BIC_Brand Analysis

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BIC_Brand Analysis

  1. 1. BIC Shavers Brand Analysis Student Name: Eitai Ben-Natan Student Number: S216999 Module: Design and Brand Management Course: M.Des Design, Strategy and Leadership Faculty: School of Applied Science
  2. 2. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 2 Table of Contents Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................4 BIC - Company Overview....................................................................................................................................4 Background ....................................................................................................................................................4 Company Vision..............................................................................................................................................5 Product Range................................................................................................................................................5 Financial Performance....................................................................................................................................6 Overview of the UK Hair Removal Market .........................................................................................................7 Market Drivers ...............................................................................................................................................7 Channels to market ........................................................................................................................................8 Segment Performance....................................................................................................................................8 BIC Shaver Brand Analysis..................................................................................................................................9 Brand Personality ...........................................................................................................................................9 Competitive Analysis....................................................................................................................................11 Promotion Channel Analysis.........................................................................................................................14 Brand Activity Gaps & Solutions.......................................................................................................................21 Brand Activity SWOT Analysis.......................................................................................................................21 Suggested Solutions .....................................................................................................................................23 Conclusion........................................................................................................................................................24 References .......................................................................................................................................................25 List of Figures Figure 1 – BIC Product Launches Timeline..........................................................................................................4 Figure 2 – BIC - Geographical Sales Breakdown 2013.........................................................................................6 Figure 3 – BIC Sales Performance (2004-2013)...................................................................................................6 Figure 4 – BIC Shavers Sales Performance (2009-2013) .....................................................................................6 Figure 6 – Men Hair Removal Areas - June 2014................................................................................................7 Figure 7 – BIC Razor Persona............................................................................................................................10 Figure 8 – Attitudes towards and usage of brands in the men’s shaving sector, August 2014.........................11 Figure 9 – Attitudes, by men’s shaving brand, August 2014.............................................................................12 Figure 10 – Men’s shaving brand personality – macro image, August 2014 ....................................................13 Figure 11 – Satisfaction with various men’s shaving brands, August 2014.......................................................13 Figure 12 – UK main monitored media advertising spends on men’s and women’s shaving and hair removal products, by media type, 2012-14....................................................................................................................14 Figure 13 – Human Curling Commercial & BIC RoboRazor TV Commercial ......................................................15
  3. 3. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 3 Figure 14 – Promotional Sites (BIC Soleil, Gillette & Wilkinson).......................................................................16 Figure 15 – Interaction with brands and products on social or media networks, February 2014 ....................17 Figure 16 – Interactions with brands and products on social networks, by tablet and smartphone ownership, February 2014 ..................................................................................................................................................18 Figure 17 – Facebook Ad Platform Interest Base Stats Dec 2014 (UK) .............................................................19 Figure 18 – Gillette iPhone Application............................................................................................................20 Figure 19 – BIC Razors SWOT Analysis..............................................................................................................21 Figure 20 – Brand/Competitors/Consumer - Venn Diagram ............................................................................22 List of Tables Table 1 – BIC - Product Range Stats 2013...........................................................................................................5 Table 2 – Trends in the age structure of the UK male population, 2009-19.......................................................8 Table 3 – UK retail value sales of men’s and women’s shaving and hair removal products, by outlet type, 2012-14..............................................................................................................................................................8 Table 4 – UK retail value sales of men’s and women’s shaving products and depilatories, by segment, 2012- 14 .......................................................................................................................................................................8 Table 5 – BIC Shaver Brand Analysis using Kapferer Brand Identity Prism Model..............................................9 Table 6 – Networks on which consumers carried out activities, February 2014 ..............................................17 Table 7 – BIC Razors Facebook & Twitter Accounts (Dec 2014) .......................................................................18 Table 8 – Gillette and Wilkinson, Facebook & Twitter Accounts (Dec 2014)....................................................19 Table 9 – Gillette & Wilkinson UK YouTube Channels Stats (Dec 2014) ...........................................................19
  4. 4. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 4 Introduction The following report is a brand analysis of BIC razor for men, focusing on BIC activities in the UK market. The report consists of four parts:  Company Overview – in this part I will provide a background information about BIC, its vision, product range and financial performance.  UKs Hair Removal Market Overview – in this part I will provide an overview of the UKs hair removal market looking into: market drivers, channels to market and segment performance.  Brand Analysis – in this part I will cover BIC shavers for men brand personality, how the brand is compared to competing brands in the same segment and BIC shavers current promotional activities.  Brand Activity Gaps & Solutions – in the final part of the report I will highlight gaps in BICs brand activities in the BIC shavers’ products for men, and offer solutions to bridge those gaps. BIC - Company Overview Background Société BIC (BIC in short) was established in 1945 at Clichy, France. Initially it produced and sold ballpoint pens, and overtime it expanded its product portfolio to include: promotional products, lighters, razors, water sports products and mobile phones. 1940 2015 1950 BIC Cristal 1953 BIC Corp 1969 BIC Promotional Products 1973 BIC Lighters 1975 BIC Disposable Razors 1979 BIC Sports 2008 BIC Phone 1945 BIC Established Figure 1 – BIC Product Launches Timeline Source: http://www.bicworld.com/en/bic-group/history/ BIC is currently operating in more than 160 countries, with 9,373 employees and 26 manufacturing facilities worldwide (BIC Editorial Team, 2014b).
