I was thinking about what product I’ve used the longest on a daily (or at least weekly basis), and I realized that in my case this is none other than my trusty Gillette Mach3 razor. That thing is old and I just haven’t had a chance to replace it, but if I ever get around to it, I will probably go for another Gillette.
I found the razor in the mailbox along with paper spam right around my 18th birthday. I’ve been a satisfied user for 11 years now (I am turning 29 on May 5th, for those wondering about my age), and still I have no idea how Gillette found out that I was turning 18. However they did it, their customer acquisition kung-fu turned out to be incredibly effective.
I also just learned from Wikipedia that Mach3 was introduced in 1998, so this was a brand new product at the time and it must have been at its promotional peak. The most effective promotion in this case was just to give the razor, which purportedly took some $750 million to develop, away.
As far as I am concerned there is no real product differentiation among razor manufacturers, it’s more of a force of habit — once you go with one, chances are you’ll stay with that one forever. So what better way to acquire customers than to send them a free razor when they are most likely to be making a decision that could spell lifetime loyalty to Gillette brand?
Now let me turn the question around and ask you what products you’ve used the longest and how did you end up sticking with them for so long? I would love to hear your stories.