Gillette tackles product design for the ageing consumer, actually for their caregivers

Gillette has designed a razor solely for assisted shaving. It’s called Treo.

As caregivers are often adult children in their fifties and above, I wondered if this product was designed with the user and the receiver in mind?

While there is a specific page dedicated to the Treo on the Gillette website, when I searched the Gillette brand website, ‘Treo’ yields “No Search Results Found For Treo“. Odd. This makes me wonder if, despite the positive intentions to meet a growing needs of an ageing population, somehow the ¬†Gillette marketing folks don’t feel comfortable associating their mainstream brand with this raw subject?

If so, that’s a pity.

Age-Friendly Design Thinking

Moving on to the product itself. As explained in the video below, Gillette has modified the traditional shaver design in three ways;

  • Blade – High quality enough to work with little or no water. Disposable after one use “to help with infection control”
  • Handle – incorporated a divot so that it operates more like a paint brush which creates a more comfortable angle for the caregivers wrist and far greater control.
  • Lubrication – built into the handle for easy, one-handed access. Able to hydrate the hair in a single application making a difficult move to the sink un-necessary.

The cynic in me sees the overt commercialisation. For example the disposable blade after each use. They claim for hygiene but is this really necessary?, built-in hydration – no doubt can be topped-up with Gillette shaving gel.

Having said that, Gillette (P&G)is in business to make money and they have taken the initiative in an area of need. Kudos for that.

Thinking through the principles of Age-Friendly Brands, off the top of my head, I can imagine several relevant potential innovations. How about a thicker handle for easier grip, a simplified mechanism to replace blades taking into consideration limited finger strength and dexterity plus weaker eyesight?

One of our workshops could sort this out.