‘I wanted to ask you whether you’d got any razor blades,’ he said.
‘Not one!’ said Winston with a sort of guilty haste. ‘I’ve tried all over the place. They don’t exist any longer.’
Everyone kept asking you for razor blades. Actually he had two unused ones which he was hoarding up. There had been a famine of them for months past. At any given moment there was some necessary article which the Party shops were unable to supply. Sometimes it was buttons, sometimes it was darning wool, sometimes it was shoelaces; at present it was razor blades. You could only get hold of them, if at all, by scrounging more or less furtively on the ‘free’ market.
‘I’ve been using the same blade for six weeks,’ he added untruthfully.
– George Orwell’s 1984
If you are like me, you have a love/hate relationship with Gillette razors. Sometime seems very wrong with spending upwards of $4 per razor blade that will last a little over a week. It’s an expensive I simply would prefer to avoid. So, avoid I’ve tried. I’ve tried every other type of razor out there from the Meijer brand razor blades to ShopSavvy’s recommendation of the CVS Pharmacy razor blades (which, by they way, I found to be very unsafe to use). But, I’ve never found a razor blade that can compare to Gillette brands. So, grudgingly, I continue to buy them.
That’s why the article “A David and Gillette Story” from the Wall Street Journal gives me hope. Gillette has enjoyed years of expansive growth without ever having to reconsider its pricing strategy, but it looks like that may be changing. In general, I think marketers don’t pay enough attention to the price part of the 4 P’s. But, in Gillette’s case, ignoring the price part of their marketing strategy might just be their demise. Or, at the very least, cost them significant market share. They’ve ignored the calls from their consumers for a lower-priced, quality blade and their consumers like me aren’t too happy about it. I buy Gillette razor blades because I don’t have a viable alternative. But the minute I do have one, I’ll switch.
So congrats to Dollar Shave Club for asking us all to rethink the price of our blades and good luck to Gillette as they reevaluate their pricing strategy.
A warning: The video below contains implied explicit content.