  5. 5. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 5 BIC’s operational structure is as follows (Business Case Studies LLP[1], n.d.):  Three category managers (office supply, shavers and lighters) – responsible for the marketing, development and manufacturing of each product category across the globe.  Four continental managers (Latin America, Europe, Middle East/Africa/Asia, and North America/Oceanic) – manage product distribution per continent and overlooking respective country managers’ activities. Company Vision Every BIC product follows the company’s vision of creating simple, inventive and reliable products for everyone, everywhere. All BIC products are manufactured in-house in various factories based in different continents. As BIC operates in a matrix format with two reporting lines: product and geographical area, it enables BIC the following (Huang & Ohanian, 2006):  Create market-specific product portfolios  Quick production and distribution of products locally BIC also puts great emphasis on its environmental credos through the development of a comprehensive sustainability report (BIC Sustainable Development Barometer), environmental impact analysis reports and ongoing product development through the use of sustainable supply chain (material, responsible purchasing/suppliers, social audit program for its employees, and local community business initiatives) (BIC Editorial Team, 2014a; Desbois, 2014). Product Range According to BIC’s 2013 annual financial reports it sold 46M products a day globally, through 3.2M various point of sales such as: retail shops, stationary stores, tobacco shops, etc. BIC product range falls into four main categories: stationary, lighters, shavers and promotional products. Product Stationary Lighters Shavers1 Promotional Other Daily Sales 25M 6M 10M 5M NA Net Sales 33% 29% 20% 14% 4% World Market Position (Sales) 1st – Europe, Africa, L. America 2nd – N. America, Oceania 1st – worldwide 2nd – worldwide 2nd – Europe 4th – N. America NA Table 1 – BIC - Product Range Stats 2013 Source: BIC Editorial Team, 2014b 1 Relates to the sales of non-refillable shaver market
  6. 6. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 6 Financial Performance BIC net sales in 2013 stood at 1,887.8M EUR and the geographical sales breakdown is as follows: Figure 2 – BIC - Geographical Sales Breakdown 2013 Despite a slight dip in global net sales across all product categories in 2013 compared to 2012 (see Figure 3), BIC net sales in the shavers category increased by 4mn EUR globally (see Figure 4) Figure 3 – BIC Sales Performance (2004-2013) Source: BIC Editorial Team, 2014b Figure 4 – BIC Shavers Sales Performance (2009-2013) Source: BIC Editorial Team, 2014b BIC shavers category had solid performance at times of economic uncertainty as people were looking for ways to reduce their overall spending, especially in the consumption of FCMG products (groceries and other consumables) (Zagrebnov, 2011).
  7. 7. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 7 Overview of the UK Hair Removal Market Market Drivers Two main drivers that will impact the UK male shaving and hair removal market in the next 5 years (Libby, 2014): Social norms –  Young adults (16-24) - o 50% feel more pressured to shave and groom themselves. o 64% in that age group remove hair from the chins and jawlines. o Thanks to the media attention given to the UK swimming team at the 2012 London Olympics, that drew focus on hair-free bodies, 54% of young adults remove hair from their pubic region, chest and underarm.  Adults (25-34) - o 64% of men in that age group remove hair from their jawline. o 42% feel that growing beards are now in fashion, suggesting the men in this age group are following fashion for facial hair. Figure 5 – Men Hair Removal Areas - June 2014 Source: 2000 internet users 16+, Mintel estimates (Libby, 2014) Aging population – which will challenge the hair removal market, as hair grows slowly as you get old and according to the Office of National Statistics, it is projected that 21% of the UK male population by 2019, will be in the over 50 years age bracket, an increase by 18% compared to other age-groups. 55% 29% 13% 12% 9% 6% 5% 4% 2% 30% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Head Pubic Region Chest Underarm Back Bottom Arms Legs Feet No Hair Removed Past 12 Months Hair Removal Areas (Men)
