🧼How Dr. Squatch built a brand personality to get closer to their customers?
March 11, 2023
30 mins read

🧼How Dr. Squatch built a brand personality to get closer to their customers?

Hello Hello Hello 👋

Welcome to the very first edition of Closer to Customers. We are so glad to have you all here.

If you were too excited to subscribe to this newsletter, here is what it is going to be about:


Yes, stories.

We mean not any stories but stories of how your favorite DTC e-commerce brands became a success by cracking the code of getting closer to their customers.

In this fortnight’s edition, we will be covering how the ever-manly and funny Dr. Squatch gets closer to its customers!

But how did it all start?

Jack Haldrup - The mind behind Dr. Squatch

Jack Haldrup, the founder of Dr. Squatch, faced a condition called Psoriasis, a skin disease marked by red, itchy, scaly patches. The typical soaps available in the market aggravated this skin edition. To avoid it, Jack used to go to the farmer’s market to get natural, handmade soaps for himself.

Until it hit him - Couldn’t there be more people like me who need a natural soap?

And folks, this is how Dr. Squatch was born!

The timeline of growth 🚀

2013 to 2017 - Road to becoming a profitable small business

  • Dr. Squatch started by making Facebook ads their primary acquisition channel and almost tripled their sales achieving profitability instantly by ensuring they always kept their overheads low.
  • They started a subscription model that played a major role in their profitability. Nobody had heard of a subscription model for soaps and shampoos in 2014. Had you? But Jack knew early enough that retention is the holy grail to ensure profitability and sustainability (Be like Jack, folks).

2017 - Inflection Point

  • In 2017, Dr. Squatch partnered with Raindrop Marketing, a branding agency based out of San Diego.
  • Raindrop came on board and started thinking in one direction: How do we get men to care about natural soap?
  • They dug into the brand and its customers to identify the personality and messaging and ensure both are aligned with the mission of conquering the men’s bathroom 😄

💡 Raindrop changed the website, social ads, product images, and also Dr. Squatch’s email communications. And then they dropped a video.
120 million views
And more than $100,000,000 in sales
That’s 100. Ducking. Million!

Post 2017 - Journey to Scale

  • Dr. Squatch increased its sales by thirtyfold after parenting with Raindrop.
  • Their viral video and ads helped them raise $1.3 million in seed funding at a valuation of $4.3 million in 2019.
  • In 2021, Dr. Squatch also went offline by partnering with Walmart to sell their soap and shower products.
  • They are now quoted to be a $100 million business. Isn’t that a dream?

Care for a meme break? 😄

You thought we were going to share any other meme than Dr. Squatch? 😄

So how the hell did Dr. Squatch get closer to its customers and become a 9 figure business?

Well, they focused on four pillars:

  1. Targeting
  2. Messaging
  3. Ads
  4. Social Media

Let’s break them down further.

1. Targeting

Dr. Squatch catered to a market that was not addressed before. Heck, we would even go so far as to say that the market didn’t even exist.

Bigger soap players like P&G, and Unilever majorly focused on women for marketing their soaps. They knew that women were usually the demographic that made the decision of buying soaps for the household. So why do they even target men?

Dr. Squatch grabbed this opportunity and built their marketing campaigns around men and explained why they can’t use the same soap that their Mama bought for them.

💡 Lesson for the DTC founder: The gold is in the niche.

2. Messaging

Once Dr. Squatch had boiled down on their target audience, they deep dived into their needs and desires.

What was something that these men were not doing right?

How can they be better men?

💡 Dr. Squatch had to ensure that they bring the true, real men out of their cocoons.

This led them to position their product as a soap for the manly chops-his-own-firewood male, who wants natural soaps but doesn’t want to smell like lavender and patchouli.

And they didn’t stop there. They communicated this message across all their marketing communications.

Website? Check

Emails? There

Socials? Hell yeah

Ads? Ofcourse!

Their about us page for instance is a perfect example of storytelling. They are not just connecting with their audience but also building a community of men who are sick of using flowery soaps and want to smell like men.

And they have spread this message across their homepage and product descriptions as well.

3. Ads

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that ads have been the most important channel for Dr. Squatch. Ever since its inception, Dr. Squatch has always focused on ads.

But since their partnership with Raindrop, they have become the master of video ads.

💡 Their video ads are a perfect marriage of entertainment and education.

And dare I say, they start with great hooks. How often do you come across a video that starts with “Your soap is shit!

And it's not just the hook. Even the language they use in their videos resonates closely with their target audience and is picked up from their day-to-day communications.

This is relatability done right!

Source: kickstartsidehustle.com

Once they were able to crack their video ads, they also repurposed them in many ways across socials which added to it getting more viral. They also managed to get a slot in Superbowl in 2021, which captured more attention and raked in more sales, and also made them more memorable.

4. Social Media

Dr. Squatch had cracked the secret of making effective and viral video ads, but virality doesn’t last unless repurposed and redistributed.

Ever since its success with video ads, Dr. Squatch has been repurposing its narrative and building the same messaging with the same personality across all its socials.

They didn't fiddle a lot with their videos and mostly used the same people, playing the same characters, in usually the same setup. This helped them build on the familiarity they had first developed with their audience.

💡 They also created an extension of their personality by creating memes around their videos or around their soap and made their audience come back to them to not just buy but also to get entertained.

Don’t trust us? They have got a following of more than 720 thousand people across Instagram and Twitter.

Caption: Did anybody observe the comments? People are requesting new flavors over there.

Lessons learned 🤓

Dr. Squatch has been successfully creating a halo effect around their brand using humor. Their brand personality of being manly, but funny is continuously attracting their audience towards them.

The liking towards their ads and content is also driving their audience to purchase their product.

💡 One of the top two or three things is I bought it because I loved the video that I saw on YouTube or Facebook, which is a funny reason to buy a product if you really think about it.

- A happy Dr. Squatch customer

The humor they use in their videos and social media is making them appear more human which is further helping them connect with their customers. The positive emotions associated with the brand are helping them get more buyers and fans that keep coming back to them.

Dr. Squatch is a great example for social media managers to prove the point that engagement drives sales 😀

Learnings from the Founder

In an interview with Shopify, Jack Haldrup shared his two recommendations for new e-commerce entrepreneurs:

  1. Get your customers to sell more products for you
    They have been doing it with customer reviews being showcased on their website and shared across their socials. But a referral program that rewards customers for getting new ones is also a great way.
  2. Repurpose income streams and price points
    Soap is an inexpensive thing that is unlikely to provide any margins to them unless they are selling it in huge quantities. To diversify their risk, Dr. Squatch also started selling value adds like soap covers and gift boxes. Additionally, their soapscription service also helps them have clarity on their cash flow.

And folks, that’s how Dr. Squatch got closer to their customers and became a 9-figure brand.

What was your key learning from Dr. Squatch? Share it on LinkedIn or Twitter and tag us to get an exclusive invite to our community of e-commerce founders and marketers.

Before you go

We recently did an AMA with Jamie Roller, Sr. Marketplace Manager, Growth Channels at Dr. Squatch. Jamie had some golden nuggets to share about growing a DTC brand.

The AMA was exclusively shared in our DTC drive community. To ensure you don’t miss more such AMAs, join the community right now by hitting the button below.

Join DTC Drive

That’s all for today folks.

I hope you’ll enjoyed reading the very first edition of Closer to Customers. If you’ll got any feedback or suggestions regarding the newsletter, please share them with us by replying to this email.

And also let us know what challenges you are facing in getting closer to your customers.

Let those replies come!

Until next time,

Adios! 🤝

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