04-09-2019, 12:05 AM
#1
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I'm a bit confused over the branding of Gillette DE blades.
When I search for "Manufacturer: Gillette" on Razorbladesclub i get 18 hits (actually 19, they misspelled "Gillette" once). All sorts of blades, most branded "Gillette" others not and manufactured all over the world (although most in Russia). I can detect no clear branding strategy here at all.

What's going on? Am I seeing local Gillette divisions doing their own thing in different corners of the world? Or is this a franchising thing where all sorts of factories "rent" the brand? Or is Gillette buying up razor blade factories so fast they can't catch up unifying their brands? Deliberate brand diversification to confuse poor me?

EDIT: Ok, "all over the world" was overstating it. It's all Russia, India and Thailand, as far as I can see.

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 04-09-2019, 01:06 AM
#2
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Plus Brazil & China. They make things were there advantageous to make & have taken over many brands over the years. The Russian plant is part P&G & part Russian state owned, has been that was for many years. Not sure why they chose Russia, they used to make blades in the USA, England, France & the Czech Republic to. Perma-Sharp, Astra & Nacet are brands Gillette acquired many moons a go, part of their take over the razor world strategy. I believe the Chinese plant makes blades under license however Gillette normally like to have a stake in any company they deal with as they have to protect their IP & manufacturing secrets.

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 04-09-2019, 01:18 AM
#3
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(04-09-2019, 01:06 AM)Suffolksupplies Wrote: Plus Brazil & China. They make things were there advantageous to make & have taken over many brands over the years. The Russian plant is part P&G & part Russian state owned, has been that was for many years. Not sure why they chose Russia, they used to make blades in the USA, England, France & the Czech Republic to. Perma-Sharp, Astra & Nacet are brands Gillette acquired many moons a go, part of their take over the razor world strategy. I believe the Chinese plant makes blades under license however Gillette normally like to have a stake in any company they deal with as they have to protect their IP & manufacturing secrets.

Thanks for the info. 
I still find it a bit weird that they don't use the same three or four brands regardless of origin, seems like that would give advertising benefits. On the other hand, given the company's recent PR disasters, looking for rationality in their strategy may be a lost cause. (No, I'm not re-opening that can of worms, just saying).

EDIT: By the way, just noticed your sig. Hi Paul, I have some blades en route from you at this very moment Smile

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 04-09-2019, 04:27 AM
#4
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
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I think that somewhere near the top of Gillette's ivory tower there is the belief that wet shaving would have been buried a long time ago in the name of progress. 

Convenience rules in the modern world and casts a steely eye at inefficiency. modern men and women will want carts to remove hair quickly and easily with no learning curve.

they didn't count on most of the people in 3rd world countries not being able to afford carts.

they also didn't count on us...wet shavers who have realized that there is comfort and satisfaction in performing this simple ritual. 

they also didn't count on finding carts in the bellies of whales washed up on shore; drawing a new generation toward beards and/or wet shaving.

but like a gigantic ship at sea, corporations have difficulty changing direction.

so now we have the return of a two bladed cart.

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 04-09-2019, 04:57 AM
#5
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(04-09-2019, 04:27 AM)RyznRio Wrote: I think that somewhere near the top of Gillette's ivory tower there is the belief that wet shaving would have been buried a long time ago in the name of progress. 

Convenience rules in the modern world and casts a steely eye at inefficiency. modern men and women will want carts to remove hair quickly and easily with no learning curve.

they didn't count on most of the people in 3rd world countries not being able to afford carts.

they also didn't count on us...wet shavers who have realized that there is comfort and satisfaction in performing this simple ritual. 

they also didn't count on finding carts in the bellies of whales washed up on shore; drawing a new generation toward beards and/or wet shaving.

but like a gigantic ship at sea, corporations have difficulty changing direction.

so now we have the return of a two bladed cart.

I agree with everything except that I think the "need" for convenience is mostly or entirely manufactured.
Much product development the last few decades have not actually been product development at all, merely marketing. The products are not modified to make them better but to make them easier to sell and/or more profitable. The math behind this is easy to understand. If you sell people a carbon steel frying pan for 100€ that lasts three generations, well, that's all the money you're going to get out of that customer. Perhaps you can get them to buy a smaller pan and a pancake pan as well, but that's it. On the other hand, if you convince them that a "non-stick" pan is more convenient then you get to sell them a new 100€ pan every three years because that's about how long that teflon-coated aluminium piece of crap will last. 
Obviously none of this applies to craftsmen and artisans since they tend to suffer from that anachronistic thing known as pride in their work. 

But I suppose we have digressed a bit from the razor blades.

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 04-09-2019, 05:30 AM
#6
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(04-09-2019, 04:57 AM)RazorSteve Wrote: I agree with everything except that I think the "need" for convenience is mostly or entirely manufactured.
Much product development the last few decades have not actually been product development at all, merely marketing. The products are not modified to make them better but to make them easier to sell and/or more profitable. The math behind this is easy to understand. If you sell people a carbon steel frying pan for 100€ that lasts three generations, well, that's all the money you're going to get out of that customer. Perhaps you can get them to buy a smaller pan and a pancake pan as well, but that's it. On the other hand, if you convince them that a "non-stick" pan is more convenient then you get to sell them a new 100€ pan every three years because that's about how long that teflon-coated aluminium piece of crap will last. 
Obviously none of this applies to craftsmen and artisans since they tend to suffer from that anachronistic thing known as pride in their work. 

