E. Remington is best known as one of the famous small arms makers. As a result, many different products are credited and the Remington electric shaver is one of them. Remington is not the inventor of the electric shaver but their innovation has certainly resulted in customer improvements which has served to make this another product that the company is famous for, and a testament to the success of being versatile.
The razor is simply a variation of a cutting tool used to remove human hair from the face and other parts of the body. Shaving is not something that began in recent history.
No one can tell the exact date or history but we know that as far back as in prehistoric times men used different instruments in order to remove unwanted hair from the body. Some were more effective than others in their design and ease of use but the concept remained the same throughout the years. The bottom line is that a sharp instrument was needed to cut the tough body hairs from the body.
The Remington electric shaver using electricity to power motorized blades which cut off facial and bodily hair. The early 1800’s mark the advent of the razor in the shape that is common to us these days which is in the form of a handle which has an ultra-sharp blade attached to it at a right angle. This makes it easier to hold and use the blade to remove bodily hair. Many different shapes have evolved over the years but the same concept remains constant. William S. Henson is credited with the initial patent for the razor in 1847.
The safety razor was the next step in the evolutionary process whose patent was filed by Fredrik and Otto Kampfe in 1880. The basic concept of a safety razor is that the super sharp blade is enclosed in some sort of metal housing which protects the user from being cut too deeply or inadvertently with the exposed part of the blade. The razor slides across the skin as it is used which caused the blade to cut off the hairs that it comes into contact with.
The problem with the use of any blade is that if the user applies too much pressure he or she will also scrape away some of the skin. This invariably happens every time that you shave but the safety razor limits exposure to the sharp blade thus minimizing the risk of injury. The Kempf’s made adjustments as the product evolved.
The next evolution of the safety razor was brought about by King Camp Gillette in 1901. His innovation was to design a safety razor with a disposable double-edged blade. This added to the convenience of shaving by actually doubling the amount of blade cutting surface which could be used on the same instrument.
Gillette’s inspiration was probably fueled by the necessity to supply a product to US troops in the field in World War I. The design of the double-edged razor made the logistics of providing razors to troops easier because of the convenience of one razor with double the amount of blade that could be used before it had to be disposed in favor of another.
Soldiers who returned from war were not required to turn their razors which was a bonus because it helped to introduce the new razor to a larger number of the population. The razors were issued in field kits and since they were personal hygiene items they were not required to be turned back in.
Victor K. Kiam II
Victor Kiam II actually bought the division of Remington which produced the Remington electric shaver after his wife purchased the initial model of this Remington product for him. This proved to be an excellent business move for him because this is the way that he made his fortune. I think too that a major part of his success was that he learned how to make himself marketable to people all over the world along with the Remington electric shaver by using catchy slogans and appearances on various different media avenues. Kiam reinstated an old slogan, “Shaves as close as a blade or your money back.” and this one went viral among men at that time.
The Remington electric shaver was the model that he was introduced to by his wife but he continued to make improvements on the product as time went along. The Remington electric shaver company became very profitable under Mr Kiam’s leadership and production eventually branched out to the production of many other personal care appliances. Kiam sold his controlling interest in Remington in 1994. Kiam was one of the most memorable persons who will be reminded respectfully in the history of electric shaver.
Victor Kiam lived until 2001. The family and Vestar who now owned Remington wasted little time in selling it to Rayovac Battery Company in 2003.
The Model E close shaver
The model E close Shaver was the first Remington Electric Shaver produced and was the same item which endeared Mr Kiam to the product. He had the vision of how to market the product and his perceived love of the shaver that he so enthusiastically promoted were two of the major factors that caused sales to increase. He began an aggressive worldwide campaign which was the key behind the booming popularity of the product.
Kiam sold his interest in Remington in 1994. The model E close shaver uses some custom features which make it popular which include a four blade cutting system. This type of system is thought to enhance the closeness of the shave by pulling the hair and extending it away from the skin enabling the next blade to be able to cut it a little closer to the skin.
The Remington electric shaver overcomes the stiffness sometimes caused by the foil head design by using a pivoting head. This serves to provide more flexibility to the user which makes it easier to shave the contours of the face, where fractures like the nose, lip and chin are curved requiring flexibility in order to cover them more effectively. These features help to take into account and correct some problems which heretofore were inherent weaknesses of the foil head shaver. It is also easier to maintain because the foil head can be removed easily in order to remove the accumulation of cut hairs underneath. These features work in synergy with the inherent advantages of a foil shaver to give the customer an optimally performing product.
The Remington Dual
The Remington electric shaver also comes in a rotary variation called the dual because of the twin shaving heads that it contains. Dual headed shavers offer some advantages over the foil shavers.
The type of shaver used will depend greatly on the preferences of the customer as they are distinct in their performance. The main advantage of this Remington electric shaver is that it gives a very close shave and it fits better on the natural contours of the face because each head covers a smaller area and is yet more flexible. The Remington electric shaver is also rechargeable which gives the user more options for use. This makes it a very handy shaver for those who travel.
Flourishing in the 1980s & Trouble in the 1990s
A major advantage of owning a company with many different divisions is that one or more of the divisions will probably be flourishing at the same time. Every business and its inherent product line will have good and bad times which can be the result of many different variables but diversification almost always ensures that you will always have areas of prosperity. This was the plan of Du Pont when it purchased Remington. The firearms division experienced problems because of foreign arms dealers during this time along with other economic factors which effected the core customer base.
These moves began to pay off in the 1990’s and the Remington electric shaver was a contributor to the later successes of the company.
The diversity of products and the ability to capitalize on trends and developments seem to be the primary reasons for the success of this brand. Over the years the leadership has shown the ability to foresee problems and adapt to be able to flourish in times of change. They were also constantly looking to improve the product and use different types of marketing skills to drive product use. This is a case in point for the serious student who wants to know the secrets of success of a major cooperation.