Developing new products
A Gillette case study

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Page 4: Identifying consumers' needs and wants: Gillette

Gillette's research shows that in 2002, more than 1.7 billion men over 15 years old remove hair daily, with over 80% using a blade and razor. From this, Gillette has calculated that the world market for blades, razors, shaving creams and gels in 2002 was in excess of £5 billion a year.

Gillette's research has also revealed that the primary factors that consumers look for include:

Through its market research, Gillette has identified two main segments of the male shaving market - Systems and Disposables.

Within the systems segment, we can identify two sub segments:

  • premium shaving systems, such as Sensor Excel, Mach3, Mach3, Turbo and M3Power
  • standard shaving systems, such as Contour and GII.

Within the disposbables segment, we can now identify a further two sub segments:

  • Premium disposables e.g. Sensor 3 Disposables
  • Standard disposables, eg Blue II, Agilite.

Consumers' benefits depend upon which segment they buy into. For example, consumers in the premium disposable market may be seeking a convenient set of razors to take on holiday, whereas at the top end of the market those consumers buying premium shaving systems are looking for all-round top-quality shaving experiences.

Gillette's advertising focuses on clarifying premium product benefits. This is because more and more consumers are preferring to move up-market to premium shaving systems.

The standard disposable razor is still extremely popular but there is a clear trend to system razors, such as M3Power and Venus Divine. Nevertheless, Gillette has still improved its market share in this segment because of the quality, value for money, and reliability of its disposable products.

Gillette's philosophy is very clear in whatever the consumer chooses to shave with, whether a systems product or disposable, Gillette wishes to give that consumer the opportunity to shave with the best product possible.

Gillette's Blue II and GII products remain key and the company is convinced that consumer satisfaction with its products leads them to continue to buy its products when they are ready to trade up to more sophisticated market segments. It is therefore an entry-level product in the same way for example, a smaller BMW 3 Series represents the first rung on the BMW ladder.

Gillette | Developing new products