How Harry’s Is Claiming Space for Men’s Care

‘We decided to step in and disrupt an outdated industry by prioritizing men’s needs first.’

harrys shave founder andy mobile
Courtesy of Harry's

There’s a subscription for everything: dog treats, contact lenses and even misshapen produce. But what happens when a direct-to-consumer service comes full circle and debuts in stores? Harry’s, a startup based in New York and Eisfeld, Germany, used to sell its men’s shaving equipment and skin care products exclusively online.

But now, after attracting 10 million customers since its launch in 2013, the company is reaching consumers in stores too. Founded by Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider, the omnichannel label prioritizes men’s care with partnerships like a just-launched detoxifying face mask with Heyday, featured in our article “Why Taking Care of Your Skin Is Easier Than You Thought.”

Ahead, find our Q&A with co-CEO Katz-Mayfield on the collaboration, the brand’s evolution and what’s next.

As movers and shakers of men’s care, what do you predict for the future of the industry?

Andy Katz-Mayfield: Brands have long been underestimating men’s care needs in almost every category, including body and skin care. We decided to step in and disrupt an outdated industry by prioritizing men’s needs first.

We’re going to continue seeing this cycle of brand disruption across every CPG [consumer packed goods] category, with customer-centric brands rising to the top. There are still so many traditional brands that haven’t changed to reflect what today’s consumers actually want.

How has the industry changed since you launched Harry’s?

Katz-Mayfield: Since we launched, there’s a desire for more optionality when it comes to men’s personal care and less pressure to be “clean shaven.” (Editor's note: Check out this tell-all about facial hair.) We’re supporting guys wherever they need us—not limited to the body and skin care spaces. We’ve also seen traditional brands underestimate guys and deliver products that don’t meet their needs. We know that guys actually care a great deal about having quality products that deliver an amazing experience, and we’re stepping in to fill that gap.

harrys shave founder andy
Courtesy of Harry's

What is the most challenging aspect of helming a direct-to-consumer company? The most surprising? The most rewarding?

Katz-Mayfield: One of the most surprising things after launching online was the demand from our customers to shop our products in store. To be able to reach as many guys as possible and be where our customers want us, we launched in Target and later in Walmart.

The challenge of transitioning from direct-to-consumer to an omnichannel brand is keeping the customer experience as consistent as possible across channels. It’s rewarding to see our brand come to life in physical retail and resonate with guys in the same way that it does on the Harry’s website. Maintaining the look and feel of shopping both online and in store, without compromising on shopping experience for customers, has always been super important to us.

How did your partnership with Heyday come about? How did you land on a detoxifying face mask?

Katz-Mayfield: We know, through research and conversations with our customers, that guys care about their skin a lot; however, few brands really engage with them in the skin care category. We have the expertise and research and development team to make our own skin care products, and we do make some. For our first mask, we wanted to work with a partner who physically deals with men’s skin day in and day out. Heyday’s facials and skin care consultations are highly personalized, and men make up a significant portion of their client base, so they felt like a natural fit. The detoxifying face mask is a product that guys who are highly engaged in skin care will love, and that guys who are less familiar with face masks and skin care might feel compelled to try.  

How do you acquire new customers?

Katz-Mayfield: In all our communications with current and future customers, we’re focused on providing a more nuanced, realistic depiction of everyday guys that streamlines the oftentimes cluttered men’s care shopping experience through a simple, easy-to-navigate selection of products that work hard and are made with integrity.

What advice do you have for someone looking to get into the direct-to-consumer space?

Katz-Mayfield: The benefit of launching direct to consumer is being able to maintain a clear line of communication with your customers and getting to know them from day one. By keeping that direct line of communication, you’re able to use customer feedback to help inform next moves and shape future launches for the brand.

As we’ve expanded, we’ve also found that being honest and consistent about pricing across all channels—whether you’re shopping Harry’s online or in a major retailer—has been key to solidifying consumer trust.

Read more: Why Taking Care of Your Skin Is Easier Than You Thought

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