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Posted by George Peter Gatsis on 2015-04-22 19:37:00
Title: How do I generate sales for the Shavernator?
Category: Marketing

My friend and I (co-creators/patent holders) have created probably the most effective razor in the world! We designed it to be fun too. We have an online store/facebook/twitter… We have made some sales without any advertising… But, we are not sales/retailers… We are inventors… What would our best next step be?

Answer:

Sunil Godse
2015-04-29 09:32:00

Hi George, 

Congratulations on inventing an effective razor that is also fun. I took a look at your website and the design of the razor looks quite good and there is some technical information (not too deep) on each of the different razors which explains the different models. What I don't see is how long each razor will last. As you know, the traditional razor business creates a loss leader with the razor handle with the profits made on the razor blades. My guess is that I need to buy a new razor. Some of the improvements are not new. For example, you double up the blades, but the competition has up to 5 blades. I am not sure how to quickly find what problem the other improvements are able to solve. These initial thoughts are important because I am your typical customer. The story you portray as to the evolution of the razor is not as compelling as my immediate thoughts are that perhaps your friend was using a worn-out blade as I have never really experienced the issue he had given that I have not had that problem, and neither have the number of colleagues I contacted to find out if they had any issues with their razors (more potential customers). So, you may want to rethink the problem you are solving for me.

Having different colors and sizes is a great novelty idea and makes it fun, but it has to solve two issues – it has to be much better than what I am using right now and it should not incur a significantly higher cost in the long term. I need to get past the novelty of the item and be a repeat buyer.

Given that you are manufacturing this in Canada and with multiple SKUs, my sense is that your margins may not be as high as they can be. This just means that you have a volume based product, which means that you need quite a bit of sales.

I dont know how much you have garnered in sales without any advertising. Although this "sounds" great, if these sales are generated from friends and family, I would discount these sales as you need to reach the mass market. You need a significant amount of exposure to your target customers which may mean setting up booths and doing a shave test. Record these and throw them up on Youtube. You need to pull someone like me away from where I buy my blades or use an electric shaver to testing one of your products. If it really as food as you say it is, then you have me locked in.

Social media is a fun avenue, but I would be careful venturing down this path to find a ROI. This would strictly be a nice marketing angle to entice the younger demographic.

I could keep going on, but the main issue is that you need significant marketing dollars to hit the market hard and create that fun buzz around the product. You may have the best of both worlds of fun and functionality, and although this is a great tag line, the functionality really needs to come out strong for repeat sales.

I would look for some angel investors that might help and the VC route will be extremely tough with little sales at this point.

Sounds like some work ahead of you, but as long as you execute, you should see a good ramp up in sales.

Best of luck, 

Sunil Godse, President, Radical Solutions Group


George Peter Gatsis
2015-04-29 15:07:00
Followup question:

Nice! Thank you Sunil for the thoughts… I will break it down and make a list of must dos… One thing that stood out was about repeat buyers… The Shavernator is not a repeat buyer product… You buy it once… and at best you can spend about $10… at most $20... to get enough double edge blades for the year… after which… it's just $10/$20 a year. That IS the most cost effective razor… Even the DollarShaveClub can't come down to our numbers…. AND… The plastic is durable and long lasting… 10 plus years. BUT... the follow up question is: What would be the best way to position the Shavernator so it is appealing to someone who would want to buy the product/patent outright? Is it just sales? Or are there other options? George

Answer:

Sunil Godse
2015-05-01 09:48:00

To answer your follow up question, you have to demonstrate that people are willing to make the switch to your product, which means sales. A quick ramp up in sales from different demographic groups with possible testimonials will help as the possible patent buyer should be able to see the long term value of picking up the patent. Without the sales, which will come with some marketing efforts, the patent does not hold any ROI from the price you are looking to sell it at. Other options are to gain quick attraction, and make a phone call to Walmart to distribute. They will put a squeeze over time on your margins, but you will get volume. Another option would be to contact Gilette, but they may be resistant as your product cannibalizes their whole business as a possible disruptive device. Good luck.


George Peter Gatsis
2015-05-01 09:52:11
Followup question:
No follow up to the follow up… Just a thank you… Thank you. George