Colgate toothpaste marketing strategy
Any new product introduced into a market undergoes four stages, namely product design, growth, maturity, and decline. A product in the market must be in one of the four stages. Colgate toothpaste is a product that was introduced into the market by Colgate-Palmolive Company in the late 19th Century. It has undergone product development and growth stage and is currently in its late maturity stage. In the late 20th Century, the Colgate toothpaste had its sales increasing but at a much lower rate than in its growth stage . At the beginning of the 21st Century, the product stabilized and is currently heading to the declining stage of the product life cycle due to the development of new products such as mouth wash and dental creams.
In the maturity stage, when the product is heading towards the declining phase, failure to have proper marketing strategies would lead to product extinction due to market decline. The company managers must develop appropriate marketing strategies for the product to remain relevant in the market. Colgate-Palmolive Brand managers in all the regions of its operations must come up with strategies to ensure that Colgate toothpaste does not come to an untimely death after over a hundred years of dominance in the production of oral sanitary products.
The first important thing should understand the target market. The market has been changing with time. In the early stages of the growth and development of the Colgate-Palmolive company, the managers concentrated on the American and Indian markets . As the product approached the maturity stage at the beginning of the 21st Century, the company concentrated more on the rural civilization in India, where the market was much bigger. Expansion of the target market worked in the growth stage of the Colgate toothpaste and can as well work in the maturity stage lowering the chances of the product entering the decline stage. Venturing into the less developed countries of Africa and the Middle East would bear fruits and rekindle the hope of sustaining the product in the market. Aggressive advertisement of the toothpaste in these regions would easily see the product go through the growth stage of product life over and over again whenever introduced in a new market. This is a strategy that works when the product has reached its saturation in a particular region.
Other than expanding the target market, a brand manager may opt to increase the range of products. Giving customers various preferences to choose from would see a product that was declining in its sales start stabilizing and perhaps increase the sale. Colgate-Palmolive Company has been expanding the Colgate brands with time. Surveying customer preferences is needed to know what changes would be necessary. The primary ingredients of the toothpaste would remain the same, but additional ingredients would attract more customers . The company should also carefully study the competitors’ new products which would provide information on the changes in products required in order to remain relevant in the market.
Change in the packaging previously used to a much more appealing one would also be significant in marketing a product in the maturity stage. Colgate sachets used might not be as attractive as those used by the competitors. Ergonomic factors are crucial in selling any product. The new packaging would psychologically bring the attention of the product to the customers, making them think the product is new. The aim of changing the sachet is to attract new customers and win the loyalty of new customers to start using oral sanitary products from Colgate –Palmolive Company.
Various marketing tools would be employed in marketing Colgate toothpaste products. The aggressive advertisement would be an excellent marketing tool when the product is in the maturity stage, heading towards the decline stage. Using the media to inform the general public of the benefits of using Colgate toothpaste would open up a new market of the product sustaining it in the maturity stage longer. Investing in research would also be a tool to develop ways to maintain high product sales and Colgate-Palmolive Company through ensuring the managers are well informed of the current market forces. The company would also opt to use a pricing tool as a means of attracting new customers . Lowering the prices slightly would see the company have a competitive advantage over its competitors
It should also be noted that it is inevitable for a product to decline. This is the current situation that Colgate toothpaste is facing. The world is shifting towards a different kind of oral sanitary products. It would be a very prudent decision to change towards where the global market is moving towards slowly. The company would continue producing the same toothpaste but start producing the new product categories such as mouth wash branded Colgate mouthwash. This would help the company maintain its reputation and avoid declining its sales and finally collapsing.
In conclusion, a company having a product in the final stage of development faces a lot of challenges. Colgate-Palmolive Company is in this stage, and stiff competition is resulting in a product sales decline. They discussed marketing strategies and tools that would be essential to maintain the company and its products in the maturity stage longer.