  8. 8. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 8 Age Group 2009 2014 2019 (Proj) % change 2009- 2014 % change 2014- 2019 000s % 000s % 000s % 0-4 1,934 3.1 2,109 3.3 2,145 3.2 +9 +1.7 5-9 1,742 2.8 1,940 3 2,112 3.2 +11.4 +8.9 10-14 1,850 3 1,749 2.7 1,944 2.9 -5.5 +11.2 15-19 2,035 3.3 1,890 2.9 1,785 2.7 -7.1 -5.6 20-24 2,175 3.5 2,226 3.5 2,066 3.1 +2.3 -7.2 25-34 4,047 6.5 4,589 7.1 4,881 7.3 +13.4 +6.4 35-44 4,466 7.2 4,077 6.3 4,155 6.2 -8.7 +1.9 45-54 4,117 6.7 4,468 7 4,371 6.6 +8.5 -2.2 55-64 3,585 5.8 3,555 5.5 3,905 5.9 -0.8 +9.8 65+ 4,420 7.2 5,130 8 5,671 8.5 +16.1 +10.5 Total 30,372 49.2 31,734 49.4 33,034 49.5 +4.5 +4.1 Table 2 – Trends in the age structure of the UK male population, 2009-19 Source: Mintel estimates (Libby, 2014) Channels to market In 2013, majority of shaving and hair removal products in the UK were sold through either grocery stores (47%) as part of a weekly shopping, or at chemist & drugstore (39%). Discounter shops has benefitted in this market thanks to the recent economic climate (6%) (Libby, 2014) 2012 2013 2014 (est) % change £m % share £m % share £m % share 2012-13 Grocery multiples 289 47 288 47 293 47 -0.3 Chemists & drugstores 239 39 237 39 240 38 -0.8 Discounters & convenience stores 34 6 34 6 36 6 0.0 Others* 52 8 52 9 55 9 0.0 Total 614 100 611 100 624 100 -0.5 Table 3 – UK retail value sales of men’s and women’s shaving and hair removal products, by outlet type, 2012-14 Source: Mintel estimates (Libby, 2014) Segment Performance In 2013 the sales of razor and blades in the UK totaled at £366m and amounted to 60% share of sales in UKs shaving and hair removal market, and despite a slight drop in sales of razors and blades between 2012 and 2013, the segment is projected to increase from 2014 onwards. (Libby, 2014) 2012 2013 2014 (est) % change £m % share £m % share £m % share 2012-13 Razors & Blades 368 60 366 60 379 61 -0.6 Electric 119 19 118 19 121 19 -0.7 Shaving Preparations 77 13 77 13 75 12 +0.5 Depilatories 50 8 49 8 49 8 -1.2 Total 614 100 611 100 624 100 -0.5 Table 4 – UK retail value sales of men’s and women’s shaving products and depilatories, by segment, 2012-14 Source: Based on IRI/Mintel (Libby, 2014)
  9. 9. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 9 BIC Shaver Brand Analysis Brand Personality Brand identity is the outward expression of the brand including its name, trademark, communications and visual appearance; therefore it is a fundamental means of consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand’s differentiation from competitors (Kapferer, 2012) As the market for shavers and hair removal products is quite crowded, and BIC faces direct competition with the likes of Gillette and Wilkinson in the UK market, it is important to understand how BIC stands out from its competitors in the same segment. Physics Personality BIC razors are physical products with simple and unified structure that hasn’t changed much since the creation of the BIC-1 classic in 1975. The lack of variety and product differentiation highlights the robustness, longevity and consistency of the brand throughout the years. During the 80’s BIC used tennis legend, John McEnroe, as its brand personality together with tongue-in-cheek humor throughout BIC campaigns. This symbolizes a more down-to-earth approach to BIC product range, highlighting substance over form, and aimed at people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Relationship Culture BIC doesn’t engage with its clients directly but through sales agents such as: grocery shops, drugstores etc., and therefore they put emphasis on product robustness and consistency with gradual changes not to alienate their existing client based who are accustomed to certain performance from their product range. BIC moto is “honor the past, invent the future” by focusing on creating simple, inventive and reliable products for everyone, everywhere. These set of values do come across in all of BIC product range. By honoring the past they show their appreciation to their existing loyal-based clients by introducing gradual technological innovations in its product range and at cost-value. Reflection Self-Image BIC razors products for men aim at all age groups for people who require a cost-effective products for grooming without the brand hype. BIC razors users see themselves as the typical “joes”, who just want to go with their grooming activities without the fuss of brand hype. They prefer functionality and cost-effectiveness over imagery and brand association. Table 5 – BIC Shaver Brand Analysis using Kapferer Brand Identity Prism Model.
