Although most well known for its ever evolving line of safety razor products, Gillette has been a leader in the personal hygiene market for many years. The company was originally founded in the early 1900’s by King Camp Gillette, a salesman and entrepreneur with a vision and a head full of ideas, and today holds an estimated brand value of $16 billion dollars.
The King and the Freebie Market
King Camp Gillette recognized early in his career the potential value in disposable products. To manufacture a product that could only be used a few times and then thrown away would mean that once the public was hooked on that product, sales would automatically regenerate on a regular basis. He chose the razor as the object of his first business model, as razor blades were a basic necessity of modern life that were continually becoming dull from use and thrown away.
But he didn’t stop there. This innovative and forward thinking man took his ideas about disposable products a step further. Gillette conjectured that if the public could be hooked on his brand through the little or no profit sale of the razor itself, then they would be compelled to keep buying his matching razor blades whenever the old ones became dull. This style of marketing, originally termed the razor and blades business model, has become immensely popular in today’s business world. It is now popularly known as freebie marketing, and is widely attributed to have been invented by King Camp Gillette. In broadest terms it involves generating a continual market for a usually disposable item through the gift of another otherwise salable item, and has been noted as one of the key sources of the success of The Gillette Company.
It took awhile to develop the engineering of the blades—in those days, thin steel was not easy to work with or sharpen, and certainly not cheap. But soon enough the production process was patented and industrialized, and sales began to take off.
Sporting a Close Shave
The sponsorship of athletes and sporting events is the principal way Gillette currently promotes its products. Associating a clean shave with great athletic ability has long been a target of Gillette’s marketing campaigns, and athletes under its payroll are generally not allowed to grow facial hair. Gillette internationally sponsors top athletes in almost every major sport, including soccer, golf, rugby, tennis, and cricket. Some of its most well known product endorsements have come from all star professionals such as David Beckham, Tiger Woods, and Thierry Henry.
Advertising and marketing campaigns aside, The Gillette Company is probably most well known for the ever increasing amount of blades held on their disposable razor heads, as well as the ever increasing expense. The recurring increase in the amount of blades on Gillette’s disposable razor head has been parodied in popular culture multiple times with repeated comedic references on Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, and The Onion.
The first upgrade since the development of the single blade razor head came in 1971, was named the Trac II, and had a second blade parallel to the first. The company claimed that this would reduce facial irritation and lower the amount of strokes required to shave. New features were added over the years to further increase comfort and convenience. These included the lubricating strip for increased lubrication, a pivoting head for easier contour shaving, spring loaded blades to help prevent cuts, and finally microfins—claimed to help raise facial hairs from the skin, facilitating the razor blade.
In 1998, the Mach 3 was introduced—a disposable razor head with, predictably, 3 parallel razor blades. This has been claimed to be the highest selling razor in history.
Skipping the 4 blade razor due to a competitor beating them to the release, in 2006, Gillette went straight to the Fusion—a cutting edge disposable razor head with 5 blades on the front, and 1 on the back for high accuracy trimming. The Fusion is currently promoted as the “most technologically advanced razor to date,” and said to address thoroughly every aspect of the razor’s contact with both hair and skin.
Think Razors are Expensive?
Gillette offers a complimentary samples and coupon service on its website under the name of P&G brand sampler. Participants are required to register online, providing an email address, after which access is granted to the P&G brand sampler section of the site. The brand sampler website includes shaving tips and advice from experts, samples, coupons, and sweepstakes for Gillette products, and a free monthly e-newsletter.
The Text to Win daily razor giveaway promotion involves texting the word “Gillette” to a certain phone number for a chance to win a free razor. No purchase is necessary and 1 free Gillette Fusion razor is awarded every day. This promotion began on May 21, 2010, and will last till August 21, 2010. It will result in the giveaway of free razors to 92 fortunate individuals.
Online Treasure Hunting
Other online avenues for finding Gillette coupons include the home pages of most chain department stores. With marketing and convenience services being increasingly offered online, major shopping outlets publish coupons for the products found in their stores directly on their websites, and honor simple printouts of these at the time of checkout. As Gillette is a major brand which offers many different products, Gillette coupons are often some of the most promoted offers on department store websites, and its special offers and combination packages are among the most widely available.
There are also entire websites dedicated to gathering and promoting coupons for all major brands. These websites can be an extremely valuable asset to the coupon hungry online treasure hunter, as they are often quite well organized and make any coupon imaginable easy and convenient to find. They usually carry an immense variety of offers and deals from almost every conceivable brand. These sites come as a highly recommended alternative to simply hunting for coupons online via regular search engines, and may even surpass the convenience of your department store’s own website.
Once you have found a coupon site that suits you, and that caters to your personal taste in brands and offers, you may want to bookmark it among your other favorite websites, and keep coming back to check for more goodies. You never know what you may find!
The Traditional Way
It is quite easy to find coupons and special offers for Gillette products offline as well. Your local department store most likely produces its own coupon pages, which can be picked up at the entrance of the store. Make sure to browse through these every time a new one is released as you can often find just the treasure you need hidden within its pages.
Newspapers and magazines are another effective source for finding the latest coupon and special offers for Gillette products. Besides advertising the newest products and giving information on all the hottest features and peculiarities, cut out coupons will many times be included to encourage you to go straight to the store and try the product out for yourself. You can often find great deals on the very latest Gillette products by bringing the advertisement to the store and presenting it at the time of purchase to show them a certain code or offer included in the ad.