Brad McCoy Gillette ProFusion Razors Company Report Introduction The process of globalization has determined a series of changes in the businessenvironment that companies address. The competition increases, determining companiesto develop innovative ways in which they can gain competitive advantage. At the sametime, customers’ needs are changing more rapidly, forcing companies to invest in theirresearch and development activity in order to develop products and services that are ableto address these needs. In such an environment, it is necessary for companies to develop marketingcampaigns that are able to identify and to anticipate the needs of customers and todevelop messages for each customer category and its needs. In other words, it is veryimportant that companies correctly identify the customer segment that seems to be themost profitable for the company in case, identify these customers’ purchase motivation,develop the product or service in accordance with their needs, and sending the rightmessage to these customers. Although the steps mentioned above seem to be easy to accomplish, the practiceof marketers reveals the fact that it is quite difficult to reach these objectives, and thatthere are numerous companies, even large international ones, that are unable to correctlyperform these activities. The result is represented by poor sales, low profits, and an
unsatisfactory image of the company. In order to develop and implement a successful marketing strategy, it is necessaryto rely on thorough market studies and analyses. In addition to this, given the fact that thecustomer should be in the center of the marketing strategy, the company shouldthoroughly analyze the profile of potential and existing customers in order to identifytheir purchase behavior, they buying motivation, and the needs that determine theseaspects. Furthermore, the company should develop products and services in accordancewith the needs identified in the case of the customer segment that company intends toaddress, and not on what the company considers that would be more suitable for thesecustomers. This is because it is possible that the company’s opinions do not match theopinions of its customers. One of the most important parts of the marketing strategy is represented by themessage that the company intends to send to its customers. PR means doing something ofhigh quality and speaking about it. In other words, it is necessary to correctly promote theproduct or service in case, in order to inform the public about it. It is important for thecommunications strategy to be developed in accordance with the characteristics of thecustomer segment that the company addresses. Therefore, the company must identify thecommunication channels that these customers prefer and the type of message thesecustomers are most likely to respond to.
Gillette Company Presentation The Gillette Company was established in 1895 as a safety razor manufacturer.The company was purchased in 2005 by Procter & Gamble. Gillette is one of the mostwell-known international brands. Since its establishment, the company has significantlydeveloped its range of product. Gillette currently produces and commercializes severaltypes of razors and men’s body care products. Gillette has also developed a women’sproduct line. The operations of Gillette are currently included in the operations of Procter &Gamble. This means that the expenditures and sales of Gillette are combined with theother brands owned by Procter & Gamble. This makes it difficult for interested parties toanalyze the performance of Gillette and of its lines of products. The competitive advantage of Gillette is generated by the company’s research anddevelopment process. The company is interested in maintaining its market share byintroducing new products on the market and by upgrading existing products. This way,the company considers that customers will be attracted by the company’s interest indeveloping high quality products that address the needs of customers. In addition to this, Gillette is trying to attract customers and to develop a loyalcustomer base by creating products that seem to address the needs of specific categoriesof customers that cannot be considered mass customers. By developing such products,Gillette expects its customers to feel appreciated by the company and repeat theirpurchase. Gillette also focuses on developing a marketing strategy that allows theflexibility required by the changing needs of consumers.
