Caregivers seen as key market for specially designed shaver
BOSTON — Gillette has launched a three-month pilot for Treo, described as the first-ever assisted shaving razor.
The Procter & Gamble shaving brand this week invited U.S. and U.K. consumers to request a product sample at the new GilletteTreo.com website. The Gillette Treo assisted shaving razor has been engineered to provide control, safety and comfort.
Also as part of the trial phase, professional care homes and institutions in both markets are partnering with Gillette to distribute Treo samples to their caregivers and care recipients. The company said its scientists and researchers aim to gather firsthand feedback from these thousands of at-home and institutional shaving experiences to help refine the product at launch and thereafter.
More than 8 million older U.S. adults get assistance with daily living activities, including shaving, from family or professional caregivers each year, and over 34.2 million Americans have provided basic care to adults ages 50 and older in the past year, according to the American Society of Aging (ASA).
In addition, Google estimates that tens of thousands of real-world conversations happen about the demands of everyday caregiving, Gillette reported.
Based on U.S. patent filings, more than 4,000 razors have been designed for shaving yourself, but none have been specifically engineered for shaving another person, Gillette noted. Leveraging consumer insights and working with caregivers and industry professionals, the company evolved early prototypes to get to the Gillette Treo, a razor geared toward assisted shaving.
“When researching the project, the first step was to visit a care facility to see how the assisted shaving experience is different when compared to how we shave ourselves,” explained Matthew Hodgson, lead Treo designer at Gillette. “Very quickly, we noticed big differences and big difficulties. For example, we realized the ergonomics of the handle and direction of the blade completely change when turned to shave another person, and thus a complete redesign would need to be engineered.”
Key features of the assisted shaving experience with the Treo include a blade designed to make the shave safe and help prevent clogging; a special handle that operates like a paintbrush, with a unique divot for control and comfort for caregivers and those receiving care; and special shave gel dispensed via the handle to hydrate the hair and lubricate the skin for a comfortable, mess-free shave.
P&G called the Gillette Treo a “dramatic departure from a standard razor” because it was built to cater to the needs of two different consumers: the caregiver and the person getting the shave.
“When we spoke with our partners like ASA, we learned that the primary goal of family members and professional caregivers alike is to help maintain a sense of normalcy and to support lost functions, like the ability to shave oneself,” according to Melissa Monich, vice president of research and development for global grooming at P&G. “We were struck by how important these day-to-day activities are in supporting the dignity, pride and morale of those who need assistance. This made us even more compelled to use our expertise to develop a more comfortable and safer experience.”