Wilkinson Sword is launching an ambitious bid to topple Gillette’s Venus from top spot in the women’s shaving market.
The razor manufacturer is stepping up its battle with its arch rival by introducing Intuition to the fixture, a wet shaver that lathers and shaves at the same time.
It is supporting the newcomer with a £6m support package including TV, press and bus-side advertising, point of sale material and sampling.
Rolling out next month, the new razor comes in normal and sensitive formulas and has pivotal triple blades,which, according to the company, give a closer shave.
It also boasts a built-in lather agent with moisturisers, an ergonomically-designed handle, a waterproof blade store and a suction storage hook designed to be stuck to shower tiles. “We are confident that once women try it they will not want to go back to their old razor,” said Richard Nall, marketing director.
But a buyer for one major multiple predicted consumer opinion would be polarised.
“It’s a fantastic concept but there are some concerns,” he said. “If the lather agent gets wet it expands, which potentially prevents the blades from having full contact with the skin.”
Targeted at women aged 24 to 34, the £6.25 brand will be doing battle in a market dominated by Gillette’s Venus brand, launched three years ago.
Replacement blades for Intuition will cost £6.25 for three and £11.49 for six - which represents a premium of around 35% on replacements for Venus.
The expected tussle between the two brands is likely to echo the intense rivalry the two companies have had in the men’s shaving market.
In tit-for-tat court cases in the US, Wilkinson Sword has complained about Gillette’s advertising slogan ‘The best a man can get’, while Gillette failed in a bid to obtain an injunction to suspend sales of Wilkinson’s Quattro in a dispute over technology.
Mary Carmichael