Gillette recognizes true fans

Well I had this post sitting in my draft box but then AdRants went and beat me to the punch yesterday.  Pretty bad to get scooped when the guys ten feet away from me are the ones selling these razors.

So in case, you didn’t see the news yet, Gillette has released their limited edition Gillette College Razor with 11 colleges that you can select from.  In my eyes (and not just because I work at P&G), I think this is a brilliant move.  If there is one thing guys love, it is sports and in particular, college sports.  This is a great way to drive guys to throw out their old Mach-3′s and trade-up to the new Fusion Power.  Even more importantly, this is something guys are going to tell other guys about, creating a natural word-of-mouth around the brand.  You even might get guys to buy a new Fusion even if they already have one just because they want to show their “fandom”.

Can you think of any ways your brand or business can help fans show their passion points?

Comments

  1. Tommy says

    I agree with you Dave. I think this is a great licensing deal and have worked on similiar programs back in my days in the NFL and NBA.

    I especially like how it is an everyday household good that you wouldn't normally expect to be a licensed product. Normally, you're looking at on-packaging for low cost goods, not actually on the good itself. It is a great way as you said to switch affinity for new users to try the "Fusion Power" product, and have retained customers upgrade to generate dollars from tha segment.

    It is interesting to see the markets that were selected as part of the program. There are some obvious ties for the "now" teams and champs like OSU & Florida, but I am willing to bet this isn't just about the colleges and their audiences. I am assuming that these are important markets for Gillette and this prodcut in specific one way or any other (Over/under index of usage, troubled sales markets, key partner markets, i.e. Wal-Mart – Arkansas…duh, CVS, etc.)

    BobG kind of has a point, however it seems he failed to see that these are specifically geo-targeted promotions. i.e. Georgia is only available in Georgia, etc. and will probably be marketed as such. Therefore displaced fans are out of luck, and I can't pick up a Michagan branded Fusion in DC, then again, I probably wouldn't have even known about it as I'm not in that DMA.

    It would make sense for Gillette to open this up to more teams if not the five major conferences, but I see what they are doing by limiting it at the start and testing the receptivity. It is a heck of a lot cheaper than launching a national program and having it flop.

    Frankly it's better to represent the major markets and give it a test run before they go full scale, profitability wise. This way if it's a flop, they only had to license 11 teams and support each with a regional spend, rather than try to negotiate 50 or all 112 license deals which could get awfully spendy.

    Nice heads up Dave.

  2. says

    Great timing on the launch of this partnership as well. This is the time of the year when college football fans start getting antsy with the start of the season about a month away.

  3. says

    I, too, was excited about this, Dave, until I put myself in the consumer’s shoes and went through it. First, the product itself doesn’t use all of the school colors, just a small badge on the orange-colored handle (looks bad and UGA fans, for example, will not want a Florida/Tennessee colored handle!). Second, my school, Duke is not represented (no football jokes, please) – I can’t remember the last time only a small group of colleges were represented in a licensing program. Third, I couldn’t buy it online – which is what I’m apt to do on an impulse item like this. Finally, when sent to a store link, I couldn’t buy it online there, either. So Gillette lost my sale and the ability to spread free WOM to my fellow Dukies. Instead, I actually have a negative feeling about a brand that I loyally use everyday.

    Overall, points for trying, but its missing a lot of what the consumer would expect when holding this against the standard in the rest of the licensing game.

  4. Patrick says

    I think its interesting, certainly not new but it is a product the consumers use nearly every day and its not expensive enough to limit the audience..and its just another domino in the customization movement as every product looks to make itself unique to each consumer’s needs or passions.

  5. says

    All – great points and love to see the discussion.

    Bob – The points you hit on all make sense but consider the Product Supply impact. Changing the mold of the entire razor isnt a simple task and you know first hand how much we try to optimize production lines. My gut is that changing the emblem is about the best they could get. Now on that, I understand why we went with just a small # of schools because of scale. But you hit on a big miss with ecommerce. They could offer the razors online and give you the option to order just the emblem. Make them interchangable so you could buy a base razor and then put in an emblem of any school, no matter how small.

    Tommy – Killer point on key partner markets. Living in the heart of Walmart country, I am seeing how much people at that retailer love their Razorbacks.

    Overall it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future. I do hope they add the ecommerce capability so I can get my Buckeye version!

  6. Rich says

    It’s all about connecting with the heart, not the head. What a great way to trigger our football daydream as we go about the daily monotonous task of shaving. I want MLB version….

  7. says

    Good idea, I think. Have to agree with BobG on making it available for purchase online.

    If plans aren’t already in motion, I would definitely think about integrating into summer college orientations or fall welcome weeks.

  8. says

    Available online? Pending the amount of cost this would take, it’d be super beneficial to create products even more focused and aimed at more than 11 educational and athletic powerhouses (although I understand it’s a larger target market and cost efficient with the rising prices of commodities…). For example, I would like to think of Xavier University as a ‘powerhouse’, but due to its size – I don’t see a razor ad combining efforts with XU on the packaging/product. P&G sure would gain a lot of supporters if they had joint efforts that were school specific though! What kinds of efforts does P&G Brand/Marketing to do improve campus relations/school niches?

    Also, noticed the ads on the billboards around Cincinnati with P&G’s Gillette razor and Kroger retail stores. Nice to see that two local headquarters can venture a few blocks from each other and combine efforts : ) I would like to see more of these collaborations with more innovative approaches. Two great companies, certainly with talented internal teams working together. What other projects are they working on to build business together?

    “Jim Stengel Retires” – Wonder where Jim Stengel is going/pursuing now? Great guy! http://online.wsj.com/public/article/0,,SB121614145780655077-eAelnpNvBe0FXJZu9aoXWfELVGQ_20090716.html?mod=rss_Whos_News

    Great blogging as usual Mr. Knox!

    later,
    B

  9. Jessica says

    I am not sure who came up with this phenomenal marketing plan but they must be a genius! :)

    The reason this product will sell and will resonate with consumers is because it taps into the one thing that creates true brand loyalty – EMOTION. Fans are emotionally married to their teams – why else would they where a chunk of cheese on their head, or a pig snout or paint their entire body in face paint?

    By leveraging the every day product – the razor with their Lovemark – the collegiate logo – the consumer becomes emotionally connected to their RAZOR – genius move by PG.

    Thanks for posting D!
    Jess

  10. CJ says

    Does anyone know if the razors will be made available online? I am a Carolina fan, but unfortunately, do not live in NC anymore…

  11. says

    It’s great to see so much excitement and interest in this product. Dave’s point is spot on regarding the manufacturing complexities related to the razors. There is certainly already enough complexity with getting the right colors and being able to adapt the logos to the handles. Further tampering of the razor handles leads to more complexity in the manufacturing line, in addition could impact the performance of the razor. Generally speaking if we change the razor handles, we would have to do additional testing to ensure comparable performance.

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