But I suppose we have digressed a bit from the razor blades.

I agree with what you're saying.

Yes, there is always some exception here and there to the following.

Generally, people around me think that I am crazy spending "X" amount of money on different thing, but they don't understand that yes it cost me quite more money when I buy something but it will last for a lot more time then the one they bought for cheaper. If you buy something at $200 that would last you 20-25 years, then it is better then buying something at $60 that will last you only 5-6 years.

Marketing is playing a major role in what people think are good to buy.

There is a LOT of thing you can search on and realize that there is better options out there!

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 04-09-2019, 09:39 AM
#7
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I understand they sent a research team to India for weeks of "field research" on why carts were not selling as expected. They went to cities, towns, villages
and knocked on doors to learn from the men how and what they really wanted in a razor. Don't know what they learned... Confused 
Don't think they ever did that in the U.S. They just "cram" it down our throats here. I did read Germany was #1 in electric razors.
I would have thought Japan. Maybe they have so many Russian factories....because the men told them where to stick the carts.... Cool

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 04-09-2019, 09:46 AM
#8
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(04-09-2019, 09:39 AM)zipper Wrote: I understand they sent a research team to India for weeks of "field research" on why carts were not selling as expected. They went to cities, towns, villages
and knocked on doors to learn from the men how and what they really wanted in a razor. Don't know what they learned... Confused 
Don't think they ever did that in the U.S. They just "cram" it down our throats here. I did read Germany was #1 in electric razors.
I would have thought Japan. Maybe they have so many Russian factories....because the men told them where to stick the carts.... Cool
There was a time during the 90's when I fell for the whole electric razor thing. Hook, line and sinker.
I was in tech back then and the marketing can be pretty convincing with all the little animations showing how marvelously the razor lift the whiskers and cut them clean without touching the skin and so on.

Until you realize you spent a fortune on a high tech machine that gives you the worst shaves ever.

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 04-09-2019, 10:40 AM
#9
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(04-09-2019, 04:27 AM)RyznRio Wrote: I think that somewhere near the top of Gillette's ivory tower there is the belief that wet shaving would have been buried a long time ago in the name of progress. 

Convenience rules in the modern world and casts a steely eye at inefficiency. modern men and women will want carts to remove hair quickly and easily with no learning curve.

I do not understand the dichotomy that you posit. There is no inconsistency between wet shaving and using a cartridge razor.

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 04-10-2019, 08:06 AM
#10
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Gillette probably licenses locally to take advantage of pre-existing distribution relationships within these countries. Most of Gillette's DE blade deals are with countries or areas of the world with large numbers of relatively poorer men who still use DE.  Hence the Middle East, India, China, and Russia.  Furthermore, Gillette doesn't want to acknowledge DE shaving in the developed world so this sort of local distribution focus helps them to price differentiate and segment the markets, just as the fact that they don't officially sell the cheap Indian Gillette Guard cartridge razor in the US.  The only way in which Gillette deals with the revival of high end DE shavers is by ownership of the Art of Shaving stores which are well known for their higher priced wares.  In the same way, they don't allow official sales of cheap Gillette branded DE razors in the First World.

Blades are also produced to use names of blades that were familiar brands locally but have changed to Gillette production now, e.g. Sputnik, Polsilver, Nacet, etc.

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 04-10-2019, 08:24 AM
#11
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(04-10-2019, 08:06 AM)cournot Wrote: Gillette probably licenses locally to take advantage of pre-existing distribution relationships within these countries. Most of Gillette's DE blade deals are with countries or areas of the world with large numbers of relatively poorer men who still use DE.  Hence the Middle East, India, China, and Russia.  Furthermore, Gillette doesn't want to acknowledge DE shaving in the developed world so this sort of local distribution focus helps them to price differentiate and segment the markets, just as the fact that they don't officially sell the cheap Indian Gillette Guard cartridge razor in the US.  The only way in which Gillette deals with the revival of high end DE shavers is by ownership of the Art of Shaving stores which are well known for their higher priced wares.  In the same way, they don't allow official sales of cheap Gillette branded DE razors in the First World.

Blades are also produced to use names of blades that were familiar brands locally but have changed to Gillette production now, e.g. Sputnik, Polsilver, Nacet, etc.

This is a really interesting point. I'm sure you're right, it makes sense that they try to balance on the (pun intended) razor's edge between pretending DE shaving does not exist and still have a piece of the pie.

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 04-12-2019, 11:39 AM
#12
  • Mouser
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  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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Those modern Gillette blades are Gillette  only in that the same company owns them and what is considered Gillette proper ( the guys in Boston), Procter and Gamble.  My opinion only.

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