Innovation Really Does Work

Some brands rightfully deserve their monopoly market share: Gillette has been a near monopoly in the field of razors and blades all over the world for many years. Fact.

Gillette products are more expensive than the competition's. Another fact. But Gillette does not behave like a monopoly in terms of R&D. A considerabe part of profit is reinvested into product development. The company's management, its designers and engineers are in constant competition with themselves. The eight years they invested in development has resulted in nearly 70 registered patents.

Once every several years a new razor is launched and turns the shaving world on its head, raising the standard for all the players in the field. That razor is always Gillette's.

The company's employees must always innovate, change and lead the market and they don't do this by dumping prices or throwing the competition out of the market, but by excellence. Only marketing? Perhaps. But it means that hundreds of millions of men and women all over the world have been wrong throughout the years, including the competition that wastes no time in copying and adopting every innovation Gillette introduces.

Need proof? Schick controls the Japanese market. It arrived first, and it has an advantage in distribution and marketing. Gillette came in unfashionably late during the '90s and its market share has been growing fast ever since. Information provided by Proctor & Gamble shows that with the launching of the Fusion razor in Japan, Gillette's market share rocketed from 21 percent to 30 percent. It appears that innovation works. (Sivan Klingbail)