Once upon a time, a little brand called Warby Parker rocked the universe when they started doing the unthinkable: offering prescription eyeglasses at bargain prices over the internet. In stark contrast to the "traditional" model (pay exorbitant retail prices at brick-and-mortar shops), they flipped the model on its head. No stores. No pushy salespeople. No rush. Want to take your time and browse around online? No problem. Want to take the glasses home and try them out for a week? Go for it.
A few short years later, pretty much everyone is sporting at least one pair of Warby Parkers. For all the naysayers who said it couldn't be done, Warby did it. And they did it awesome.
Nobody will deny that stylish, affordable glasses are a good thing. But the secret sauce to WP's success is that they saw a need -- and they went after it. They saw a hole in the traditional model -- and they moved to fill it. To quote a wise book, when everyone else zigged, they zagged.
In his article, "The Law of the Opposite," Michael Farrell says:
In strength there is weakness. Wherever the leader is strong, there is an opportunity for a would-be No 2 to turn the tables.
Much like a wrestler uses his opponent's strength against him, a company should leverage the leader's strength into a weakness.
If you want to establish a firm foothold on the second rung of the ladder, study the company above you. Where is it strong? And how do you turn that strength into a weakness?
You must discover the essence of the leader and then present the prospect with the opposite. In other words, don't try to be better, try to be different. It is often the upstart versus the old reliable.
Everyone under the sun has heard of Dollar Shave Club at this point. (If you haven't, rally your fingers and check out their video below.) The premise is simple: for a low subscription fee, you receive quality disposable razors/blades in the mail each month.
With 17 million Youtube views, hundreds of thousands of followers on social and an army of rabid fans, I'd say its working for them.
Join us in rebellion against the cheap-as-possible, throwaway shaving products of Internet warehouse clubs. Return to the days of a shaving ritual to be relished, not endured, with the finest collection of shave products ever assembled into a single package.
It appears the gauntlet has been thrown down.