Gillette’s Launch of Sensor
The introduction of the Sensor Shaving System, one of the biggest product launches ever, forced Gillette to reevaluate its strategy in its shaving and non-shaving business. It had to decide whether to go ahead with the launch and if so, at what scale.
Gillette’s top management had to make very important decisions regarding the launch of its Sensor line. They are questioning, on which markets to focus their launch, how aggressive this launch should be and most importantly how much to invest in this new product launch.
Their decision to proceed with Sensor as a cartridge system appears to be wise. This opinion is based on the following points: 1) As mentioned in the case (pg. 6) “Gillette had demonstrated an ability to sustain a large lead over BIC in disposables”. That means that the products’ sales and performance in the disposable segment was satisfactory. 2) Pg. 6 – “The Atra Plus cartridge that Gillette launched in the U.S. was only modestly successful.” In other words Gillette’s current product in the cartridge segment was performing poorly. 3) Since 1977 Gillette hasn’t introduced any new, innovative product on the market (the launch of Atra Plus in 1985, with lubricating strip, cannot be accounted as an innovation, but more as a relaunch of the already known Atria, plus another feature). Taking all points above into consideration and by estimating that a product innovation can only come from a new design and improved perceived benefit advantages, Gillette’s decision to introduce Sensor as a razor cartridge system with new design is justified.
Sensor was developed from the beginning as a wet razor system with superior benefits. These benefits are measured in closeness, comfort and appearance by the consumer. In that way, the product has to be priced in a way that its increased benefits are promoted to the consumer. Pricing it too low...