the marketing process. The company doesn’t require a huge team or advertising budget, and with these carefully planned strategies, this new men’s care brand will be able to not only advance in the industry, but also lead it.


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