The fiercely competitive marketplace of men's cosmetics was rocked this week by Gillette's announcement that it intends to launch a new range of shaving products based on their "S-Aim" technology.
A marketplace that regularly reels from the impact of wave after wave of technical innovation was yet again stunned by the S-Aim technology. Trade Analyst Simon Low seemed to capture the general reaction. "When Wilkinson-Sword launched the Quattro no-one saw it coming. We were like, 'Whoa, who came up with that!' But Gillette has gone and raised the creative bar even higher. Let me tell you no industry moves faster, and no market is harder to track! Ask any city analyst and they all tell you the same. In terms of technical innovation shaving's like greased lightning. Shaving's where it's at!"
According to company spokesperson Herbie Lyson, S-Aim paves the way for Gillette to launch a whole range of products to complement its new five-bladed shavers. "We anticipate a product portfolio consisting of the S-Aim shaver, replacement blades, shaving foam, moisturising gel and special water that will aid lubrication of the face. The development of the water product is with our partner [Dasani] and we're expecting something from them very soon."
Response from Gillette's main market rivals, Wilkinson-Sword, were mildly accusatory but finished upbeat. "We've lost some good people recently from R & D and it shows. You can see the similarities between Quattro and shavers built with the S-Aim technology, and shaving water has been bubbling through our think tanks for a while now. We're not too worried, shaving's always been like this. If anything it will actually help us by forcing us to sharpen our competitive edge and we expect to release new products based on our own new technologies within the next 12 to 18 months."