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The Clean Edge Razor, after years of development, was set to be launched. This case study deals with product positioning for the Clean Edge Razor as dealt with by Jackson Randall, its product manager.
John A. Quelch and Heather Beckham
Harvard Business Review (4249-PDF-ENG)
January 19, 2011
Case questions answered:
We have uploaded two case solutions, which both answer the following questions:
- What changes are occurring in the nondisposable razor category? Assess Paramount’s competitive position. What are the strategic life cycle challenges for Paramount’s current products as well as for the Clean Edge Razor?
- How is the nondisposable razor market segmented? Examine consumer behavior for nondisposable razors.
- What are the arguments for launching Clean Edge as (a) niche product and (b) a mainstream brand? Which would you recommend? What are the strategic implications of your recommendation?
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Case answers for Clean Edge Razor: Splitting Hairs in Product Positioning
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Problem Statement – Clean Edge Razor: Splitting Hairs in Product Positioning Case Study
While Paramount’s latest invention, the Clean Edge Razor, had shown promising results, its current products faced some challenges in regard to their life cycle. For instance, the Avail and Pro products alike were in their mature stage of the life cycle as a result of losing product positioning. For that reason, no new products were introduced to the market for either line.
Likewise, due to intense competition for new, improved, and more innovative/technologically-advanced products, Paramount needs to not deal with curating an ideal strategy for positioning and branding its new products but also stay ahead of the competition by introducing new products to the market as well. Consequently, in this case, the demand for new and advanced products shortened the life cycle of Paramount’s product lines.
The non-disposable razor market, to which the Clean Edge Razor belongs, has been segmented into three sections: value, moderate, and super-premium. These segments also correlate with the type of consumer (and consumer behavior) that’s most likely to use them.
For example, consumers who fell into the “moderate” category in terms of quality and pricing are more inclined to differ among products and consider having them to be an elemental part of daily grooming and may even associate shaving with feeling confident and attractive. Therefore, this segment would be more willing to spend a little more than average for a higher quality razor. These users are still motivated by cost, but how they feel about the shaving experience is ultimately the deciding factor.
Involved aesthetic users (Exhibit 1) are those that search for products that effectively remove hair. These consumers are thus mainly concerned with the performance and results as deciding factors. In this instance, high quality and pricing will be the fundamental components of the decision-making process.
Finally, the uninvolved maintenance shavers are the value-based consumers who are not interested in the brand per se but rather more motivated by cost as the ultimate deciding factor. They shave based on necessity and the need to simply get the job done with minimal effects to their wallets; money is the key determinant in this case.
Paramount’s Clean Edge Razor direct competition includes other big companies in the…
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