Ockham’s Razor is an age-old principal that suggests the most simple solution is usually the best. If you take a complex solution and peel away all of the unnecessary layers, you’ll eventually get down to the essence of the idea. That one, pure, simple solution.
This works great when we’re developing a trademark for a brand. It applies to business problems, and as I recently found, it also applies to personal hygiene.
Interestingly enough, while I was in Jacksonville, FL a few weeks ago, I needed a shave.
Much to my frustration, I’d left my razor at home. Now I’m not sure about you, but I’m still using my trusty Gillette Sensor Excel. Anymore it seems a little puny. It’s quiet, simple, square pivoting head looks pretty basic. It’s the kind that you pay a six or seven bucks for, and then spend the rest of your life paying for blades. (Which is a brilliant marketing maneuver by the way, but not my point.) It’s not that I hadn’t tried out the other “fancy” razors. I just kept breaking them. I’ve tried Schick and Gillette. (And don’t event talk to me about electric razors. I want to shave my face, not irritate it.) The more blades and bendy features the razor boasts, the faster I could break them. I’m not sure I’ve got the world’s toughest beard, but apparently I needed a simple solution to my facial hair problem.
In this modern world we get to choose between three, four, and five-blade razors that slice, dice, and even battery powered models with vibrating blades. And there I stood in that Jacksonville bathroom, without even my lowly two-bladed razor. Bummer. So I responded the way I normally would in these situations… “HONEY!!! …Did you pack my razor?” Of course, I had to make her feel like she was a part of my issue. “Just use my disposable razor,” she said, “It’s in the bag.”
With a major blow to my masculine soul, there sat a brand new, disposable Venus razor, staring back at me from our bathroom luggage bag. At first glance it was curvy, and a two-toned white on girly blue. “Ugh. Whatever, I have to shave.” And shave I did. I’ve got to admit, even though it looked a lot like the more feature-heavy men’s razors, it’s very simple. The flat head houses three blades. It’s sturdy. And best yet, it shaves very, very well. I know it sounds a little odd, but I kinda liked shaving with this kinda girly razor.
So I’m not sure if William of Ockham would agree, but for me, the best solution actually has three blades, and is marketed only to women. I haven’t broken it yet. And yes, I’m still shaving with a “women’s” razor.
What product or service do you sell to a specific target market, that could possibly benefit from looking to other markets? Do you sell anything to just one gender or industry? How could it change your sales model if you rebranded this product, and broadened your focus? What solutions do you provide that could be further simplified?