The Top 5 Subscription Box Companies 
Apr 09, 2019
Subscription boxes are really big business now and at the root of their success is marketing know-how.
Over the last decade or so, the simple concept of having a small box of products delivered to your door once a month has really taken off. There is quite literally a box out there for everyone and as specialists in marketing we’re fascinated by this concept and the way it has developed so fast.
In this blog post we’re going to check out five interesting examples — some you’ll have heard of and some you probably won’t...! We’ll look at this from a marketing perspective to try and understand these companies and their success.
Let’s start with the big bucks...
1. Dollar Shave Club - Razors and Shaving kit
This gets the number one spot because there’s something so wonderfully simple about it. Dollar Shave Club brings together the convenience of internet shopping with the meeting of a very basic need. Their package is, in essence, razors and shaving cream delivered to your door once a month. Of course, there are all sorts of extras that can be included too, but really that’s pretty much it!
So, how it is so successful…?
The point is that it’s cheaper and more convenient than going to the supermarket and buying the big brands. It took off in 2011 and was snatched up by Unilever in 2016 for $1 billion.
The great element in this success story is inspired marketing. This brand made highly intelligent use of YouTube and was well ahead of the curve in utilising YouTuber’s fan-bases to promote the product instead of relying on more traditional forms of communication. In fact, in 2012 their video went viral and created so much demand for the product that it totally exceeded the company’s capacity.
Dollar Shave Club shows how expert marketing can turn something as simple as a safety razor into a one-billion dollar business.
2. Birchbox - Beauty Sampler
Birchbox is similar to Dollar Shave Club, but rather than providing razors and shaving cream, this company delivers a monthly selection of miniature beauty products. They led the trend for subscription boxes from their launch back in 2010.
So, what’s the great appeal?
Well, the advantage of using this service is that you get to sample a lot of different products. That might not seem all that ground-breaking but it actually shows brilliant understanding of the market.
When you consider the nature of the cosmetics market, and think about the overwhelming array of products available, and then factor in how personal cosmetics are — what works for one person’s skin and complexion won’t necessarily work in the same way for another’s—you understand why it’s a really great concept from the customer’s perspective.
The cosmetics companies like it too, because customers buy full-size versions of the products they like once they’re had the opportunity to try them.
3. Bright Cellars - Wines of the World
This one is for the regular wine drinkers and is known as the most popular wine-related subscription box.
It works better than shopping at the supermarket or off-licence because the wine selection can be tailored to your personal taste — like having a personal shopper. Apart from the convenience, subscribing to Bright Cellar makes wine into a hobby as you can learn about what you’re drinking, its provenance, its character and so on rather than just quaffing it back!
The company shows good market-awareness by tapping into the developing taste for wines from all over the world, and the continuing general interest in wine culture.
4. BattleBox - Survival Equipment
Now we come to the more unconventional subscription boxes…. At number four we have Battlbox — a company that delivers survival and tactical gear.
Clearly perceiving that in our current political climate there’s a burgeoning market for this sort of equipment, Battlbox provides a fascinating range of what are pretty much big boys’ toys. Think walkie-talkies, Swiss Army knives, axes, entrenching tools, compasses, binoculars and camping gear for extreme conditions.
Box of Shadows - Pagan Kit!
Our last choice is, believe it or not, a monthly delivery of supplies for new age pagans! The brand is proud to explain that it’s “for pagans, by pagans”. Along with scented candles, herbs and spices it’s hard to know what the boxes actually contain as the “What’s Inside” section of the website is highly secretive and we haven’t ventured to order one… yet! However, with boxes ranging from $24.99 – $44.99 per month, whatever this is, it’s not cheap!
On a more serious note, we wanted to include this not only for the humour but because it shows the extraordinary diversity that’s now out there with subscription boxes. It illustrates perfectly that there’s a market for everything and that if you can just get your marketing technique right, with the appropriate insights and a good understanding of the best ways to approach different customers, then you can sell almost anything successfully. Now that’s the kind of magic that we specialise in!
Get in touch with us here at Creative Marketing Services for expert marketing solutions for 2019. You can call us on 0113 287 7973. And don’t forget to bookmark this blog for our regular digital marketing insights.