Drybar

Case Study Trailer

Drybar: No Cuts. No Color. Just Blowouts!

Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, KOO, Oh Young

Summary:

Drybar was launched in 2010 with the tagline “No cuts. No color. Just Blowouts!” by hair stylist Alli Webb and her brother Michael Landau. Blow-drying had long been provided in most hair salons, but was considered an add-on or infrequent stand-alone service that did not incur a significant and consistent revenue stream. Alli recognized an untapped business opportunity in blowout services and turned it into a US$70 million business with 55 locations across the United States in just five years.

Drybar (A) describes the industry landscape of the American beauty salon industry in 2008, before Drybar entered the scene. It reviews the nature of the industry throughout history, and the structure and competitive forces that shaped conventional practices.

Drybar (B) illustrates how Drybar was conceived with a different strategic approach and what made Drybar stand out from conventional hair salons while achieving lower costs. Drybar (B) is presented in an innovative cartoon storybook format to help enhance participants’ understanding of Drybar’s offering through an entertaining experience that is both informative and emotionally engaging.

Pedagogical objectives:

  • To demonstrate how Drybar reconstructed hair salon industry by looking across alternative industries and created new demand.
  • To review major BOS tools including Strategy Canvas, ERRC Grid, and Noncustomer Analysis in the course of analyzing the Drybar’s strategic move.
  • To highlight the importance of building barriers to imitation in order to prolong the blue ocean.
Case Study: A
Case Study: B
Teaching Note
Video
Lecture Slides

Teaching Materials

Blue ocean pedagogical materials, used in over 2,800 universities and in almost every country in the world, go beyond the standard case-based method. Our multimedia cases and interactive exercises are designed to help you build a deeper​ understanding of key blue ocean strategy concepts, developed by world-renowned professors Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.
Materials available from Harvard Business Publishing
Blue Ocean Shift | Strategy materials available from The Case Centre
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