Marketing and Gillette

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Marketing Management

Case 7: Gillette
The Razor Wars Continues

Prepared by: Hala

Question 1:
Evaluate product innovation at Gillette throughout its history. Has Gillette been a victim of its own success? Has product innovation in wet-shaving market come to an end? Explain? King C. Gillette has founded Gillette in 1901. It was one of the first great multinational organizations and a marvel of marketing effectiveness. Gillette has set a goal for his company: To offer consumers high-quality shaving products that would satisfy basic grooming needs at a fair price. Throughout its history Gillette has always strived to be on cutting edge of shaving technology in a market that thrives on innovation. Gillette did a great job in razor market dominance. Its innovation also expanded to other products like introducing the refillable Paper Mate pen and the Cricket disposable lighters and the Soft & Dri antiperspirant. Meanwhile Gillette's Trac II razor was a great success. The Colman Mockler era was one of the most successful in Gillette's history, producing memorable innovations as the Atra razor, the Good News! Disposable razor and the Daisy razor for women. With such product additions, Gillette held majority of the US shaving market and also 75% of the global market share. Gillette has been throughout its history a first runner in innovation. Its introduction of new products that were developed in its research laboratories helped boost sales in razor and blades, personal care and writing instrument segment. In the razor and blades segment, Gillette introduced the Altra-Plus shaving system which featured a refillable Atra cartridge with lubricating strips. This overtook Trac II as the number one selling razor. Also Gillette updated the Good News! Line to include a disposable razor with lubricating strips. In the personal care business Gillette made several introductions including Aapri facial care products, Dry Idea deodorant, Bare Elegance Body Lotion, Mink Difference hair spray, White Rain hair care products, and Silkience shampoo and moisturizers. In the writing instrument business, Gillette achieved moderate success with the development of Eraser Mate erasable, disposable pens. In 1990 Gillette launched the sensor razor. This technology was wildly popular so Gillette followed its success by introducing the Sensor Excel in 1993. Then Gillette introduced a version of Sensor and sensor Excel for women in 1992. In 1998 Gillette introduced the Mach3, a razor with 3 thin blades introduced to provide a closer shave in fewer strokes and therefore less irritation. To develop its Mach3 Gillette invested heavily in research and development. This technology became Gillette's most successful new product ever. Its sales hit the $1 billion in only 18 month. Mach3 was named winner of the American Marketing Association's Grand Edison Award as the best new product in 1998. The Mach3 technology was further enhanced in the Mach3Turbo for men and the Venus system addressed to women. Further efforts were made to target the teen shaving market with a line of Sensor razors in a variety of colors in an attempt to develop lifelong customers at a young age. In 2005 Gillette introduced the Fusion razor with five blades technology as an aggressive counter attack for its competitor Schick's Quattro four bladed razor. 4 million fusion blades were sold within the first 2 month. So as we can conclude Gillette and since its beginnings has put lots of efforts in its research and development laboratories. It has been always on top of the industry in innovation of new products and it has always used technology to win further market share for its products whether it was in the blade business, personal care products or the writing instruments business. Gillette products now dominate the world wet-shaving technology. Many industry analysts say that the wet-shaving technology innovation has come to an end. A sixth bladed razor will not add any...
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