Gillette ProFusion Presentation Gillette produces and commercializes the following product categories: shavingrazors, shave gel and foam, skin care, deodorant, and body wash. Each of these productcategories consist of several lines of products that address a variety of needs, in theattempt of reaching a larger number of customers. The Gillette ProFusion razor is considered by the company as advancedtechnology for proven shaving performance (Gillette, 2010). The product addresses menwith sensitive skin that that is easily irritated. The technology used in the development ofthe product is considered to ensure the reduction of shaving irritation even on sensitiveskin. The technology used by the product, its description and advantages are presentedin detail on Gillette’s website. The product can also be purchased online. Gillette Marketing Strategy Since its establishment, Gillette has managed to develop a strong market positionwith the help of innovative marketing strategies. The initial marketing strategies of thecompany were based on the invention of the Gillette disposable razor by King CampGillette. The success of these strategies was easily attained, given the novelty of theproduct and its advantages. This situation created strong competitive advantage thatGillette benefitted from and improved its position on the market. In addition to this, the initial marketing strategies were based on offering freerazors so that customers could buy the blades manufactured by Gillette (Agarwal, 2010).The strategy was very successful, and many competitors tried to apply it. As a
consequence, they were sued or acquired by Gillette. The company’s marketing strategy is also based on: • Low prices • Automated manufacturing facilities • Advertising Although the company’s marketing strategy has modified since its establishmentbecause of the modifications of market conditions, type of competition, and customers’needs, the current strategy of Gillette is also based on innovation and on developingproducts that address a series of specific needs. However, Gillette’s marketing strategy must be developed in accordance with thegeneral strategy on the company. This way, the company is able to identify the areas thatrequire increased amounts of resources and to allocate the resources of the companybased on the requirements of each activity and the objectives that must be reached. As aconsequence, the global resources of Gillette are organized so that the company canachieve leadership in all product categories. The corporate strategy of Gillette is based on: • Aggressive research and advertising • Strategic diversification • New product developments • Investments in technology and product innovation
• Focus on core competencies • Maximize e-commerce opportunities • Build strong product portfolio Source: Strategy and Marketing Management, by P. McNamee and K. Stewart. This marketing strategy establishes the strategic direction that Gillette mustfollow. The strategy developed in the case of each product is established in accordancewith the characteristics of the product, the target market, and the objectives of thestrategy. The strategy for blades and razors is developed based on the following aspects: Innovation through research and development – this strategy proved to besuccessful and helped Gillette become the leader in his market. Premium brand at premium price – the company’s products are designed in orderto reach high quality standards. This means that the prices must be established inaccordance with the quality level. Build global product branding – the company considers that it is better to developa universal image of Gillette and its products that can be used in most countries. This is adifficult strategy to apply, given the cultural differences between many countries. Build strong brand loyalty – it is important that Gillette develops a loyal customerbase. Improve efficiency at lower costs – the increased competition and the fact thatcompetitors are able to provide similar products at lower prices determines Gillette todevelop strategies aiming to reduce production costs. This is usually attained by
outsourcing the production process. As mentioned above, the company develops a marketing strategy for each type ofproduct with an associated message. In the case of Gillette ProFusion razor, the mediamessage the company tried to promote was that this is premium product that usesadvanced technology in order to significantly improve shaving performance. The message was directed towards men with sensitive skin that irritates especiallyduring shaving. But the Gillette ProFusion razor was developed in order to reduceirritation and other problems associated with shaving even for sensitive skin. The targetedcustomer segment is represented by men aged 25 to 35 with medium to high incomes,educated, sports oriented, with a busy lifestyle, and interested in receiving the bestgrooming products and services. The company selected several marketing channels in transmitting this message: • TV advertising • Newspaper and magazine advertising • Special presentation events • Spokespersons • Sponsorship of sports events This is because each customer category prefers different types of marketingchannels. Some customers are interested in the advertorials they find in their favoritemagazine, some are attracted by the fact that celebrities promote the product in case, and