  10. 10. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 10 Here’s a suggested brand persona of the typical customer of BIC razor blades: John Office Manager at an IT company Personal Profile John is 35 years old, married with 2 children (boy and girl). He lives in Northampton at a semi-detached house about 20 min ride by car to city centre, depending on traffic. John moved with his family from Birmingham to Northampton 5 years ago, because of his job. He works as an office manager at an IT company working the typical office hours 9-17 with the occasional overtime. John got an undergraduate business degree from Birmingham University, and is considering doing an MBA in a year or two, not sure where. In his pastime he likes to watch football and rugby with his mates at the pub, or tending to his garden or some other odd DIY work around the house. Shaving Ritual John daily grooming is fairly basic, he shaves every two days right after his morning shower, and he doesn’t fuss about the grooming ritual... “I simply apply shaving gel on my face, shave, put on an after-shave and go on with my life…”. Why Using BIC John is using BIC razor blade 3 sensitive for quite some time, as a matter of fact he’s been using BIC products for quite a while now, he’s not entirely sure why maybe he simply got used to it, but he definitely won’t go for other brand alternative which are much too expensive. He buys his BIC razors at Tesco for £7.99 (pack of 12) compared to Gillette which cost nearly twice, and electric shavers don’t work for him as he still needs to go over the shaved areas with razors, so that’s a total waste of his time. John Goals  Fuss-free shaving  Not breaking the bank with buying unnecessary toiletry products Brand Objective  To continue and provide John with good value for his money.  Ensuring the BIC products are priced to the same level in different selling point, to make John shopping choices easy. Figure 6 – BIC Razor Persona By applying both Kapferer brand identity analysis together with a typical persona profile of a BIC razor user, the image of BIC brand personality from it razor product range for men is that of: a robust, good quality, great-value, down-to-earth, not patronising and trustworthy brand/product. In the following sections I will analyse BIC razors brand position compared to its competitors in the UK market, and how does the brand come across through various communication channels.
  11. 11. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 11 Competitive Analysis BICs main competitors in the UK market in the Razors & Blades segment are: Gillette and Wilkinson. In terms of sale volumes Gillette is leading with a 47%2 market share, followed by Wilkinson (18%) and BIC (11%) (Libby, 2014). In terms of competitive brand positioning, Gillette is also the most dominant brand based on product differentiation and trust3 , suggesting that Gillette is the first brand come to mind when thinking on razors for men. Figure 7 – Attitudes towards and usage of brands in the men’s shaving sector, August 2014 Source: GMI/Mintel (Libby, 2014) - Bubble size represents usage (% ever used) 2 Market share percentage only refers to razors for men, and exclude shaving accessories such as: cream, gel, balm etc. 3 There’s no mention as to why Wilkinson doesn’t show-up in the Mintel brand positioning graph (Figure 7) BIC on the other hand, stands high in terms of trust but is unlikely to stand-out as a brand in the razors category due to lack of differentiation, which fits neatly with BIC company vision of producing simple, inventive and reliable products for everyone, everywhere (Libby, 2014)
  12. 12. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 12 Figure 8 – Attitudes, by men’s shaving brand, August 2014 Source: GMI/Mintel (Libby, 2014) - male internet users aged 16+ The chart above plots various brands with regard to ‘razor for men’ products, and their association with three key performance attributes: Innovation, Value and Social Responsibility. BIC lies comfortably in the “offers good value” bit of the graph, as it offers cheaper disposal razors, as oppose to Gillett which scores high on innovation and as a result consumers are willing to pay a bit more to be associated with a cutting-edge brand. It’s also notable that BIC scored relatively-low in the “social responsibility” value, despite the fact that BIC won numerous awards in that category (BIC Editorial Team, 2014a), which might suggests two things:  Environmental features aren’t that important to men when buying shaving goods – or –  BIC environmental credentials aren’t communicated properly to its target audience Studies show that associating environmental attributes with brand can contribute toward brand differentiation (Gallarotti, 1995), which will be viable as long as the environmental advantages can be communicated to the public (Azzone & Bertele, 1994), this might be an opportunity for BIC to standout from its competitors.
