On April 29, Procter & Gamble plans to launch its latest shaving innovation—a razor with a swiveling-ball hinge that enables the blade to pivot. Gillette’s new FlexBall technology is akin to that used in the Dyson Ball vacuums, letting them turn on the spot to maneuver easily around obstacles.
This is the first time in Gillette’s recent history that it has introduced a new razor without developing a new cartridge. The technological advances of new razors—Sensor, Mach3, and Fusion—mostly came from improving the blades and increasing the number of blades in a cartridge. The change in Gillette’s strategy has been viewed as a departure from the classic “razors-and-blades ” model by which a company generates most of its profits from selling supplies (cartridges) designed to be uniquely compatible with the company-offered product (razor). This, however, is not the case.