History of the name
From the early 1940s, Philco was legally able to prevent Philips from using the name "Philips" on any products marketed in the USA, because the two names were judged to sound similar and that it may cause litigation. As a result, Philips instead used the name Norelco, an acronym for "North American Philips [electrical] Company." Philips continued to use that name for all their US products until 1974, when Philips purchased The Magnavox Company. Philips then relabeled their US consumer electronics products to the Magnavox name, but retained the Norelco name for their other US products. When Philips bought Philco in 1981, Philips was able to freely use the Philips name for all of their US products, but they chose to retain the Norelco name for personal care appliances, and the Magnavox name for economy-priced consumer electronics.
One reason for retaining the Norelco name for personal care appliances was that a shift to the Philips name could have alienated those US buyers who were reluctant to purchase foreign brands. The market share of Philips, a European company, was very low in the US compared to other countries; with their Norelco and Magnavox brands, they were able to get a larger market share.
Philips began co-branding their shavers "Philips Norelco" in 2005 to improve Philips brand recognition in the USA, a first step towards an intended phase out of the Norelco name.
Philips began making electric shavers in 1939. World War II delayed their introduction in the USA until 1948. The product was not successful until a two-headed model was introduced in 1951.
Norelco cassette tape recorders
Norelco introduced the Philips Compact Cassette portable tape player/recorder in the United States under the Norelco brand name in November 1964. It was called the Carry-Corder 150.
Norelco video cameras
Philips made and marketed a line of Norelco professional video cameras in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. CBS was a notable customer, using models PC-60, PC-70, PC-72, PCP-90, the LDH series, and later the LDK series. By the 1980s, the Norelco name was dropped in favor of Philips. Later marketed using the BTS—Broadcast Television Systems Inc.—brand name in a joint venture with Bosch, the division was subsequently sold to Thomson's Grass Valley.
- Reeves, Jayson (2012-10-01). Corporate Mergers Transitioning the American Economy: Corporate Buyouts and a Junk Bond Market Out of Control. iUniverse. ISBN 9781475937831.
- "Electricshavereview.com". www.electricshavereview.com. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
- "Case Study: Philips' Norelco / How neck hairs led to the remaking of an icon". Business Week. 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
- "Word of mouth makes the cut for Philips Norelco Bodygroom". Direct Marketing News. 2006-11-07. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
- Television commercials