  13. 13. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 13 Figure 9 – Men’s shaving brand personality – macro image, August 2014 Source: GMI/Mintel (Libby, 2014) - male internet users aged 16+ The above chart plots ‘razor for men’ brand in terms of brand imagery. BIC is in a cross section boring, tired and accessible brand imagery, this again is an indicator of BIC unglamorous brand image compared to other brands. BICs brand imagery seems to appeal more to men above the age of 45 who are less sensitive to brand association with regard to shaving products, compared to the younger-fashion aware generation. Figure 10 – Satisfaction with various men’s shaving brands, August 2014 Source: GMI/Mintel (Libby, 2014) - male internet users aged 16+
  14. 14. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 14 In terms of perceived product satisfaction based on brand, BIC’s value-oriented proposition impacts the brand overall positivity, and as the product doesn’t go beyond users expectation as majority of users gave it an average score in satisfaction. Comparing BIC’s perceived user satisfaction to that of Gillette, it’s quite evident that BIC serves it purpose but with the risk of being completely ignored by a younger generation of users who are more inclined to buy products from brands perceived to be younger and more fashionable. This image also impact the likelihood of BIC razors being recommended to other users (63%), however saying that as BIC as a value-oriented product lack of recommendation for the product doesn’t make much impact upon its actual usage (Libby, 2014). Promotion Channel Analysis In 2013, a total of £31.5mn were spend on advertising for hair removal products in the UK, out of which £12.8mn were related to the promotion of manual razors. The most dominant form of promotion channel was TV (76%) followed by press (23%) where online promotion was negligible (<1%). 2012 2013 Jan-Jul 2014 % change 2012-13£m % share £m % share £m % share TV 22.2 73 23.9 76 15.4 81 +7.8 Press 6.7 22 7.1 23 3.4 18 +6.5 Radio 0.3 1 0.3 1 0.2 1 -13.5 Internet 1.2 4 0.1 0 0.1 0 -89.4 Other 0.1 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 -66.0 Total 30.5 100 31.5 100 19.0 100 +3.1 Figure 11 – UK main monitored media advertising spends on men’s and women’s shaving and hair removal products, by media type, 2012-14 Source: Nielsen Media Research/Mintel (Libby, 2014) TV Promotion From 1979-1986 former tennis player champion, John McEnroe, was the official brand sponsor personality of BIC razors for men. At the time all the BIC commercials featuring John McEnroe had tongue-in-cheek vibe to them giving ‘BIC razor for men’ a more approachable, down-to-earth and affable feel without the glamor and high-market feel that was associated with competing brands (Gillette, Braun, Wilkinson). Since the mid-90’s BIC moved away from using a brand personality in their commercials and kept the overall fun and down-to-earth feel in its commercials (see Figure 12 below), this is an interesting approach as the likes of Gillette kept using celebrity brand personalities such as Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry to maintain their status with their target audience through the imagery of a successful cutting-edge brand.
  15. 15. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 15 Figure 12 – Human Curling Commercial & BIC RoboRazor TV Commercial Source: YouTube.com (Turan, 2011) & (BIC YouTube Channel, 2011) In 2010 the BIC in the US, also promoted the “BIC 4 Good” challenge, that ask men to shave their head for the DoSomething.org charity that empowers youth to do something good in their local communities (PR Newswire, 2010), this approach was in line with other brands charity activities where both Gillette and Wilkinson associated themselves with the Movember charity event, however in the UK BIC shavers for men isn’t associated with any charity cause, which is again a missed opportunity for them to engage with their target audience in the UK.
  16. 16. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 16 Online Media Promotional Site Surprisingly enough BIC hasn’t got a dedicated promotional branded site in the UK or worldwide, for its Razor for men product range, unlike BIC Soleil site for women (www.feelthesoleil.co.uk) that promotes BIC shaving products for women or other competing brands in the same product category segment like Gillette (www.gillette.com) and Wilkinson (www.wilkinsonsword.co.uk). Figure 13 – Promotional Sites (BIC Soleil, Gillette & Wilkinson) This is a major gap in BIC approach to reach-out to its male target audience and engage with them, although BIC products are quite popular with the over 50 age range (Libby, 2014), it potentially overlook the younger generation segment that look for value in money when they purchase shaving goods. Also looking at BICs TV and video commercials it’s quite clear that they’re trying to appeal to a younger population segment with their fun-to-watch campaigns but there’s no way for that segment to engage directly with BIC products through a dedicated site. Social Media In the UK the social media landscape has grown greatly in terms of user volumes in the past 7 years. Nearly 25% of the social media users in the UK market use this channel to ask and gather information on various products they interested in (Gee, 2014).
