Welcome To The Club

By: Richard Berger

Much has been made lately of the emergence of subscription services in the marketplace. From Netflix to Birchbox to Trunk Club, these services have become ubiquitous. Some argue that this is just a passing fad, but with Unilever’s recent $1 billion acquisition of Dollar Shave Club, it’s clear this subscription economy is here to stay.

  • Dollar Shave Club’s acquisition has spawned countless think pieces about subscriber services and what they mean for traditional companies. In this New York Times piece, the author writes that “no company is safe from the creative destruction brought by technological change.” He predicts that future companies will be smaller and leaner, unlike the huge corporations of the past. In a follow up piece, the Times explores how companies like Dollar Shave Club are reshaping the retail landscape.
  • Business Insider breaks down the three criteria that a company will have to meet to become the next Dollar Shave Club.
  • In a personal blog post, David Pakman, one of the first investors in Dollar Shave Club, reveals the strategy that guided him to invest in the company and the criteria that need to be met for him to consider an investment in a subscription service.
  • A panel composed of three ecommerce experts breaks down the pros and cons of the subscription business model in this Q&A. They cover the challenge of maintaining subscribers and the difficulty a new service has of cutting through the increasingly-crowded subscription marketplace.
  • Noted expert on the topic Robbie Kellman Baxter, author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue, was recently featured in Harvard Business Review discussing the kinds of companies the subscription model works for and those it doesn’t.