Promotion Strategy at Gillette
Founded in 1901, Gillette is a major player in several consumer product markets. Its Duracell, Oral-B, Braun and Gillette brands all lead their respective markets (Gillette, 2004a). This paper discusses the Gillette razor brands. It discusses why Gillette invests heavily in new product development and promotion and outlines the company's product and branding strategies.
In January 2004, Gillette launched its newest razor product, a redesign of the Mach3 product called the M3Power. The M3Power razor includes slightly redesigned blades and a new cartridge design that Gillette claims will provide "a new level of glide and comfort" and a "superior shaving ...view middle of the document...
In the past century, male shaving needs have not changed, and nothing has created new consumer needs. Gillette uses product positioning and promotional strategies to avoid a decline in existing products and to create demand in their latest designs. As each model moves through its own product cycle, it is introduced, experiences growth, reaches maturity and then enters a decline. By releasing new models periodically, Gillette effectively restarts the overall product cycle for blades, returning again and again to the introduction phase.
Gillette constantly surveys its market to identify both the status of existing product lines and the potential of new products. They analyze competition and technology, and take into account consumer problems, behaviors and trends. Using this analysis, Gillette defined marketing objectives, assessed their options, and developed a 'core' strategy.
While the U.S. market represents the largest market, Gillette recognizes the importance of a global product promotion strategy. As the U.S. market for older Sensor and Senor Excel razors declined due to the age of the product line and the introduction of the new Mach 3 line in 2002, Gillette shifted marketing for the Sensor line to developing markets. The company tries to move these markets up the "performance/price ladder," by moving consumers from standard double-edged, single blade razors to twin-blade systems like the Sensor. Simultaneously, the company tries to move developed markets within its performance brands, such as with the introduction of the M3Power to replace the standard Mach 3 line (Gillette, 2004a). The company blends the four key components of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) to produce the required response in the target audience.
Gillette's identification of specific target markets for its various razor lines based on market maturity supports the overall marketing strategy of moving customers up the performance/price ladder. Globally, the company concentrates its marketing efforts on the particular product likely to yield the highest sales in the target market. This targeted 'rifle shot' marketing effort, while requiring more research up front, is more effective than the 'shotgun' approach of marketing every product in all markets. Gillette has identified a ladder process for progression through razor technologies. Customers in developing markets that have not yet used the Sensor line would not be motivated to purchase the far more expensive M3Power line. Marketing dollars spent pushing the M3Power line when the market had not yet embraced older technologies would be wasted.
Gillette's product strategy has other obvious links to the marketing mix elements mentioned above as well. The company aims it promotional efforts at capturing...