Warby Parker, the e-seller of cheap eyeglasses and shades, exploded from a fledgling startup a popular consumer brand with millions of dollars in venture funding. With that experience under his belt, co-founder Jeff Raider is turning his focus to the launch of a new consumer brand aimed at the hipster set.
Warby Parker Founder Trades Retro Eyeglasses for Shaving Supplies
Later this week, Mr. Raider -- who is partnering with Andy Katz-Mayfield, a former NBA marketer and consultant at Bain -- is officially launching Harry's, a web-based venture that hawks all manner of shaving supplies, such as shave cream, razor handles, blades, and shaving kits. It's a space that seems suddenly attractive to startups, particularly in the subscription commerce space, where Harry's is entering the fray amid more established players such as Dollar Shave Club, Get Fresh Kit and ScrubBox.
What could help propel this one forward is the help of a popular agency that works with big brands. Harry's has hired indie shop Droga5, whose roster of clients includes Spotify, Coca-Cola, Newcastle, Kraft and Puma.
"Droga5 does amazing work for a number of great brands, and we can't wait to show the world what we've been working on together," Mr. Raider, whose new title is co-founder and co-CEO of Harry's, told Ad Age in a statement. Mr. Raider and the agency wouldn't comment further but noted that the partnership would entail more than just traditional print or TV ads.
With the hire of the indie hotshop, Mr. Raider --one of a group of Wharton grads who founded WarbyParker and there is described as "the spiritual leader"-- seems to be baking marketing into the program faster than he did at Warby Parker, which spent a few years growing organically and via word-of-mouth before starting to formally advertise about six months ago. His first brand, which aims to create designer-quality eyewear at low prices, has only just started dabbling with TV ads, which are created by indie shop Partners & Spade.
Harry's in contrast is using word of mouth and other tactics that will be rolled out by Droga5. Later this week, Harry's will replace its prelaunch site, which features a large wooly mammoth logo, with a permanent website to sell its shaving wares.
So why the name Harry's? One hint lies in the name of the initial set of products noted on the site. They are nods to the famous Harrys of our time, as evidenced by its "Truman Handle" and the "Winston Shave Set", which pay homage to the president and famed jeweler, respectively.