Colgate is a 145 years old brand delivering various oral hygiene products such as toothpaste, mouthwashes and dental floss. In New York City, the first toothpaste of Colgate was introduced in a collapsible tube in 1896. In 1911, around two million tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes were distributed by Colgate (Ayad, Ayad, Zhang, DeVizio, Cummins & Mateo, 2009). Colgate-Palmolive brought Colgate in 1928 and constantly focusing on bringing new innovative products according to the needs of various markets segments.
Colgate-Palmolive headquartered in New York City was headed in 1956. In 1968, Colgate toothpaste adds MFP Fluoride that helps people in reducing the cavities (Cachon & Kok, 2010). The company also involves in making out various personal care products and household cleaners. In today scenario, the company operates in over 75 countries and also sell their products in more than 200 countries. However, it is publicly listed in only two countries, i.e. United States and India.
Product category in Colgate
Brand Colgate introduced various numbers of products relating to oral hygiene care. The company also introduced their product variants especially for kids including toothbrush.
The major products of this brand are Colgate toothpaste comprises of abrasive materials like fluoride. It helps to reduce gingivitis, control plaque and protect against caries. Some of the famous and popular Colgate toothbrushes are – Colgate Active Salt, Colgate Advanced Fresh Gel, Colgate Total Advanced Whitening and Colgate Regular (Drisko, 2007).
The major attributes included in this toothpaste are related to the health and practical benefit. The health benefits include various aspects such as plaque reduction, whitening of teeth, removing bad smell from mouth and providing long-lasting antibacterial protection. In addition, the practical benefits are related to the packaging and structure of the outside box. The toothpaste is packed in a soft tube, which includes various attributes such as easy to open cap-lid, reusability of the box, different types of flavours in the box, and characterised by safety for kids (Davies, Scully & Preston, 2010).
The packaging used by brand Colgate is eco-friendly, which follows circular economy approach of sustainability i.e. reduce, reuse and recycle. This makes them unique from the competitors and thus allows the brand to gain more market share in the industry. In addition, Colgate is making various innovations in the flavours of their toothpaste such as bringing ayurvedic toothpaste and also connecting these new products with the innovative advertisement.
Positioning of Colgate
Creating a positioning strategy can be proved to be a difficult task for many businesses but Colgate brand made them positioned in the minds of the customers with the using of various advertising strategies as well as other innovative operational strategies.
In Earlville, it has been observed that some of the segments consisting people including adults, parents, women in their mid-late fifties and retirees. Also, most of these sections were not interested in spending much time or selecting the product. They just come, buy or leave the product from the respective outlet. Moreover, these just spend few seconds only and not compare products of Colgate toothpaste with any other brand products such as Pepsodent or Oral-B (Benzian, Holmgren, Buijs, van Loveren, van der, & van Palenstein Helderman, 2012).
Colgate made itself positioned as the brand itself which delivers high-quality products with a premium price among its competitors. Their positioning is well reflected in their advertisements and packaging of the products. For this purpose, the company believes in holistic marketing (Akabogu, 2013).
Marketing Communication of Colgate
To reach to their customer in an effective manner, Colgate uses integrated marketing communications that are a combination of traditional and new media. They also focus on creative promotional activities as in one of their marketing campaign, it was stated that “Feeding Is Believing” (Drisko, 2007).
The company also use their brand elements in a holistic manner as these elements will automatically promote and the brand and associated products to the customers. These brand elements of Colgate includes its unique URL, name, logos, symbol, taglines, packaging and various attributes and characters.
- Brand Name– COLGATE i.e. habitational name from Colgate in Sussex or Colgate in Kent, which is named with Old English col ‘charcoal’ + geat ‘gate’, indicating a gate leading into woodland where charcoal was burned. While in the Philippines, it was introduced in 1926 under The Palmolive Company Philippines before it changed its name to Colgate-Palmolive Philippines in 1949.
- URL –The URL of brand Colgate is the web address of their official websites. It is also called as their domain address. In addition, the back-stage marketing team of Colgate do constant efforts to make their URL in the top row of any search engine so that more numbers of customers are attracted and find their products easily (Stevanovic, Pedersen, D’Alconzo, & Ruehrup, 2017). This also creates a bridge between demand, need and their products. In addition, Colgate also differentiates their URL address according the countries. For example, the main and global URL of Colgate brand is – www.colgate.com, however In India, their URL is changed to www. Colgate.co.in. The major reason behind this is the differences in currency and language.
- Packaging –The packaging of Colgate can be perceived in its associate colours i.e. red and white. The company also
considered environment sustainability and thus committed to making 100 per cent of its packaging fully recyclable across all product categories. The brand also committed to developing complete recyclable toothpaste tube and packages. The packaging of Colgate includes various necessary elements such as price, manufacturing and expiring data, QR code (to easily reach to the website), net weight and tagline of the respective product category. Their packaging also includes the various information relating to the drug facts, technique of using, directions and the level of ingredients. This information helps the customer to use their each and every product in a most effective way without any wastage (Bocchialini, Ielasi & Rossolini, 2015).
- Characters –Different types of characters are used on their packaging as per the respective name, type or use of the product (Levin & Levin, 2010). For example, one of the common and basic categories of their product is the Strong Teeth toothpaste. This toothpaste can be used by any type of person and thus it is most preferable. The brand Colgate use a ‘Glowing Teeth’ character connected with the name and make it printed on the packaging. Similarly, the company use ice cube picture printed on the packaging of Colgate herbal fresh.
