Gillette and the Men’s Wet-Shaving Market
Gillete Company has assumed the world leader in the men’s and some women’s grooming product technology. Gillette maintains 64 manufacturing facilities in 27 countries, and its products are sold in more than 200 countries, more than 60 percent sales of which occurring outside the US.
Gillette has also adopted the top spots worldwide in writing instruments: Paper Mate, Parker, and Waterman brands to name a few. There were also the joining of oral care products , Oral-B, and alkaline batteries – Duracell products, which generate almost one-fourth of company profits.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
How should the company handle their product categories, particularly focusing on two main products – the disposable razors versus the system razors, to sustain profitability and growth amidst stiff competition in the wet - shaving market?
• To determine new marketing strategies for their products • To determine the best strategy that would help the company maintain its current position as a market leader
• To capture the women wet-shavers market
• To continue producing innovative products to increase competitiveness in the global market
II. SITUATION ANALYSIS
– Gillete Blue Blade
– Gillette Thin Blade
– First Blade dispenser to unwrap individual blades
– diversify into new markets through acquisition
Toni Company – reach women’s grooming-aid market 1954
– bought Paper Mate – leading maker of writing instruments 1959
– first silicone-coated blade - Super Blue Blade
– 70% share Super Blue, 90% double-edged
– acquireds Sterilon Corpn – manufactured disposable hospital supplies 1976
– launched Good News – first disposable razor for men in US 1977
– launched Atra $7 million adv campaign at expense of Trac II (Automatic tracking Razor (first twin blade with pivoting head) 40% of Trac II users switched 1980
– Trac II twin blade shaver innovation to sustain growth - $1o million adv and promo Budget, peak in 1976 485 million blades and 7 million razors, disposable 22% market Share, 50% share in 1988, launched Swivel, with movable head 1985
– Atra Plus, first razor with patendted Lubra-smooth lubricating strip ($3.99-$4.95) Micro Tac – first disposable razor with ultra slim head ($.99) 1986
– Gillette introduced Contour Plus in first pan-European razor launch, Trac II Plus, Good News, Pivot Plus and Daisy Plus
– Sales grew to $3.6 billion and profits soared 17% to $268 million 1989
– Leading producer of men and women’s grooming aids
Status, quality and perceived value had always played primary roles in marketing of personal care products. Consumers would forgo performance and prestige in a shaving product. If a product passed R&D hurdles, it became the responsibility of mktg. research staff to conduct consumer-use testing. William Mazeroski, manager of South Boston plant, said, “we’ll have to design and build machines to make it ourselves because there is nowhere to go to purchase blade-making machinery. Need to formulate new strategy for Gillette North Atlantic. Every 1% loss in system razor to disposable razors is a loss of $10 million. There has been a decline in the share of Gillette System Cartridges Dollar Share of US Blade Market also in the blade and razor media spending in the US.
Younger men, in general those under 30, ‘plastic men’ feel all shavers are the same. Older men and system users feel there’s a difference. Women use about 8 to 12 blades a year vs. 25 to 30 for men. It’s still very consistent for us to focus on men.
III. SWOT ANALYSIS
• Permanent handle, disposable blade, adjust to needs of users. • Three types of wet shavers – disposable razor, permanent razor (blade and razor), injector and...
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