Men’s razors. A quick Google search will supply you with results such as The Dollar Shave Club, Gillette, electric razors, Schick, and more. Albeit there are many options, the offerings are not too dissimilar. Colorful plastic and metal handles are the norm, and to Rob Hallifax they are simply “ugly” and “over-engineered”.
“After writing on my blog about my dissatisfaction with the state of the razor industry from a design point of view, I decided that I should back myself to design a razor.”
Hallifax lives in London and is an engineer by trade. He keeps a blog on design, art, travel and business. His current endeavor is the pursuit of a simple and aesthetically pleasing razor that just launched on Kickstarter.
It is called the Ockham Razor, in honor of the medieval English philosopher William of Ockham, whose philosophy hinged on simplicity. Likewise, the Ockham Razor is simple and elegant. Die cast and manufactured in England from a zinc alloy, the smooth one-piece handle meets the aesthetics criteria. A plastic fitting at its end allows for the attachment and flex of a razor cartridge head.
The Ockham Razor will accept Gillette’s Mach 3 cartridges as they are easily attained throughout most places in the world. The classic silver handle can be altered to special edition black or copper. For those seeking further variety, each option can be personalized with your name or initials etched into the handle.
Men’s razors is a large market and has plenty of big multi-national players. However, Ockham Razors is designed for a more concentrated niche following—those who value style and product design. For Rob Hallifax, design is essential and adds to the shaving experience in what he says “should be a tranquil experience”.
But, a dislike for current market offerings of a product is not enough to merit creating a product line or starting a company—or is it? Starting a business is risky and prototyping expensive. Well, at least that was before crowdfunding and 3D printers.
“Crowdfunding, and also 3D printing, were major reasons for me trying to make and sell a razor. Since crowdfunding massively lowers the financial risk in starting a business it's such a great opportunity to test your hypothesis, which is all a new business is at first,” explained Hallifax.
With those hurdles tossed aside, Hallifax is now looking to how best establish the Ockham Razor brand against the elephants in the room, with millions of advertising and marketing dollars at their disposal.
“The hardest thing has been on the marketing side. I'm most comfortable solving problems as an engineer, but less so when it comes to PR and social media.”
Even before the social media push the marketing decisions began with the selection of a crowdfunding platform, as each can cater to different audiences.
“It was a very close call between Kickstarter and Indiegogo,” says Hallifax. “I even spoke to some of the guys at Indiegogo and they were great. In the end I just think that Kickstarter is more appropriate for a design project like mine.”
It is true that Kickstarter tends to cater to product design and the arts. Hallifax hopes that the Ockham Razor's proper product design will give it the POP needed to reach its Kickstarter goal.
Ockham Razor Co’s Kickstarter Campaign Page
Ockham Razor Co’s Website