- Slogans –Colgate also uses slogans with their every category of products. It is a short and striking memorable phrase used in the promotion of any product. This helps them in creating a strong presence of their products in the minds of the customers (Farhana, 2012). Some of the slogans used in their different products are mentioned below –
- Colgate Sensitive Pro-relief – Stop numbing. Start repairing.
- Colgate Whitening –Removes stains 30% better!
- Colgate Total Daily Repair –A healthier mouth day in, day out.
And many more.
- Logo – The current version of the Colgate logo was adopted in 2001. The company logo is mixed with red and white colour where red represents health, lively activity, acceptance and dynamism and white represents purity, charm and elegance of the brand. In addition, the brand name was printed on the rectangular box in italic and lowercase letters. Moreover, the font of the logo was created by Tagir Saayev and Manvel Shmavonyan in 1992.
Social Media and Advertising
Colgate has an interesting strategy on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The company manages dozens of social profiles and target each local market with their content. Colgate believes that for generating maximum productivity and increase sales, an optimum marketing strategy is required. (Saravanakumar & SuganthaLakshmi, 2012). For achieving the objective of this strategy, it can be used to capture a particular niche in the consumer market is known as marketing strategy. In more than 200 countries, Colgate is successfully made local presence with the various platforms of social media. On Facebook, the company have 3,632,207 likes and 3,594,389 followers and this count are increasing day by day. This step by the company is very sensitive to reach more and more numbers of people. With these online platforms, the people are getting regular updates about the current and upcoming products as well as the new innovative marketing campaigns.
The company also focuses on various advertisements as its main promotional strategies. Its different products are designed for the various segments and are targeted to the audience by emphasising its characteristics. The company also endorse their toothpaste products by bringing up various celebrities and make up several weird advertisements.
Distribution of Colgate
Colgate Palmolive has its own separate distribution corporation, called Colgate Palmolive Co Distributors, a subsidiary of Colgate Palmolive. The Colgate also have a market access the whole world being an FMCG company (Taylor, 2016). The company did not have a single distributor, rather than they have some significant subsidiaries for each region of operations.
The company also has a tie-up with an international shipping organization called Magellan Transport Logistics. Their distribution network works in 3 tier system i.e. manufacturer to regional distributor – sub-regional distributor – Retailer-to-Customer. This helps the brand to serve local areas across the countries in an effective manner.
Competitors of Colgate
As a global leader in oral care, the company also facing competition from several organizations coming out from various countries across the globe. This force the company to bring their new innovative products on a continuous basis and gain the market share globally.
Some of the major competitors of Colgate are Sensodyne, Pepsodent, Close-up and Oral-B. In 2017, the total net sales generated worldwide by Colgate-Palmolive was 15.45 billion U.S. dollars (Vujicic, 2018). The market share of Colgate also stands on 53.4 per cent which makes the brand a big giant in the oral care industry.
SWOT of Colgate
In oral care line, Colgate has dominated the segment for many years and still continues, to be one of the top solicited toothpaste brands across the globe. From global perspectives and various market research, it can be said that the company is enjoying high brand loyalty due to the long presence in history and constant innovations.
- Strengths– The major strengths of the Colgate brand is the strong engagement with the customers with the help of digital medium. The company has made emotional connections with the customers. For example, the social media video campaign is the Tom’s of Maine brands in the U.S. Other strengths of brand Colgate includes innovation leading to growth and strong research development. In 2016, the company has spent $289 million in a technology centre with a team of more than 200 scientist and engineers.
- Weakness – The Company is not good in financial planning as well as demand forecasting which leads to higher rate of missed opportunities and this makes them invest more in the technology. Right now, the investment is not at par with the vision of the company. In addition, the company is heavily investing in the Research and Development, however it still not able to compete to the other brand with their innovative products and this can be seen in the decrease if their market share and popularity on the social media.
- Opportunities– The brand also has various opportunities such as potential in the developing nations and doing various mergers with acquisitions. The growth opportunity is expected to be raised in the developing economies, as there will be rise in the customer income. In addition, Colgate is a market leader but it still needs to consider merger and acquisition with the local players so as to have strong footprints in the market.
- Threats – Brand Colgate can face high risk in the form of growing apprehension on chemicals. Large groups of customers are now apprehensive about the presence of chemicals in consumables and this may shift their choices from non-ayurvedic to organic products.
In the emerging markets, the oral care needs are increasing with the rise in the issues relating to the cavities and gum problems. Various oral care industries are moving at fast pace to achieve the corporate vision and objectives. In addition, Colgate also needs to make use of expertise so that they can understand the current needs for oral care and met the customer needs in an effective manner. This will help them to build a strong presence in the minds of the customers.
The competitive industry in the market requires every business to make an online presence. In the market of advertisement, the internet advertisement segment is expected to be the fastest growing segment. Therefore, Colgate needs to divert their promotional activities from the digital medium including internet advertisement.
The company also needs to focus on various ayurvedic and organic products, as customers now are more conscious about their health. For achieving these objectives, the company needs to add more numbers of flavours with the current product categories.
All the above efforts will help Colgate to be more sustainable as an organization and delivers best value to the customer in the form of the innovative products.
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