Braun is an innovative manufacturer with German roots that produces personal care products. The most popular product is Braun electric clippers, which are also the best-selling of the entire product portfolio.
The company was founded in Frankfurt in 1921 by Max Braun. However, when he founded the company, he had no idea where fate would eventually take him. Max Braun, as a mechanical engineer, set up a small shop where he sold supplies for engineers (if you want to be a do-it-yourselfer). He first started selling components for radio manufacturing. The plastic elements in the components he dealt with were what fueled the growth of his business, which later led Max to manufacture and then sell complete radios. In 1932 he even sold a combination radio with recording equipment. You have to admit, it must have been a real one-off at the time.
Braun continued its core business until it started making electric shavers in the 1950s. Of course, Max Braun was no longer in business alone at this time, but employed a number of associates. Braun electric shavers were already the most popular products the company had ever produced in those days. At the same time, there were good margins associated with these products, and the shavers and their development continue to provide Braun with a cash flow to this day. Although Braun has produced a wide variety of products, it is best known for its electric shavers, especially in the North American market.
Braun's first electric shaver, the Braun S 50, was met with great admiration. This model was originally designed in 1938 but never saw the light of day due to World War II. The entire company had to stop designing products for the civilian sector and in 1944 the company's factories were even completely destroyed. Braun had to rebuild all its factories during these difficult times. Soon after the construction was completed, however, the company was able to enjoy more than 150 employees in brand new production facilities.
The first, already mentioned Braun electric shaver saw the light of day in 1951. This razor was equipped with an oscillating shaving block with a thin steel foil placed above it. Braun still uses this concept to this day.
It is 1967 and Gillette, a company from Boston, USA, buys a majority stake in Braun. Later, in 1982, Gillette takes the entire company under its wing. Gillette, however, keeps Braun as Braun, there is no rebranding or similar changes. In the 1970s, Braun also begins to compete with competitors in other household appliances. Many other companies subsequently duplicate Braun appliances and try to capitalise on the brand's know-how, with the addition of lower-paid production staff. Braun responds to these efforts by launching a lawsuit to at least compensate for the loss of profits. In the end, Braun focuses on electric shavers and toothbrushes for the North American market, while keeping other small appliances in the European market.
Braun is currently a subsidiary of Proctor & Gamble. But there's a definite chance it will be up for sale again. In Europe, the small appliance division is owned by De Longhi.
The company's headquarters are located in Kronberg, Germany. Regardless of who owns the company, there is no disputing that the Braun brand has long been one of the most respected cordless shaver brands.