7 Aug 2014
Those of you who follow my blog posts, tweets et al, will know that one of my favourite sayings is “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Making things ‘simple’ allows easy use of them, whether mobile phones (iOS7 for example is a great example of a SITUS UI/UX) or razors (our superhydrophilic Hyperglide razor, launched earlier this year allows you to shave with just water).
Right now, in men’s grooming, always cited as being in growth, actually isn’t. Parts of it are – men’s skincare for example (up due to major promotions between Nivea, L’Oreal and Dove) but in other sectors – men’s bodyspray/deodorants, shaving preps (our key market) and razors (actually down 6% year on year – not something Gillette are happy about) – sales are DOWN.
In fact, you could argue that if sales promotions (the 50% offers that are so prevalent today) were stopped, the market volumes & values would dive.
In 1993, when King of Shaves launched, the men’s ‘grooming’ market simply didn’t exist, other than razors, shower-gels, body-sprays and shaving foams, gels. Now, it’s highly evolved, with lots of players, large and small all selling their own product range, either at big retail (rare) or more likely, on-line or in niche, boutique stockists.
So, what to do, to bring ‘NEW’ to the market that isn’t ‘NEW for NEW’s SAKE’.
Well, make 2 go into 1 (if possible) and simplify the regime (without compromise).
This thinking led to the introduction of our latest product, Shave+Shield. Most, if not all shaving preps (not including our shaving oils) are soap, or surfactant based – this is what makes them ‘foam’ or ‘low foam’. However, if you didn’t wash them off, they would dry your skin really aggressively, and leave it dry and parched. The foam/low foam is great to see where you’ve shaved/are shaving, but it doesn’t help one bit when it comes to skin moisturisation throughout the day.
Shave+Shield is a hybrid shaving preparation + moisturiser, that after you’ve shaved with it, you rub it in, or add a little more from the tube, and apply. It has a clever formulation that not only delivers essential razor glide, shave comfort (and yes, it makes Hyperglide even Hyperglidier!) but it also protects the skin, post shave.
You might argue “but, you sell your great Super Shield Moisturiser with UVA/UVB filters – won’t people not buy that?” My response would be that probably 99% of that product is sold to people, possibly using other shaving products, whether razors, gels, creams or foams and right now, to the current user of our AlphaGel. So, we believe S+S will deliver incremental sales, from people who are willing to look at adopting ‘the new’.
With the supermarket shelves being so dominated by (and cluttered by) big brands, with multiple sku’s these days, it’s important to have a clear point of difference and reason to be there. Shave+Shield retails at £4.99, so if you buy a shave prep and a moisturiser (many of which are priced at £8-16) you can not only shave better and protect your skin and shave money (sic).
King of Shaves has always been about “Skincare in Shaving” or #Skingcare as I’d punningly put it. Shave+Shield is our latest, and I’m now testing our next product. More details on that, later in the year, early next!