- Gillette Venus partnered with beauty and lifestyle YouTube influencer and entrepreneur Remi Cruz on a limited-edition razor, according to a press release.
- Venus x Remi will be sold exclusively through the Procter & Gamble brand's new Venus Direct subscription service and is now available for pre-order.
- Consumers can choose among 10 different blades and handles personalized to their skin type and shaving routine as part of Venus Direct. Plans start at $10 per order and can be shipped at different intervals.
The Venus x Remi offering is a limited-run product but helps to illustrate how traditional marketers in categories like packaged goods are changing the way they think about e-commerce and direct-to-consumer (DTC) services. For one thing, the partnership is with a YouTube content creator as opposed to the types of higher profile celebrities Gillette Venus often works with. Cruz has nearly 2.5 million followers on her YouTube channel alone, an audience of presumably young consumers the razor maker could tap into, as segments like millennials and Gen Z tend to find influencers more trustworthy than celebrities.
By making Venus x Remi an exclusive to Venus Direct, the brand is also clearly trying to drive sign-ups to its new subscription service. Gillette Venus and sister brands like Gillette have been seriously disrupted in recent years by DTC startups such as Harry's and Dollar Shave Club — both targeted at men — and Billie, which is built on a similar business model but for women. Gillette's share of the U.S. men's razor market fell to 54% two years ago, compared to the 70% it commanded in 2010, with a larger share going to Dollar Shave Club, Harry's and others
DTC brands are capturing more consumer growth due to their lower costs, ability to build more direct relationships with consumers and their agile supply chains. P&G has started to build out its own subscription offerings as a response. In some instances, such as for Gillette, the switch-up in strategy has appeared to pay off: the marketer credited the razor brand's online subscription service for helping to generate a 4% increase in organic sales for its grooming category, including 10% growth in the U.S. for fiscal Q1 2019. Now, P&G is trying to replicate that success with Venus Direct.
The Venus Direct subscription model also aligns with P&G's efforts to simplify and modernize its business structure. The company announced last month that it is streamlining its management structure and will reorganize to operate through six category-based Sector Business Units starting next year. It's possible that future product launches will similarly be focused or even designed around e-commerce and DTC models. Tide recently debuted the Tide Eco-Box, the first product to come out of P&G Fabric Care's eCommerce Innovation Group, for example.