Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How Many Blades Is Too Many Blades?

Have you been following the race for supremacy in the men's razor category? Talk about competition!

Gillette launches the Mach3 with three blades.
Then comes the Mach3 Turbo - an upgrade.
This is followed by Gillette's Mach3 Turbo Champion - in a racy, Ferrari red. (It looks great on my bathroom counter, by the way.)

Not to be outdone, Schick comes out with the Quattro, featuring four blades. The Quattro hit the market just a few months after Gillette's Mach3.

This month, Gillette responded with its new razor, The Fusion. It has five blades--count 'em f-i-v-e. And that's just on the front face of the shaving head. Get this, the Fusion also has an additional "precision blade" on the rear face of the shaving head. Excessive? Yes. Clever. Also yes! Who had ever thought of doing anything useful with the back of the razor blade cartridge.

I checked the price of a package of refill blades. At my supermarket the price tag was a whopping $27.95. And I thought that the Mach3 refills were sinful at $18.95 for the refill package. I actually feel guilty whenever I have to add razor blades to the weekly grocery shopping list.

I have not tried the Fusion yet ... but I probably will. Gillette usually gets me with its marketing.

Can anyone recommend a good home-equity loan to me? I'm going to need one if I have to begin purchasing Fusion razor blades.


Blogger Wabi-Sabi said...

I can't recommend a home equity loan, but I do recommend the Fusion razor. The marketing geniuses at Gillette mailed me a free Fusion razor a week or so before the Superbowl, when their national ads started. I think I got it as a result of my Kroger savings card, another excellent marketing tool.

At first I was skeptical, because I thought, like you have mentioned, how many blades do you need? Plus I was turned off by the Quattro or one of the others that seemed to be too abrasive or rough with the extra blades.

But since I had a free razor, I tried it, and I immediately fell in love with it!

The shave is close. but not too rough. It doesn't feel stiff or like there are 4 blades. Plus the 5th blade on the back is ingenious. It is terrific for side burns or the occassional try at a goattee, which usually only lasts a few days.

I found myself talking about the razor to my hairstylist, friends, and now writing about it here.

Most significantly, I asked my wife specifically to get replacement blades for the Fusion the last time she went to Krogers - proving that both Gillette and Krogers are marketing geniuses.

11:52 PM

Blogger oncee said...

The Quattro rocks, but I'm not a fan of the The Fusion. For me at least, the Quattro gives me a closer shave.

1:05 AM

Anonymous Paul Fabretti said...

How many blades is enough?

There's never enough - remember the film "There's Something About Mary"?

The murderer hitchhiker had the right idea 7 minute abs, then 6 minute abs, then "who is gonna work out properly in less than 5 minutes"

Not necessarily the greatest argument for product extension but methinks it iall boils down to keeping up withe the jones's!

11:16 AM

Blogger Emily W said...

I frequently listen to Bob & Tom in the morning and just wanted to share with you guys that they, too, have a commentary on this subject. They've done a spoof commercial for a razor with some god-aweful amount of blades -- the name for their spoof razor -- The DECAPITATOR. Hilarious.

1:12 PM


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