Thursday, October 06, 2005

Razor Sharp Marketing

The pushers have addicted me.

For more than 12 years, I have been using the same type of razor, and probably have had to replace it two or three times. Sure, I had to buy the replacement blade cartridges, but that's all part of the evil of using manual razors. Many fancier models with an extra blade and more pivot points have come along since then, but I've remained true to the SensorExcel that has always met my needs. I've tried electric -- so no thank you to anybody about to suggest that.

On Monday morning, I picked up my trusty Gillette SensorExcel and realized I'd been shaving on that particular blade refill too long. I judge this by how much shaving cream scum has accumulated on the plastic parts. Now that's scientific.

I turned over the razor's base, where there is space for five blade cartridges to rest comfortably until I need them. Rats! The four remaining had the telltale white stains and the fifth was on the razor. I had skipped a shaving day over the weekend, so my face was kind of stubbly. I had to shave.

That's when 12-plus years of undying loyalty met its match.

In Bentonville, Arkansas, there is an atmosphere unique to the known universe. The largest company in the world has its headquarters there, and vendors of all stripes have converged on the humble community of 20,000 (but quickly growing) to court its business. In fact, Wal-Mart informed said companies not long ago that in order to do business with them, they had to have a physical presence within 30 miles of the headquarters. Since then, it's been almost like watching birds converge on a huge billboard (constructed by Wile E. Coyote) reading "free bird sed."

In such an environment, it is ridiculously simple to find sponsors for a golf tournament. What do some of these companies do to get their name out to the participants? You guessed it. Goodie bags.

In one of the three times I set foot on a golf course that year, I participated in one of said tournaments. Although I didn't score well, I got brand new stuff in plastic bags.

Back to now, where I opened the bathroom cabinet to find a razor, packaged in a transparent plastic shell that's impenetrable without a knife or scissors. Oddly, the back of the package featured a rectangular perforation that made opening it quite easy. Why can't 99.9% of manufacturers catch on to this?

After getting over the amazement of Edge gel turning to shave cream as I applied it (I'm a simple man), I gripped the razor's comfortable handle and carefully dragged the blades down my cheek, then over my chin and down my neck.

I then knew the name of my latest addiction. It is called Gillette Mach3 Turbo, and although it makes my teeth grind to type the words, it lifted me to a new level in shaving comfort. The pushers have won.

8 comments:

Alvis said...

Go to Greatrazors.com. Order your blades from their. They cost a little more, sure, but I just got some and I am still on my first blade after 2 weeks! They work as advertised.

Mark said...

Thanks, alvis. Actually, the price for 4 cartridges is less than half the price for 8 at amazon.com. No reason not to try it.

Dave said...

*LOL* I also use the same razor and LOVE it!

2 weeks? My blades last for months... maybe my beard is softer.

Jim said...

I have to admit, the Mach 3 has become my razor of choice as well; although I only use it for clean up work after I've run my Norelco Rototract (3 head) electric razor.

My electric razor needs the Ni-Cad cells replaced ... and the blades also. I guess that means I need a new razor, because put together they probably cost more than the razor. Maybe I'll just keep using the Mach 3 ...

Simon said...

I too am a Turbo convert. Though a lot longer ago...

Is it just me, or do the comments on this thread seem to spark the need for a Simon of Space blogger Web-Ring?

Sheesh.
:)

Mark said...

Yes, it seems we need something. The free discussion board out there just doesn't provide the full interconnected experience as the Blogger comments area. I haven't read others' blogs near as much as when I could just click on his or her link in the comments area of SoS.

Activity on the discussion board is very low, but maybe that's because there's no new content on which to wax philosophic. Plus, not word veri fun.

Thanks for dropping by, and for commenting. Blogger should feature a place to track total hit counts, as I would like some validation for all the time I spend on blog posts. But that's my problem, I guess.

Simon said...

You know Mark, it's wicked simple to put a FREE sitemeter counter on your blogger site.

http://www.sitemeter.com

It'll place a small sitemeter icon at the very bottom of your page and you can access your stats whenever to see where folks are getting referred from and how often the same ones come back to visit.

There are instructions there on how to include the counter on just about every type of blog; so of course blogger is right up there on that list.

Features include weekly, monthly, annual summaries as well a neat-o maps showing geographically where you're getting hits from. And, again, 'tis all free. (You can pay for an upgraded account, but why bother?)

I signed up shortly after starting my site and now freely admit to being a stats whore.

Mark said...

Thanks for the tip, Simon. I'm there.