Adapting to both digital and stylistic consumer trends, Gillette—a division of the consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble—is focusing on new, innovative ventures and wooing a more contemporary demographic in order to sustain growth worldwide, in the face of declining shaving rates and emerging competitors.
With more than 100 years of product innovation and USD $7.9 billion in global sales last year, Gillette remains a dominant force. However, while Gillette controls more than 70 percent of the razor retail market, it has cornered just a fifth of the growing online market. With several new subscription-based models growing in popularity, Gillette launched its own successful subscription service and rewards program, Gillette Shave Club, in June 2015.
To combat lower shave rates, Gillette continues to deliver innovative products and cultivate new engagement tactics. In April 2014, Gillette launched the Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall Technology, a handle that swivels in response to a man’s facial contours, delivering an ultra close and thorough shave. The company reports that more than 25 million men around the world have already switched to the innovative ProGlide razor.
Over the past year, Gillette has also taken a number of steps to attract and retain a younger male audience. It launched the “First vs. First Real” campaign, which cleverly juxtaposes first-time experiences and high-quality experiences, calling upon various real-life scenarios (e.g., First Girlfriend vs. First Real Girlfriend). In addition to its hallmark sports marketing initiatives, Gillette has also partnered with blockbuster entertainment properties, including the recent Avengers: Age of Ultron and (James Bond) Spectre movies.
Gillette’s commitment to customer-driven developments also characterizes its approach to the women’s market. Its Venus brand—the world leader in female shaving—is now connecting even more meaningfully with customers through its moving “Use Your And” campaign. The campaign encourages women to defy expectations and one-dimensional labels by embracing and instead of or (i.e., pretty and smart, not pretty or smart). On the innovation end, Gillette launched the Venus Swirl early in 2015—a razor with a unique pivoting handle and contouring blades, which took five years to develop and represents the first major change to Venus’ line in a decade.
As shavers’ expectations evolve, Gillette continues to differentiate itself in the worldwide market through cutting-edge quality and precision engineering.