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1Gillette Fusion Proglide Power RazorIntroduction to Marketing, Spring 2013March 19, 2013IntroductionMen have wanted to groom their faces as far back as the Bronze Age. Today’s modernrazor bears little resemblance to the clam shells, shark teeth and flints used for centuries. In fact,regular shaving, especially for the masses, is a relatively new idea. The straight blade wasinvented in Sheffield England in 1828, but was mostly used by the upper classes. But that allchanged, when the modern safety razor wasbrought to market by King Camp Gillette in 1904.When Gillette introduced his patented safetyrazor with disposable blades in the early 1900s, hechose to offer a number of hooks to get people totry this new type of razor. Gillette understood thatthe profits were in the blades, and not the razor handle. He priced his razor and the initial set of20 blades at $5. An additional dozen blades was $1. In 1907, a man’s suit cost was $81, makingthe Gillette razor a premium product. Gillette wooed new customers with a money-backguarantee. In 1903, they only sold 51 razors and 168 blades. But as the marketing improved,just one year later, the company sold 90,000 razors and 12 million blades.21"Morris County NJ Historic Price Survey 1907-2007." Morris County NJ Historic Price Survey 1907-2007.Morris County Library, 1 Nov. 2006. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.2"Gillette Company Timeline." Timeline. Procter & Gamble, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013.<http://news.gillette.com/about/timeline>.
2The Gillette company adopted the price skimming philosophy for most of the 17 yearsthey held the initial patent. Interestingly, once the patent ran out, the company repackaged theoriginal product and sold it at a lower price point, plus introduced a new high end razor. Bysegmenting the market to appeal to lower-income level consumers, profits took off.Men’s Grooming Is a Growing MarketToday, two billion razors3blades are bought (and tossed out) in the US. The Americanmen’s grooming market is growing and expected to reach $5.8 billion by 2016 according toEuromonitor International. Proctor & Gamble, owners of Gillette, have the lions share, with a42% market share. Unilever follows, a distant second with 12% share and Schick-WilkinsonSword with 8% share. The Gillette Fusion Proguide Power razor sales grew nearly 170%4in the2010/11 sales year as compared to the year before with a 9.4% market share. Making it thesecond most popular razor. The first was the non-battery operated Gillette Fusion Proguide witha 14.2% market share.Product Market ReviewWe analyzed the product market for ProGlide Power by reviewing the competitive,economic, technological, cultural and social environments of the product. Our research wastargeted at answering the following questions:Competitive Environment for ProGlideThe competition includes Gillettes own Mach3 and Fusion product lines. Externalcompetitors include Energizer Holdings Schick Hydro and Quattro.3MacEachern, Diane. "Q & A: Disposable Razors." Recyclebank. Recyclebank, 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 17Mar. 2013. <https://www.recyclebank.com/live-green/q-a-a-disposable-razors>.4Sales Growth of Leading Brands of Razors in the US. Publication. Grocery Headquarters, 2011. Web.17 Mar. 2013. <http://www.statista.com/statistics/194714/share-of-us-razor-sales-in-2010-and-2011-by-brand/>.
3What are the Competitive Advantages and Key Differentiators for ProGlidePower based on Competitor Analysis?The competitive advantages include:● Thinner, finer blades (compared to Fusion) that help reduce tug and pull● MicroComb to guide stubble to blade (available only in ProGlide Power)● Precision Trimmer (enhanced blade with anti-clogging rinse slots) - available only inProGlide Power and Manual● Up to 5 weeks of comfortable shaves with 1 cartridge● Lubrastrip - largest among Gillettes shaving products, infused with mineral oil andlubricating polymers, enabling the razor to move smoothly over skin. Mineral oil addedonly to the ProGlide series.Does ProGlide have any sustainable competitive advantages?We believe that ProGlide Power does not have any sustainable advantages as all theaforementioned differentiators can be copied by external competitors.How has Gillette positioned ProGlide to weather any economic downturns?Amazon.com had a $4 off coupon and Safeway provided a Club Price discount of $4.We believe that the coupons are only for introducing the product to the market. ProGlide is apremium priced, high end shaving product and is therefore insulated from the sensitive middletier customers who are likely to trade down during economic downturns.How has Gillette taken advantage of various Internet technologies to marketProGlide?
4A Google search for Gillette ProGlide yielded a sponsored link. The website supportsHTML5 and is enabled for iPad and iPhone. Several blogs discuss ProGlide and online retailerssell the razor and blades. ProGlide has an active Facebook and Twitter presence.Describe the cultural and social environment of ProGlides product market.ProGlide is targeted at the GenX and GenY market. It is not targeted at the BabyBoomers.Which geographical markets is ProGlide focused on currently?The packaging explains the value proposition of the product in English, French andSpanish languages. We therefore believe that this product is currently targeted at the USA,Mexican and Canadian markets.Target Market:Gender: maleAge range: Gen X and Gen YPsychographics: Self aware, groomed, busySocio-economic: Premium brand, urban mid to high income groupsGeographic: North AmericaTarget market indicatorsProduct details: 5 blades, battery powered,hydration strip which would appeal to ayounger demographic.
5Promotion: The advertisements are geared towards more urban, self-aware men and appeal tothe opposite sex which is geared towards Gen Y malesPromotion: Introduced the concept of male grooming that goes far beyond a simple shave,more likely to adopted by Gen X, Y malesPrice: The price is relatively higher than the older brands that Gillette sells. As seen with other(non shave products) Gen Y demographic is more likely to switch to something new even if thesatisfaction level from the current product is relatively high.Place: Available at all drug stores, grocery stores etc...Key elements that the manufacturer is trying to communicate● First 4 blade razor in the market● Ultra thin blades for increased comfort● Micro-comb to help guide the stubble to the blade
6● Precision trimmer for hard to shave areas like under the noseCompeting productsBiggest competitor: Schick hydro 5.Price range: razor (comparable), blades (cheaper than Gillette)Target market: comparableMarketing message: Direct comparison to Gillette - Claim that the shave is similar but a lesserprice. That Schick is endorsed by the common man and not just athletes (going after Gillettespro football commercial).Online ads like this one on Esquire.com takes interested consumers to the Gillette“KissandTellUs.com” website.Advertisement Analysis
7We decided to focus on a few elements of our target market when developing our ad,namely, that the majority of potential Gillette Fusion Power users are younger, technologicallysavvy, and likely have a good sense of humor. Playing to this sense of humor we felt was aneffective way to capture our target customer’s attention. It also follows in a similar vein of otherGillette ads, in that it features a strong, masculine figure as it’s central focus. We decided tomake this our focus, as the primary distinguishing factor between the Gillette Fusion Power andother offerings in the Gillette product line was that it is battery powered, giving this product ashave that is even closer and smoother than even other similar, non-electric versions of therazor like the Gillette Fusion Proglide.Additionally, we strove to make our ad a reminder that Gillette has been a namesynonymous with innovation and quality in shaving technology since the beginning of the safety-blade razor era. Hearkening back to an earlier time in history with our tag-line, “Not your great-great-great-…great-grandfather’s razor,” this razor appeals both to Generation X andGeneration Y males who are looking to distinguish themselves with the most advanced razorand blade combination in the market. As we have mentioned previously, our product lacks astrong sustainable competitive advantage, therefore, ads such as this are vital in maintaining astrong image in the minds of Gen X and Millennials.Report Contributors:Robin BertelsenAman KapoorGordon KramerFrankie WongRajesh Madhawarayan