Friday, May 23, 2014

Philips Aquatouch : Shaver for the modern man

Brand : Aquatouch
Company : Philips

Brand Analysis Count : # 542


Philips has been recently pushing its electric grooming products aggressively in the Indian market. The company has been seriously building its product portfolio in the Indian market with focus more on small appliances, LED , audio devices and personal grooming products.

The big push came in 2012-13 when the company launched ad with the celebrity John Abraham for the Philips Men grooming range. Watch the ad here 
The company estimates that the men's grooming range would be around Rs 1500 crore and the market especially the young consumers are moving towards the more convenient electric devices. 
The company cites several market research studies which show that youth views these shavers to be convenient and consumers are worried about the cuts and nicks which they get by using traditional shaving products.
Although Philips' electric shavers are in the market for the last ten years, the bigger marketing push has come during this season. 
The company is now pushing the wet shavers branded Aquatouch primarily because Indian consumers are habituated using the shaving cream + water combination. The brand is running as series of ads featuring the benefits of the Aquatouch.
The brand is rightfully positioned itself as the " Shaver for the Modern Man " and the product directly attacks the traditional shaving razors. This is indeed a warning signal for Gillette. 
What is interesting about the product is not the strategy of Philips but the silence of the competitor - Gillette .
The pioneer and innovative powerhouse of the grooming market is surprisingly silent about electric shavers and trimmers.
Let me pen down my take on the Philips' thrust on the electric shavers. 
My prediction is that there is a high possibility of electric shavers and trimmers becoming a large category. The combo products which enables men to trim and shave will be a very profitable category and will dominate the higher end of the market. This is going to have serious problems for Gillette brands like Mach range and the Fusion range. 
The reason is the increasingly the consumers are now experimenting with their facial hair. Especially the younger market. They have now all types of mustache and beard and the conventional shaving razors are not flexible enough to cater their needs. 
Now many dabble with a trimmer and the good old razor. But soon time will come when these convenient electric shaver + trimmer will capture the upper end of the market. This can drive the expensive Mach and Fusion brand to be irrelevant to the Indian consumer. Looking at the economics , electric shaver is more economical than the expensive cartridges of Gillette . 
Wondering why Gillette which practiced " Planned Obsolescence " to the core by cannibalizing the existing products with innovative new ranges silent on the direct attack by Philips ? Are they practicing Marketing Myopia ??