Gillette goes subscription-based

It didn't take long for Dollar Shave Club and Harry's to peer-pressure the Procter and Gamble holding to join the subscription-based razor market. It's unsure how much market share Gillette stands to gain by this move. But to put things into perspective, the company pays $7M a year to the New England Patriots just for naming rights to their stadium, and made an estimated $7.9B in revenue last year, making it one of the most profitable darlings in the P&G portfolio. Read the entire Annual Report HERE.

What really surprised me was that Gillette stuck with 'Shave Plans' to refer to their service (see Harry's). It felt like a lazy move. 

 Harry's use of white space, sans-serif type, minimalist approach and packaging gives it a premium feel.

Harry's use of white space, sans-serif type, minimalist approach and packaging gives it a premium feel.

The takeaway: Gillette gets it, kind of.

Pivoting to a subscription model allows Gillette to capture a segment of users who aren't ready to drop $30-40 for a box of cartridges (Isn't that like a Cricket phone bill?!). And considering brand loyalty, I'm sure lots of men would welcome the savings. On the design side; however, the execution of the campaign looked like every other Gillette collateral—in such lockstep with the brand, that it was hard to distinguish that we were seeing something new and innovative. When I received the mailer, I initially thought it was another set of coupons and debated tossing it in the recycle. It wasn't until I paid closer attention that the subscription language caught my eye. 

The design was consistent with Gillette's men's line (sporty, bold, in the blue/orange palette), but when you put it side-by-side with the clean use of white space and premium packaging (Harry's) or the hipster feel of Dollar Shave Club, Gillette's entry into the shave club lacked excitement and felt almost disingenuous; like when your mom finally joins Twitter and then you have to tell her all the cool kids are now on Snapchat.

 Dollar Shave Club channels its inner-hipster and goes all manly-man by piling on the wood, with lots of brown and burnt orange tones. 

Dollar Shave Club channels its inner-hipster and goes all manly-man by piling on the wood, with lots of brown and burnt orange tones. 

 

 

 

 

Victor Mercado

SOUTHWEST DESIGN LABS, TUCSON, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES