Gillette Fusion: Building a $1 Billion Brand
Q1. Key Milestones
Gillette dominates 70% of global razor market; their strategy is to keep on producing new products, developing new innovations, and remaining as the market leader in men’s grooming market. Gillette introduced its first razor in 1903; by 1971, they invented Trac II “the world’s first two-blade razor”. Comparing to the original one-bladed razor, the two blades work better. Then they came out with Altra, the razor with a pivoting head, in 1977. The Sensor came out soon after with spring-loaded blades; the spring-mounted blades allow the razor to adjust to the contours of user’s face. The SensorExcel was the first razor to include microfins on the cartridge head; the microfins give users a closer, more comfortable shave. This was the start of many new technological inventions that Gillette is producing. Most of these early inventions are more for the disposable usage because the design and features are simpler; the price is also more affordable. The MACH3 was introduced to the market in the United States, Canada, and Israel in 1998; this razor was special because it saves time. With the three blades, users of this razor can shave three-time faster with each stroke. MACH3 was a huge success for Gillette; it took 15% of the market share and brought in $60 million in the first six month. The new method of loading cartridge for the MACH3 is much easier; the blade edge’s material is thinner, three times stronger than stainless steel, and lasts much longer. The strip color-fading feature is great because it alert users when they need to change out the blades, which is very helpful; customers won’t have to waste money replacing new blades too soon and avoid having uncomfortable shaving experience due to old blades. The price for the razor and its cartridge is much higher than the older version razors, which is why lots of money is spent on promoting and advertising. Due to the success of the MACH3, the MACH3 Cool Blue was added into the line with the same function as the original MACH3 but it has a blue handle rather than the original black and silver. Gillette again brought out a new product, the MACH3 Turbo, in 2002. The MACH3 Turbo is pretty affordable, in my opinion; $8.99 for a complete shaving system which includes a razor and two cartridges. The design was improved; with 10 microfins, it has less irritation and produces a much closer shave for users. To accommodate customer’s preference, Gillette added MACH3 Turbo G-Force and Champion for more color choices. In 2004, the M3Power was introduced. This is the world’s first powered wet-shaving system. It requires one AAA battery, which includes in the package. The M3Power was positioning as the “World’s best shave”. This razor was a huge success for Gillette because they did not have to invest a ton of money into invention; the razor and blades can be produced by modifying the existing product line from the MACH3. When consumers see that the razor is battery operated, they usually have an impression that the razor will be stronger, which will give them a better result while saving them some time. However, that same function will give some customers the hesitation to purchase the razor because they don’t want to keep buying new battery on top of the blade filter they already have to buy. The Fusion is the world’s first five-blade razor. Gillette introduced the Fusion razor in two versions: power and manual. The Fusion was designed for men with and without facial hair; the specific blades allows men to trim their sideburns, shave their more sensitive areas like under their nose, and shape their facial hair easier and with more comfort. The Fusion is very high-tech and easy to use; the detailed functions like automatic shut-off after eight minutes, low-battery indicator light, color-fading strip, Vitamin E and Aloe lubricating strip all combine and set a new standard in shaving technology...
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