How the King of Shaves Groomed Me (as a customer)

I had a rather nice customer experience recently on Twitter.

Let me set a scene: I’ve been looking for a new razor to get rid of the fluff from my baby face. I’ve been a Gillette Fusion man for years, but with cartridges now costing about a tenner for just four refills, shaving with them has become an expensive proposition. Looking for an alternative, I happened across King of Shaves’ AZOR razor. At about half the price of the Fusion I thought it was worth a go.

In short, it wasn’t. I’d heard great things about this razor, but two major drawbacks kept me from wanting to use it again. First of all, there’s an unnecessary amount of space between the top of the cartridge and the first blade, making it pretty much impossible to get that bit under your nose effectively (I ended up having to use a spare disposable I had lying about to finish this bit off). Secondly, I felt like I had little control over the razor due to the lightweight plastic the handle is made from, unlike other premium razors which feel solid in the hand. This lack of control resulted in a few nicks, something I’d not done with the Fusion for years.

But this isn’t a blog about the joys of a DGS (that’s Damn Good Shave, for the uninformed – a useful and *entirely necessary* acronym I learned perusing the Badger and Blade forums), or the disappointment caused by anything less than a DGS. Nope, it’s a blog about how Twitter can be an incredible platform for opening communications with your customers and help to turn them into ambassadors for your brand. So lets move swiftly on…

While working a few days ago, I noticed an old colleague of mine, @ChrisCathcart, discussing the “banned” Barbarella X campaign (possibly NSFW link) from King Of Shaves on Twitter. As Chris had mentioned the brand, I took the opportunity to tweet back a little whinge about my recent experience with the Azor.

As it happened Will King, owner and head honcho at King of Shaves, was online at that very moment, and keeping an eye on his tweets. Within minutes I’d had a reply from @KingofShaves (and I choose to trust it *is* actually Will, although a more cynical man might suggest he has staff for that sort of thing) asking if I’d be willing to try out the new model, the Azor:M.

I replied in the positive (although I’ll admit I was a little concerned that I’d be subjecting my face to another shredding). Will simply asked that I follow him back so I could DM my address over, and my new Azor:M arrived just a couple of days later complete with some KOS Alpha shave gel – bonus!

Well, I am happy to report that my search for a cheaper DGS is complete. In developing the Azor:M and it’s “v2″ cartridge KOS have overcome both of my major issues with the previous version; the “M” in “Azor:M” stands for the most noticeable difference – a metal handle that feels much more solid and heavy in the hand, and the new cartridge has its blades nearer to the top, allowing for a much more precise shave, especially for that bit under nose. With no nicks and everything gone, I’ve been left with possibly the closest shave of my life.

But why should you care? As a digital marketing type, why should you care whether my face is baby smooth or looking like I’ve fallen asleep on a cheese grater?

Well, bear in mind that before Will saw my grumblings about his product via Twitter, I was very unlikely to promote the Azor (or anything from the King of Shaves range, for that matter) to anyone I knew. In fact, I’d actively discussed with a few friends just how disappointed I was with the original Azor. We can safely say I wasn’t in a rush to buy any more KOS products, or recommend them to a friend.

In the past, I’d have been pretty much lost to King of Shaves as a customer. The product hadn’t cost me enough or angered me sufficiently to demand a replacement or my money back from the store. I’d just written it off and decided to move on to something else. I certainly wouldn’t have contacted KOS to tell them how I felt, or expected them to contact me to ask. But by simply monitoring Twitter and spending a few minutes to contact me and offer a replacement, they’ve not only turned me into a customer (as I’ll be buying the v2 blades from now on, and the shave gel is nothing less than a revelation), but they’ve also got me wanting to tell others about the product.

We’ve run a number of successful campaigns for our clients at Fluid Creativity, where a giveaway of some sort was used as an incentive for the public to join in. These have been invariably the most successful – from “retweet to win” competitions to free promotional samples included in every order, so long as your product is good then people will love you for giving them a try for free.

Also, as one of the SEO bods around here, the opportunity to use this sort of conversation to build links is just too good to pass up. While it’s near impossible to control who is linking to you and where they might do it from, you can be fairly sure that with talk comes links – real, quality links, the kind of thing Google imagines all links should be, that en masse can help to improve your natural search positions and the amount of traffic you’re receiving from them.

It’s a simple thing, giving samples of your products away to attract attention and good press. There’s nothing new about freebies, but as people put more and more of their lives online (even the really petty stuff, like how they don’t like their new razor), it opens up more and more opportunities to target people with a real need for what you have, rather than those with a penchant for free stuff. These people are far more likely to use and appreciate your product, and may even go on to become evangelists for your brand.

James Chapman
  • Written by on 26th July 2010 at 16:19
  • “James Chapman is an SEO consultant at Fluid Creativity.”
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  • Will, King of Shaves

    Hi, many thanks for posting this, made my day! And yes, I really do tweet as Will King, it’s not someone who does it for me… (despite the time it takes in my somewhat busy day :-)

  • http://blog.pushon.co.uk Psychobel

    Nice case study. And I think I may well try the AzorM myself. Shaving is probably my least favourite activity. Which is why I only shave if I have to. So I want that “DGS” experience when I do.

  • http://twitter.com/KingofShaves Will King

    Hi, many thanks for posting this, made my day! And yes, I really do tweet as Will King, it's not someone who does it for me… (despite the time it takes in my somewhat busy day :-)

  • http://blog.pushon.co.uk Psychobel

    Nice case study. And I think I may well try the AzorM myself. Shaving is probably my least favourite activity. Which is why I only shave if I have to. So I want that “DGS” experience when I do.