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Case Title:

Will Gillette’s Fusion Brand Match its Mach 3 Brand’s Success?

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Sanghamitra Bhattacharya, Menaka Rao

Industry: Home Appliances and Personal Care Products

Region:UK./USA

Case Code: BBP0070B

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract:
In the late 1990s, Gillette, best known for its razors and blades grabbed 15% market share in the US market by launching its Mach 3 brand. Mach 3 was a three bladed shaving system that allowed a shave with less pressure and fewer strokes and thus reduced skin irritation. In 2005, Mach 3 with Mach 3 Turbo and battery powered version M3Power captured 34% share in the US market. In the same year P&G acquired Gillette to make its market position stronger overseas.

In January 2006, P&G - Gillette merger launched the manual and power versions of a five bladed razor shaving system named as “Fusion” in the US, UK and Canada. Gillette charged $12 to $13 for a pack of four Fusion cartridges and the same number of Fusion Power cartridges was priced at $13 to $14. However analysts estimated that Fusion’s market-share had been far weaker than what Gillette saw after Mach 3 and Mach 3 Power launches and the reason behind this was the price structure of Fusion. Analysts predicted that the price of the Fusion manual was 80% higher than Mach 3 manual and that of Fusion Power was 30% higher than Mach 3 Power cartridges. Though Gillette argued that, since Fusion was a luxury brand it was costlier than the previous Gillette razors and blades but when the sales of its razors and blades fell by 5% in 2006, the company planned to cut the price of its Fusion brand. This decision was however, not taken unilaterally by Gillette but the company asked its retailers to help it make a decision. The company at the same time paid more attention to the promotional activities of Fusion. Despite this industry observers were skeptical about the success of Fusion. Would Gillette succeed in promoting its Fusion brand and achieve the same success as it did with Mach 3 in 1998?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand product variation of razors and blades categories of Gillette
  • To understand the comparison between the three bladed shaving system Gillette’s Mach 3 and two bladed shaving system Gillette’s Sensor.
  • To understand the obstacles for the promotion of Gillette Fusion, a five bladed shaving system, to gain the same popularity like Mach 3.

Keywords : Product comparison, Pricing, Promotional Activities, Strategy, Brands & Branding Case Study, Product differentiation, Product Life Cycle, Product Launching Strategy

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