Gillette is a company that has been known to the public for many years for innovation and marketing strategy. They hold a commanding market share in a razor and blade industry that is rapidly growing new companies and competitors. However, their innovativeness has not been the same since 2006 when they created the fusion 5, and their ability to market to people who do not want to pay the price for razors has caused them to look at new ways to maintain or increase its market share.
Gillette was founded in 1901 by a man named King Camp Gillette. They have been one of the leaders in the razor industry due to their innovation and marketing. They offer “high quality shaving products that would satisfy basic grooming needs at a fair price. Gillette was one of the few companies to have success in the early 1900’s because it had created product that fit customer’s needs. The challenge now was to continue to grow and innovate new products. Their first competitor was Wilkinson Sword and in 1962, it caused Gillette to begin the phase of branding a series of blades that started with just 1 blade and eventually went up to five blades in one razor. This led to a razor war that would be started and continued for many years to come.
In 1990, Gillette was at the height of its powers but was still looking to take command of the market through innovation. They began this by creating the sensor blade which was a huge success. It was succeeded by the sensor blade excel. These two product help shift the attention away from older product that were being used by Gillette. They did the same thing on the women side in 1996 with a sensor and sensor excel for women. However, the competition ramped up in 2003 when Schick and the Quattro created the world’s first four blade razor. This led to numerous lawsuits by both Gillette and Schick which neither won, but Schick was creeping up on Gillette market share. To combat this, Gillette decided to market too many different countries and did the unthinkable by creating the fusion blade which was the world’s first five blade razor. This was not received like they thought as many consumers bought the blades but never refilled them and people wondered why go to five when three was touted as the best shave a man can get.
So what else has Gillette done to stay ahead? Well they have started to go into the entire shower market by creating hair and body products for showering as well as the Gillette fusion pro glide system in 2010 which help from getting irritation while shaving. This lead to people picking the ProGlide over the fusion at a 2-to-1 ratio was named the best razor in 2010 by Men’s Health. They have expanded on the ProGlide family in recent years to continue their trend of innovative products and their lines. This has led their marketing strategy to be one that is not solely focused on innovation but into a science. They also have used sports to market by naming a football stadium Gillette Stadium as well as NASCAR and the Olympics. One area where they can improve is in their pricing strategy as they are seen as a high priced commodity and not always known for their products. For the Fusion ProGlide, it is $9.99 for a razor and $31.99 to refill the cartridge. In the case of Schick, they have a Quattro Titanium that sells for $9.99 but is only $20.99 for 8 razors. It is obvious that Gillette focuses on quality products but needs to think about price as well.
Innovation in marketing and product development is what will keep Gillette in the front for many years to come. They need to innovate and not be trivial about it rather create product that are consumer based and looking to target those who want something different rather than just doing it because they want to stay ahead. Their expansion possibilities along with their high prices are causes for concerns but can be used to better create a strong market share by lowering prices and making themselves available in more ways than just one....
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