  17. 17. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 17 Figure 14 – Interaction with brands and products on social or media networks, February 2014 Source: GMI/Mintel (Gee, 2014), 1,691 internet users aged 16+ who are social network or media network users In terms of brand engagement through social media in the UK, 87% of social media users asked brands for help prior to purchasing a product and 88% asked for help as part of post-sale support. Purchased a product I was previously unaware of, after my friends or family posted about it on social network Purchased a product I was previously unaware of, after a brand or retailer posted about it on social network Used social networks to ask people for information, opinions or reviews on specific products I am interested in Asked people to recommend specific products to me when I am not sure what I need (e.g. looking for TV, but not sure which model or brand) Asked brands or retailers for information or help with products I want before making a purchase Used social networks to ask brands or retailers for help with a product or purchase after I made it Sample size 324 322 479 388 306 280 % % % % % % Social Networks4 89 86 90 88 87 88 Media Networks5 22 22 17 15 15 16 Facebook 79 70 75 75 67 61 Twitter 19 20 23 20 24 30 Google+ 10 9 9 9 10 11 YouTube 15 16 12 12 12 12 LinkedIn 6 6 4 5 5 4 Path 2 1 1 1 1 0 MySpace 3 2 3 3 3 3 Blogspot/Wordpress 2 2 2 1 1 2 Tumblr 5 4 2 2 2 3 Instagram 6 3 3 3 4 3 Pinterest 1 2 1 1 1 1 Do not know 4 7 4 5 8 6 Table 6 – Networks on which consumers carried out activities, February 2014 Source: GMI/Mintel (Gee, 2014), 1,691 internet users aged 16+ who are social network or media network users 4 Social networks is a net of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace, Path 5 Media networks is a net of YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogspot/Wordpress
  18. 18. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 18 In terms of users based on gender and age-group, it’s seems that men in the age groups of 16-24 & 25-34 are more willing to engage with brands over social media compared to other user bases. The level of engagement is dropping sharply from user-base older than 45. Figure 15 – Interactions with brands and products on social networks, by tablet and smartphone ownership, February 2014 Source: GMI/Mintel (Gee, 2014), 1,691 internet users aged 16+ who are social network or media network users BIC razors for men does have presence in both Facebook and Twitter, but with very few followers and overall activity. There’s also no dedicated UK group for BIC in any of the social media platforms. Facebook/Twitter Group Web Address Followers/Tweets (Worldwide) BIC Razors “Groom Thyself” (2012) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bic-Razors-Groom- Thyself/195735807221029?ref=br_tf 43 page likes #BIC Shavers https://twitter.com/bicshavers 32 Followers 0 Tweets #BIC Razors https://twitter.com/bicsmanguide 44 Followers 7 Tweets Table 7 – BIC Razors Facebook & Twitter Accounts (Dec 2014) Looking at the little amount of content in both Facebook and Twitter accounts, it’s not clear what is BIC strategy behind their social media presence, the #BICRazors twitter account does provide some shaving tips for men using BIC products but nothing else in terms of brand engagement. Looking at competing brands in the social media space, they seems to be much more focused to the point that both Gillette and Wilkinson got dedicated UK social pages on Facebook.
  19. 19. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 19 Brand Facebook/Twitter Group Web Address Followers/Tweets Gillette GilletteUK https://www.facebook.com/GilletteUK/likes 359.3K page likes #Gillette6 https://twitter.com/Gillette 64.8K Followers 10.4K Tweets Wilkinson Wilkinson Sword Men UK https://www.facebook.com/WilkinsonSwordMenUK 119.4K page likes #WSword7 https://twitter.com/WSword 781 Followers 53 Tweets Table 8 – Gillette and Wilkinson, Facebook & Twitter Accounts (Dec 2014) Interesting fact is that through Facebook’s advertising platform (Atlas) it seems that in the UK about 265K Facebook users did show interest in pages mentioning BIC razors products. Figure 16 – Facebook Ad Platform Interest Base Stats Dec 2014 (UK) So taking into account BIC current social network activity, overall interest of Facebook users in BIC Razors related pages in the UK, and the success other competing brands have in the social media space, it points to huge potential for BIC to engage its audience through social media and increase its brand image with its target audience. YouTube Channel BIC razors does have a dedicated YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/BicShavers) with 385 global subscribers and total views of 163,128. The channel currently shows a total of 55 videos depicting some BIC commercials and user-generated content from “BIC 4 Good” charity event that took place in the US between 2010-2012. Comparing BIC YouTube global numbers, to that of Gillette and Wilkinsons’ UK YouTube channels, it’s quite clear that BIC doesn’t manage to attract much viewership to the channel. Brand YouTube Channel Followers/Tweets Gillette https://www.youtube.com/user/GilletteVideosUK 1,670 Subscribers 14mn Views Wilkinson https://www.youtube.com/user/WilkinsonSwordUK 1,271 Subscribers 5.7mn Views Table 9 – Gillette & Wilkinson UK YouTube Channels Stats (Dec 2014) Looking at the content of BIC shavers YouTube channel, again it’s not quite clear what they’re trying to achieve with this channel, and the fact that BIC hasn’t got a dedicated promotional web-site for YouTube viewers to go to after they view the video content, further limits BIC way to engage with their viewers. 6 There’s no dedicated UK Twitter page for Gillette 7 There’s no dedicated UK Twitter page for Wilkinson Swords
  20. 20. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 20 Mobile Apps In 2009 Gillette launched its uArt mobile app for iPhone, that enable users to take a picture of themselves/friend and style their facial hair and publish the results in Gillette’s social media accounts on twitter, Facebook and Google+ (Tsirulnik, 2009). Neither BIC nor Wilkinson got a dedicated mobile app, from BICs point of view this is another missed opportunity to engage with their target audiences. Figure 17 – Gillette iPhone Application Source: (AotW, 2009)
