Clean Edge Razor

4336 words 18 pages
4249
JANUARY 19, 2011

JOHN A. QUELCH HEATHER BECKHAM

Clean Edge Razor: Splitting Hairs in Product Positioning
On August 9, 2010, a group of executives from Paramount Health and Beauty Company (Paramount) sat in a research room intently observing a dozen men shaving on the other side of a two-way mirror. The subjects were testing out Paramount’s newest nondisposable razor, Clean Edge, and discussing the experience. The verdict was extremely encouraging. The majority of men felt it was the closest, cleanest, and smoothest shave they had encountered. Clean Edge’s improved design provided superior performance by utilizing a vibrating technology to stimulate hair follicles and lift the hair from the skin, allowing for a more thorough shave.1
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Research showed these segments held true for both men and women. Exhibit 1 summarizes Paramount’s findings on these groups.
2 BRIEFCASES | HARVARD BUSINESS PUBLISHING

Clean Edge Razor: Splitting Hairs in Product Positioning | 4249

The intensity of involvement with the product varied significantly among consumers. There was a group of consumers that Paramount labeled as “Maintenance Shavers” who were almost completely disinterested in the product category. Involved users could be broken up into “Social/Emotional” and “Aesthetic” shavers. Both groups were willing to experiment with new technology. “Social/Emotional” shavers were motivated by the overall shaving experience, while “Aesthetic” shavers were more interested in cosmetic results.

Trends
The rate of new-product introductions for nondisposable razors and refill cartridges had accelerated in recent years, with an unprecedented flurry of 22 new stock-keeping units (SKUs) being introduced between 2008 and 2009. Most of these new SKUs were line extensions targeted at the super-premium segment and promoted benefits from advances in technology. As a result of new-product introductions and in order to stimulate demand, total media advertising expenditures in this category had been rising faster than retail market sales, and this trend was expected to continue. Exhibit 2 provides

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