How Gillette gets a closer shave than you do:
If you’re a man, and if you are also a sharp marketer, you probably already know what I’m about to tell you. But…
If you are a woman, this information may give you some insight as to why men are so simple and how foolish we are.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the final scene of “The Last Action Hero” tells the young boy who idolizes him, there are 3 things he has to look forward to as he gets older: “premature ejaculation… your first divorce… and shaving.”
Today we’ll talk about shaving.
I hate shaving, and I think most guys feel the same way. It’s a weird thing — when you’re a young teenager, you spend every waking moment of your life, filled with anticipation about growing facial hair. Rubbing on your chin like it’s the Blarney Stone, as if perhaps the more you rub it, the faster your facial hair would grow.
Then, once your “15 minutes of fame” arrives, you spend the next 6 months yelling expletives at yourself in the mirror, as you’re reaching for toilet tissue and septic sticks, to try and stop the bleeding, from all the nicks and cuts you wind up giving yourself.
Sure, over time you get better at it, and eventually you get to the point where shaving is probably less dangerous than driving. But regardless, the anticipation you once had, quickly fades when reality hits.
You come to discover there’s absolutely nothing exciting about having to slide a sharp blade across your entire face every morning. Period.
Don’t get me wrong — I love the “results” — or in marketing terms, the “benefits” of shaving. I like when my face is clean-shaven. (Although it does feel kind of manly having razor stubble on your face.)
Once-in-a-blue-moon I skip a day here-and-there, but my wife doesn’t like how I look with a face full of stubble. And if I’m honest about it, now that much of it is grey, instead of dark brown… I don’t really care for it, either.
Anyway, according to Gillette, the market leader in razor sales, American men spent over $2 Billion on razors and blades last year, and another $300+ Million on shaving creams and gels.
And let’s face it, being Gillette isn’t necessarily easy. I mean, a razor’s a razor’s a razor. It’s a commodity product with very little differential between one or the other.
Sure, the 4 blade model did shave a little better than the 3-blade model, but honestly, I really can’t say there’s a difference between the 4-blade model and the 5-bladed model.
Yet, I buy them all.
It’s kind of like some of the iphones – you’ll buy the new one because it’s new – not necessarily because it’s better.
And Gillette’s knows this. For instance, when they released the Fusion (5-blade model), their marketing said, “Fusion is a nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to create power”… that it’s “breakthrough technology”… and they’re “ensuring your shaving experience will be consistent as your battery drains.”
None of this makes any sense of course. As far as having any kind of tangible beneficial meaning that’s compelling enough to get you to buy – none of these comments will do it for you. In fact, they are all pretty meaningless.
It’s kind of like selling a shower head by saying your “bathing experience will be consistent as the water warmly wraps around your body, all over”.
I don’t suspect anyone will read or listen to any of this stuff, but I do suspect they’ll hear NEW and just pay the additional 10-25% more for the latest model.
So, what can you learn from Gillette’s marketing?
The answer is simple: Upgrades are an easy sell. Offer your buyers a newer, faster, stronger, “better” upgrade and they’ll likely buy it.
This is an EASY sale, but of course… only if you actually offer it.
Good, so get moving on it, then.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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Hey, Johnny Park! – Foo Fighters (1997)