Who are the most serious competitors to your chosen product or service and what do you believe is the cause for the success of these competitors? How is your chosen product or service surviving with this competition? Compare strengths and weaknesses of the competitive product or service compared to your chosen brand.
I choose Colgate toothpaste as the product and the near competitor for Colgate are Pepsodent and Close-up.
These two competitors have their unique positioning and competition in the market. As defined by Kotler, Keller, Koshy and Jha (2009, p. 282), positioning is a way by which a company offers to create an image in the customer’s mind and maximize the benefit for the firm. There are different strategies which the companies are applying in the market
Pepsodent has been targeting the children with its brand ambassador, bollywood superstar- "Shahrukh Khan". The company has developed a very child loving website and has been making its ad campaign "Pappu and Papa", which shows Shahrukh Khan and a child acting as "Pappu" and has been developing several successful advertisement under the same campaign. In 2013, the controversial advertisement showed a comparative advertisement of Pepsodent Vs colgate, proving its Pepsodent germi-check to be 130% effective than its colgate toothpaste on the same category (The Economic Times, 2013) and (Mehra, 2013). This advertisement gave a mild push to this brand. Pepsodent has tied up with World Dental Association (FDI) and Indian Dental Association (IDA) in 2008 and has been running campaigns, which is helping in positioning and branding as number one oral-care toothpaste
Similarly, Close-up has been positioning itself as a mouth freshening gel, which gives fresh breath. It has been targeting youths and people with bad breaths, not overlapping Colgate’s competitive segment of healthy gums or tooth protection. Recently it has relaunched with new pack and one new product-a teeth shining formula toothpaste.
Colgate has been has been surviving and growing despite of the challenges in the market. The company has from the beginning positioned itself as “Dentist Recommended brand”. Its advertisement also mostly includes models dressed up like dentist, persuading the public for its approval by dentists. The later products of Colgate like salt toothpaste and other toothpastes are positioned to health conscious youngsters. It had market share of around 56.7 % market share in India and is the top selling brand. Similarly, its attractive digital advertisement and e-commerce is called as a strong factor for building awareness and is said to have 80% brand penetration in India while the “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures” program is said to have reached 800 million children in 80 countries, creating a strong branding (Morgan, 2015). The brand has a good distribution channel in south Asia. Despite the closure of its plant in Nepal, the product has maintained its demand, distribution and value in Nepal. Likewise, it has been differentiating market with new products and innovations like Herbal toothpaste, Active salt toothpaste, charcoal toothpaste etc. Similarly, Colgate’s popular ad campaign “Is there salt in your toothpaste?” saw several popular bollywood celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, etc . Recently the ad of “Visibly white” toothpaste endorsed by bollywood diva Sonam Kapoor had been very popular. The other toothpaste ad focuses on child conscious mothers for the buying decision making. One the other hand colgate is said to have the brand penetration rate of 64.6 %, which is way ahead of even Coca-Cola and invests $1.7 billion on advertising (Morgan, 2015). Similarly, the product has different range and product size, the price ranges from a 20 Rupee tube to a very costly one, and small tube to a big bulky family pack, targeting the need of different market segments (Colgate-Palmolive, 2016). Individually, I would say the products of colgate have always met the standard of my need and was infact recommended by the dentist. There also seems to have a close relationship between the dentists and the product of colgate.
The weakness of Colgate
Colgate has not able to penetrate the rural area of Nepal for the marketing activities. Similarly, the market has still been unsure of the Colgate product after the 2013 advertisement, which wasn’t appropriately handled by the company. The company has been coming up with innovations in other range but the classic range "Strong Teeth" and "germi check" kind of product hasn’t seen much of innovation in recent years.
Colgate-Palmolive. (2016). Colgate-Palmolive Company Ltd . Retrieved from Colgate: http://www.colgate.co.in/en/in/oc/oral-health
Kotler, P., Keller, K. L., Koshy, A., & Jha, M. (2009). Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective (13 ed.). Noida: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Mehra, P. (2013, August 13). http://www.exchange4media.com/advertising/pepsodent-vs.-colgatehow-effective-is-comparative-advtg_52359.html. Retrieved from Exchange 4 media.
Morgan, P. (2015, Jul 27). Market Realist . Retrieved from Market Realist website: http://marketrealist.com/2015/07/colgate-highest-brand-penetration-world/
The Economic Times. (2013, August 21). http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/. Retrieved from The Economic Times: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-08-21/news/41433377_1_colgate-palmolive-germ-attack-power-teeth