King of Shaves Hyperglide | Shave The Date | “Simplicity is the ultimate Sophistication”

I’m delighted that we’ve seen the back of 2013, it was a pretty challenging year in many ways for us at King of Shaves, as the team and I worked through multiple hurdles, challenges and obstacles put in our path as we strived to bring to market our brand new razor.

“A new razor?” I hear you chortle, “Will, how difficult can that be? Add a blade or two, maybe a vibrating handle, a little blue light, proclaim it’s the best a man can buy, and BOOM! you’re there!”

Well, after the smartphone sector, and of course all the IP to do with drugs and development, the razor and blade sector is still one of the most protected intellectual property sectors, with patents dropping monthly from Gillette, Schick Wilkinson-Sword and others. It’s hard to believe that we started work on our first razor (Azor) back in 2003, and now, it’s over 10 years later, 2014 – we’ve had Facebook, Twitter and iPhone happen, yet shaving still remains largely dominated by the cosy duopoly which is Gillette (84% market share) and Schick Wilkinson Sword (10%).

We’ve been pretty quiet for 4 years, since 2009 really. Azor was successful, in a conventional sort of way – we sold 6m handles, 35m+ cartridges, but this is a drop in the ocean compared to what our competitors sold.

But, things are a changing…

We raised £7m in equity and convertible debt to fund ‘a game-changing razor’.  Meanwhile, men started falling out of love with our competitors (and with shaving, in particular). Meaning, their sales are down, in the UK and USA, year on year, as the ‘hipster- beard-stubble-coder-geek’ effect continues to keep men from being clean shaven. Perhaps this is because men have fallen out of love with a clean shaven look?  Well, Superman certainly hasn’t, nor did Daniel Craig (007 in Skyfall) who got a fantastically sexy shave, and has kept stubble free since.

We’ve also had the emergence, mainly in the USA of the ‘shaving club’ whereby savvy men can get cheap razors & blades delivered monthly (for a $1 a month – or so).  This is an asymmetric threat to the establishment, as it will really p**s off the large US retailers if Gillette, Schick try to do this.

Finally, we’ve had almost zero GENUINE innovation in shaving since Gillette launched Mach3 back in 1998. And Mach 3 added only 1 blade atop Sensor, which had 2 blades, with the model before that, Trac dating back to the mid 70s.

Yes, Fusion added three more blades (2 on the front, one on rear) in 2005.  Yes, Wilkinson Sword finally got into open architecture (i.e. no wires to stop you cutting yourself) in 2011 with Hydro. Yes, at King of Shaves we debuted Azor 5 in early 2011, then got massively sidetracked by a massive hiatus with Spectrum Brands, Inc. (owners of Remington) who distributed us, then wanted to buy us, then didn’t (thank goodness) which has kept us out of the USA during all 2013 whilst this was resolved.

But, I’m delighted to say that whilst all the distraction and unnecessary has been going on, my team and I have kept LASER FOCUSSED on launching an iPhone of a razor to the competitions’ Blackberrys & Nokia’s.  What makes it different? Well, you’ll find out very soon!

Suffice to say, what we’re intending to do is to make shaving simpler, more enjoyable and – basically – BETTER. If people love shaving with our products, we’ll grow – just like the hair re-growth that replenishes our business daily. But, success of products nowadays, is entirely in the hands of the consumer – you.  You can use social media, to either rate or slate what you experience from companies like ours.

And with King of in our brand name, we must for SURE deliver on promise when it comes to the ‘Shaves’ part.

It’s an exciting time in our Kingdom.  Come, join us and see!