other customers are attracted by sponsoring and organizing certain events they areinterested in. There are several aspects that must be taken into consideration when analyzing thesuccess of the media message in the case of Gillette ProFusion razor. For example, it isnot only important that the message reaches the targeted customer segment, but also if themessage produced the expected results. In order to analyze the success of the messageand of the product, it is recommended to take into consideration product reviews. Gillette’s website provides a section for each product where customers can posttheir review for these products. Customers’ opinions are varied regarding theperformance of Gillette ProFusion razor. In this case, the customers and their opinionscan be categorized as: • Customers that like the product but consider that the price is too high for its advantages • Customers that did not like the product • Customers that like the product and consider the price as suitable for its quality The most important category in assessing this product is represented by customersthat liked the product but consider the price as being too high for the characteristics of therazor. This means that the company managed to send the message to the intendedcustomer segments. The opinions of customers that bought and used the product prove that the
message was understood. This means that the message was clear and easy to understand.It is important to develop a clear message that does not create confusion amongcustomers. The customers understood that Gillette ProFusion razor is supposed to be apremium product at a premium price. But some of them do not agree with the fact thatthis price matches the characteristics of the product. This is not the message’s fault, since the price was incorrectly established by themarketing team. In other words, if the performance of the product regarding its salesvolume does not reach the established levels, it is not because of the media message, butbecause of the pricing strategy that was not developed in accordance with the productstrategy and with the needs of customers. Gillette developed Fusion in order to increase its sales volume and its marketshare. The premium product was intended to be introduced as the star of the product line.The market was prepared for this advanced product through the introduction of previousmodels that proved to be successful and to gain significant profits (Altaf, 2010).However, the problem was represented by the high price of the Fusion. In order tocounteract this issue, the company considered that the advanced technology provided bythis product and its advantages in comparison with other products would persuadecustomers into buying it. The company’s expectations regarding the financial performance of Fusion werequite daring. Procter & Gamble intended to reach $1 billion in sales (Chernev, 2009). Inorder to achieve this objective, the company developed several strategies: • Launching a new advertising campaign • Reducing the retail price of the razor
• Reducing the retail price of the cartridges • Redesigning the packages • Maintaining the strategic line Conclusions Gillette is the leader of the razors market and most of its products reach highstandards regarding their sales volume. Some of the company’s products sell better thanothers. The company focuses its strategy on advanced technology, innovation, andsignificant investments in the research and development activity. However, this does not mean that each advanced product introduced by Gilletteon the market reaches the sales volume expected by the company. This is because thepremium price of some of the company’s products are considered too high by massconsumers. This is also the case of ProFusion. The message that the company intended to send was well developed and itreached the targeted customer categories. The problem with this product is that thepricing strategy was not developed in accordance with the product strategy. Thisconclusion can be drawn from the opinions of customers posted on the product reviewsection on the company’s website. In other words, one cannot state that ProFusion’s sales are not performing. Thesales of this product are supported by the sales of other products of Gillette. Theadvertising strategy developed by Gillette is also successful because of the celebritysportsmen selected as spokesmen, like Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Thierry Henry.
This strategy helps attract a large number of customers that support the company’s salesvolume. Reference list: 1. Gillette Fusion Power (2010). Gillette. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.gillette.com/en/us/Products/Razors/fusion.aspx. 2. Agarwal, A. (2010). King C. Gillette: Inventor, Marketer, and Strategist. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.marketingcrossing.com/article/220303/King-C-Gillette-Inventor- Marketer-and-Strategist/. 3. McNamee, P. & Stewart, K. (2001). Strategy and Marketing Management. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.slideshare.net/rupakfeb7/gillette-final. 4. Altaf, N. (2010). Gillette – Launching the Fusion. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.brandsynario.com/mindkey/article/535_gillette- launching-the-fusion.aspx. 5. Chernev, A. (2009). Gillette Fusion: Building a $1 Billion Brand. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/CRTI/KOM- Dec09/Chernev-Gillette_Fusion_0841.pdf. 6. Pride, W. & Ferrell, O. (2008). Marketing. South-Western. Retrieved
November 29, 2010 from http://books.google.ro/books?id=- R1zRakeLJgC&pg=PA581&lpg=PA581&dq=gillette+fusion+sales+volume& source=bl&ots=de5356Jr_w&sig=iqqAbLYqcHXi8kA g6GInMDMDiKU&hl=ro#v=onepage&q=gillette%20fusion%20sales %20volume&f=false.7. Capon, N. (2008). Managing Marketing in the 21st Century. Wessex, Inc. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://books.google.ro/books? id=RQFticcBQRwC&pg=PA247&lpg=PA247&dq=gillette+fusion+sales+vol ume&source=bl&ots=mTzT01nfSn&sig=bnqeOOIkddgtIxdgifTsGRovVus&h l=ro#v=onepage&q=gillette%20fusion%20sales%20volume&f=false.8. Goetzl, D. & Greenberg, K. (2009). P & G Remains Bullish on Ad Spending. Marketing Daily. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/? fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=99437.