Recently, I read a post about your Flexball Technology and how it has made your products “the most personalized shaving experience till date” This article, which was a sponsored ad written to look like a news article, touts the five years of research and development that has been invested in this product. More articulation in the head; thinner blades; new blade coating; stabilizers; trimmer blades; A whole host of innovations has been listed bare.
I caution you on advertising your product as “personalized,” when you really mean “works better.” Personalization is about choice. With the Flexball, I’m still required to use the same set up as before. The blades in the cartridge are new, but the cartridge is still proprietary. There’s no choice in this advancement, and therefore no personalization.
I left your products a while ago — it’s been over two years since I had to ask a store representative to open the case for me. For a year, I jumped ship to Harry’s. (Sidenote: If you insist on using a cartridge, check them out. They make really nice razors and have a great social responsibility outlook in their company charter).
A year later, I discovered traditional wet shaving. I had no idea that such a market still existed. It’s old school. Real old school. Electricity was still just a thought in most places when King Gillette debuted his replaceable blade razor. No, I don’t traditional shave for the hipster-vintage scene. I do it for, go figure, personalization.
Hundreds of blades. Soaps and creams galore. Post shave balms and splashes. Pre-shave oils and creams. Fragrances from England, India, China, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and the most creative minds fill my bathroom every morning. I can shave to the sweet scent of Anise, reminiscing about old fashioned licorice candy. Or I can shave to an icy margarita. I can shave to fougéres, lemons, any manner of wonderful fragrance. When I’m done, it’s an eclectic smorgasbord of aftershave choices.
No synthetic chemicals. No propellants, no FD&C colors, no generic “man scent.” And when I’m done, I’m comfortable. No razor burn, no ingrown hairs, no chemical sensation. It’s personalized to me. And you offer none of this.
Yes, you do produce the well regarded Gillette double edge blade line, but you hardly promote it. Rather, it seems buried in your catalog of products, not even being mentioned on your website. It’s as if you’re embarrassed of them; the cousin you never really wanted to send the birthday party invitation to. Yet, they’re your most personalized products of all — because, despite having a handful of choices in your double edge line, they’re still choices.
Perhaps one day you’ll go the way of Keurig Green Mountain, who’s “lock them in” mentality has their stockholders looking for lifeboats. I hope, though, that you learn. I hope we see you return to truly “personalized” products. Blue Tips, Red Tips, Fatboys, Techs — do you remember? Is there anyone there who remembers the glory days? It wasn’t that long ago.
So, Dear Gillette,
Please stop confusing consumers. You used to be personalized. You can be again. But you’re not now.