  21. 21. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 21 Brand Activity Gaps & Solutions Brand Activity SWOT Analysis Strength Weakness Operation (BIC General) - Global reach – 160 countries - Cost-effective production at scale - Speed & efficiency in rolling-out new products Market (BIC Razors) - Increase in sales of razors and shavers between 2012-20138 Brand Image (BIC General) - Well known international brand, especially through other product (stationary and lighters) - Great value for money - Robust, simple, functional Brand Vision (BIC General) - Products are in line with the BIC brand vision of creating simple, inventive and reliable products for everyone, everywhere Brand Loyalty (BIC Razors) - Popular with 45+ age segment (UK) Promotion Channel (BIC Razors) - Lack of dedicated web-site for BIC razor for men - Weak social media presence - Unfocused online brand activities - No mobile apps - Not all promotional videos are showing in BICs dedicated YouTube channel - Inability for consumer to engage with BIC directly for more info/post-sales support through social media. Threats Opportunities Competition (BIC Razors) - Gillette top brand in terms of trust and product differentiation – considered to be cutting-edge (UK) - Competing brands are more fashionable and up-market. Brand Image (BIC Razors) - Boring, for old people, not relevant to younger audience. Market Segments (BIC Razors) - Not relevant to younger audience Promotion Channel (BIC Razors) Gillette and Wilkinson got dedicated Facebook pages. Environment (BIC general) - Products are environmentally friendly - Continuous development of social activities in local markets (esp. developing markets) - Can be a point of differentiation from other competing brands Market General (BIC Razors) – - Engage with younger audience Market Driver (BIC Razors) – - Growth of use in razors in the UK - Aging Population 21% UK population will be over 50 by 2019 Brand Image (BIC Razors) - Communicating brand value for younger audiences who look for cheap yet high quality razors Figure 18 – BIC Razors SWOT Analysis 8 It’s not clear from BIC financial report, if the growth in sales between 2012-2013 was across all geographical markets. - Excellent social media and online activity by BIC competitors, to the point that both
  22. 22. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 22 Looking at the ‘Weakness’, ‘Threats’ and ‘Opportunities’ parts of the SWOT analysis, BIC got two major gaps in: - It’s online presence where BIC competitors are ahead of the game with promotional site, active social media and a foothold in mobile app (Gillette), BIC got a lot of catching-up to do. - Not attractive enough for younger audiences as BIC hasn’t got the cutting-edge fashionable image competing brands has. Figure 19 – Brand/Competitors/Consumer - Venn Diagram Source: Adapted from (Robertson, 2013) Tying the SWOT analysis table with the Venn diagram that highlights BIC vs Competitors top features against consumer wants (based on: brand imagery descriptive words as shown in Figure 7, Figure 8 and Figure 9), there’s greats opportunity for BIC to promote it’s ethical, value for money and accessibility to young audiences as a point of differentiation.
  23. 23. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 23 Suggested Solutions Based on the UKs hair removal market drivers and performance, together with BIC shavers for men brand analysis in the UK, I would suggest BIC the following solutions to bridge the gap between its main competitors in the UK market: Solution Description Online Brand Activity Website - Create a dedicated web-site for BIC UK shavers for men - The site will be the main focal point of the brand and product promotion of the BIC shavers product range for men - The site will consist of the following sections: o About Us section (BIC as company, BIC Vision) o Why BIC Shavers? (BIC Brand, Brand Activity, Charity Activities in UK, BIC Ethics) o Products Menu (Product Types, Video Demos, Shaving & Grooming Tips For Men Blog) o Where to buy? (together with direct links to Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Boots link pages for BIC products) o Promotional Vouchers throughout the site (for POS sales) o Promotional Material (UK Ads, Social Media Feeds) o Contact us page (with links to social media accounts for brand/user engagement) Social Media - Improving social media presence in all fronts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube) - Dedicated UK accounts in social media. - Linking and cross-linking between social media accounts and BIC UK shaver for men new dedicated web-site. Mobile Apps - Producing mobile apps for all smartphone platforms (iOS, Android, BB and Windows Mobile) - Mobile Apps games o Shave/un-shave a celebrity game – whereby you upload an image of a celebrity (trademark-permitted), add/remove facial hair to your liking and publish the results in social media o Shave a balloon – virtually apply a cream and try to shave floating balloons of various shapes/colors and points, trying not to blow them up, within certain time limit, and increased level of difficulty. - Mobile App loyalty points – o Get points for shopping for BIC shaver products by: scanning QR code on the receipts from the POS or typing the receipt details to the app or to BIC shaver for men dedicated site. o The points can later be redeemed for discounts in various grocery shops for BIC shaver and stationary products. o You get extra points for being active in social media feed on BIC accounts (picture/video/tweets etc.), for recommending the product to family/friends etc. Integrated Campaigns “the only difference is in your pocket” campaign – - This is a suggested online/TV/Print campaign to target young audience
