Case Study Gillette Strategic Management

1886 Words Oct 17th, 2010 8 Pages
Case study discussion – Gillette loses face

This is a deceptively simple-looking case. The lazy student will simply adopt the critical line on the company’s strategy being fed to him or her by Jeremy Kahn, the author of the article. In fact, things are by no means so clear-cut, students need to do some careful analysis, particularly in the area of Gillette’s corporate-level strategy, before this becomes plain. They have to be prepared to think hard about the success factors in the different businesses – if they simply pick out the points proffered by the case study, then they will not derive the full benefit from the case.

1. What were the most important strategic issues confronting Gillette in November 1999?
If we go through the
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The most interesting analysis in this case takes place at corporate level. The case talks about ‘the Gillette way’: the use of superior technology and good communications skills. However, it is worthwhile asking students what else Gillette’s three ‘superstar’ businesses have in common. Gillette razors, Oral B toothbrushes and Duracell batteries are all consumer businesses where the emphasis is on mass production and mass marketing of a low-tech but innovation-hungry products sold at low unit prices through supermarkets, drugstores and other mass-market retail outlets, such as filling stations. Gillette’s parenting skills appear to apply in such industries.

One can then ask how well the other businesses fit the pattern. It seems fairly clear that toiletries do not. The pens business is, however, less clear-cut – it can be argued that Papermate’s downmarket pens fit the bill, but Parker’s and Waterman’s more up-market products do not (though the Parker brand appears to be less exclusive than once it was). The Braun range is even more problematic – is it really as obvious as the article makes it seem that Gillette, which has made a success of electric toothbrushes cannot do the same with electric shavers and kettles? Tefal has made a point of introducing small,
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