Clean Edge Razor: Splitting Hairs on Product Positioning
The non-disposable razor category has grown considerably in the last decade, especially in it’s super-premium segment. This substantial growth has been fueled by many product innovations in its segment, including the 5-blade technology; glide strips, low resistance blade coating, etc. As a result of many new product introductions between 2008 and 2009, total advertising expenditures rose faster than retail market sales to stimulate demand.
In 2009, consumers were more drawn to non-disposable razors and replacement cartridges, buying them more frequently than any other year and contributing to $170 million in revenue, a gross profit of $92 million and an operating profit of $26 million. In this year, Paramount had the unit volume market leader position n with 23.3% retail unit share. Additionally, due to more advertising for men grooming, there has been less of a stigma for the male cosmetic process.
Paramount offers two lines, Paramount Pro, a mainstream selection of the product category, and Paramount Avail a value offering. Competition for Paramount includes new companies and substitutes entering the market. Some include disposable razors, providing a “wet” shave alternative and appealing to the value-oriented customers as well as electric shavers, providing easier use and appealing to older customers. Furthermore, in 2010, three direct competitors including Paramount, Prince and Benet & Klein dominated the non-disposable razor category.
Clean Edge, a thin-blade, vibrating and easier to control non-disposable razor, will be the newest innovation for Paramount in the last 5 years. It will be priced in the super-premium segment and be launched in January 2011. The challenge now lies in positioning of the product and how it will be universally appealing among the whole consumer market. Should Paramount take a mainstream or niche positioning for the Clean Edge Razor?