Building a brand, and then breaking it.

After running out of razors, I succumbed to an online ad and clicked onto Harry’s web site. For the unfamiliar, Harry’s sells shavers, razors, cremes, etc. Their brand spoke with a friendly, easy confidence that felt comfortable, inviting and cool. The Brandon Grotesque type greeted me on the site, which felt modern and approachable. It was the same with the web site, razors and packaging: clean, simple, confident but not overconfident. I found the monogram logo, with the apostrophe after the H, clever as well. And the messaging continued the consistency: “Harry’s was built out of respect for quality craftsmanship, simple design, modern convenience and most importantly for guys who know they shouldn’t have to overpay for a great shave.”

Everything resonated with me and felt authentic. I thought “Why should I pay so much for razors when Harry’s will take care of me at a fraction of the cost?” The web site touted the German origin and engineering of the blades (the BMW of razors, I thought). So for $18 I ordered a razor, and 4 blades. I anxiously awaited the package that would arrive in the coming week (in part because I was using my electric razor, which is not my favorite).

The package arrived and I was impressed with the attention to detail in the design of each piece. The cardboard box opened to a two-color inside with the assurance “Every man deserves quality craftsmanship, simple design, modern convenience and a great shave.” I was even encouraged to “…give a shave about the planet” and recycle the box.

Harry's Kit

The details in the design were wonderful. As I slid open the box with the razor, I noticed the dark blue background punctuated with a pattern of dots and the san serif typography. The dazzling pattern on the inside provided a nice contrast, and the sleek, solid razor sitting atop fit in beautifully as well.

Harry's box Harry's pattern Box and Shaver

“This is going to be great. I can hardly wait to shave.” The following morning I showered, lathered up my face and anxiously pulled out the razor. As soon as the German-engineered blade touched my face, I realized the romance was over. I was used to the Gillette blades that feel sharp, precise and, yes, expensive. Everything these blades were not. The shave ended up okay, but the longevity of the blades and their sharpness left a lot to be desired. The authenticity of the brand went down the drain with my whiskers and shaving cream. The branding had promised and implied a lot, but the product did not deliver.






One Response

  1. Johan says:

    What an awesome packaging Harry’s razors. Stunning look. Going to give a try this time for Harry’s

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