Wilkinson Sword readies M3 Power rival

Wilkinson Sword is test marketing a battery-powered razor ahead of a global launch next year. The product will rival Gillette’s vibrating razor, M3 Power. Marketing Week has learned that the brand has been codenamed “Quiver” in Europe, although Wilkinson Sword is not thought to have decided on a final launch name for the UK.

A source close to Wilkinson Sword says the company has delayed the launch of the razor until next year in order to prove conclusively that it provides a better shave than existing competitors.

The insider adds: “Wilkinson Sword has delayed its powered razor until the company can ensure the launch won’t be tarred with the same brush as Gillette’s version. Wilkinson Sword’s razor has two or three unique features, but it wants to make sure they are reliable.”

Last month, Wilkinson Sword forced Gillette to remove the strapline on its M3 Power advertising in Germany. The ads claimed that M3 Power gives a closer shave. The company is pushing for a similar restrictions in the UK through the Advertising Standards Authority, although the company is also looking at the possibility of court action (MW November 11).

Wilkinson Sword has failed to dent Gillette’s market share in the male shaving market, despite the launch of the four-bladed Quattro razor last year (MW May 15, 2003). Gillette claims M3 Power has had a successful launch in the UK.

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