  24. 24. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 24 Solution Description - The idea is to poke-fun at high-end shaving brands saying that BIC shavers offer the same level of functionality/performance as other brands but without the steep price tag, and by purchasing BIC shavers you save money. “Bring Your BIC back” campaign – - This is a suggested online/TV/print campaign targeting a wider audience (male/female) all age groups. - The idea behind the campaign is to highlight BICs environmental credos not just for its shaver’s products but for BICs stationary products as well. - The campaign will encourage BIC consumers to return used products: shavers, pens, paper etc. to various POS (supermarkets, drug stores, office supply shops etc.) in exchange for a discount voucher. - The location of the POSs’ will be advertised in both BIC social media accounts and dedicated web-site - The main aim of the campaign is to show BIC consumers to full life-cycle of BIC products, assuring that BIC is committed to the environment and to minimize environmental impact deriving from its products. - This could be an excellent point of differentiation of BIC from other competing brands in the toiletries and office supply segments. Charity Activities “BIC 4 Good” UK – - Adopting the BIC 4 good charity cause that ran for 3 years in the US and adapt it to the UK market - BIC can tie-in with existing charity causes that work with local communities in the UK, to foster leadership and local work with youth in the UK (like: www.changemakers.org.uk, www.uprising.org.uk) - This way BIC can stand out from the likes of Gillette and Wilkinson who are associated with Movember, and carve their own niche charity activity in the UK around the shavers’ product range. Conclusion The current brand analysis of BIC shavers for men highlights the fact that BIC is way behind in terms of online presence and brand engagement with potential consumers. In today’s world of online presence, social media and interconnectivity, it is expected from all major brands to provide meaningful ways for its target audience to interact both with the brand and associated products, and in that respect BIC got a lot of catching-up to do. The solution section highlights various ways through which BIC can bridge the gap between itself and competing brands in the UK over the same product segment.
  25. 25. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 25 References AotW, 2009. Gillette iPhone Application. [Online] Available at: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/online/gillette_uart_iphone_application [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Azzone, G. & Bertele, U., 1994. Exploiting green strategies for competitive advantage. Long Range Planning, 27(6), pp. 69-81. BIC Editorial Team, 2014a. BIC - 2013 Sustainable Development Report. [Online] Available at: http://interactivedocument.labrador- company.com/Labrador/EN/Bic/2013SustainableDevelopmentReport/ [Accessed 13 12 2014]. BIC Editorial Team, 2014b. BIC - Annual Report 2013. [Online] Available at: http://www.bicworld.com/BIC-Annual-Report-2013/ [Accessed 13 12 2014]. BIC YouTube Channel, 2011. Insane Human Curling by BIC Flex 3. [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlCVE0OG-tI [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Business Case Studies LLP[1], n.d. BIC Case Study - Honour the past ... invent the future. [Online] Available at: http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/bic/honour-the-past-invent-the- future/challenges.html#axzz3MAius25c [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Desbois, C., 2014. BIC - Sustainable Development In Action. [Online] Available at: http://www.bicworld.com/img/pdf/SustainableDevelopmentProgramJuly2014.pdf [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Gallarotti, G., 1995. It pays to be green: the managerial incentive structure and environmentally sound strategies. The Columbia Journal of World Business, 30(4), pp. 39-57. Gee, S., 2014. Mintel: Social and Media Networks - UK - May 2014. [Online] Available at: https://extranet.cranfield.ac.uk/display/679632/,DanaInfo=academic.mintel.com+# [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Huang, R. & Ohanian, R., 2006. BIC: Honor the Past, Invent the Future. [Online] Available at: www.mcafee.cc/Classes/BEM106 [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Kapferer, J. N., 2012. The New Strategic Brand Management - Advanced Insights & Strategic Thinking. 5 ed. London: Kogan Page Limited. Libby, C., 2014. Mintel: Men's and Women's Shaving and Hair Removal - UK - September 2014. [Online] Available at: https://extranet.cranfield.ac.uk/display/679468/,DanaInfo=academic.mintel.com+# [Accessed 13 12 2014]. PR Newswire, 2010. Go Bald For Good: BIC 4 GOOD Collects Head Shaves To Support DoSomething.org. [Online] Available at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/go-bald-for-good-bic-4-good-collects-head- shaves-to-support-dosomethingorg-one-lucky-person-to-win-4k-90935794.html [Accessed 13 12 2014].
  26. 26. BIC Shavers – Brand Analysis Page 26 Robertson, G., 2013. www.beloved-brands.com. [Online] Available at: http://beloved-brands.com/2013/04/14/road-map/ [Accessed 2014 12 13]. Tsirulnik, G., 2009. Procter & Gamble’s Gillette seeks close shave with mobile. [Online] Available at: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/database-crm/3354.html [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Turan, E., 2011. Roborazor TV Commercial for Bic Razor HD. [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CHPrV7MU0U [Accessed 13 12 2014]. Zagrebnov, E., 2011. BIC increases its profit despite difficulties. [Online] Available at: http://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/2011/04/20/04015-20110420ARTFIG00428-bic-augmente-son- benefice-malgre-des-difficultes.php [Accessed 13 12 2014].

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