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The company chose for this assignment is Colgate. Colgate is a division of the Colgate-Palmolive brand that produces soaps, detergents and oral hygiene products. Colgate focuses on oral hygiene and is a maker of toothpaste and toothbrushes. Started in 1806 by William Colgate as a soap and candle company. When William died in 1857, his soon took over. In 1837, Colgate introduced their first toothpaste and was the first to introduce toothpaste in a tube. In 1928 Palmolive-Peet bought Colgate and in 1953 the name changed to Colgate-Palmolive (Colgate-Palmolive, 2012).
Today Colgate is one of the leading manufacturers of toothpaste, with Procter & Gamble as their main competition.
While in 1992 Colgate was the leader in oral hygiene products, toothbrush competitors emerged as the obsession with oral health increased. Colgate has several big competitors that produce products that are potentially more advanced or incorporate mouthwash into toothpaste, creating new features. The pairing of Crest with Scope lead to competition for Colgate. The pairing of Oral B with dentists gave them the dentist recommendation lead.
(Priestley, 2011) Consumer behaviour is constantly changing, and new technology is emerging, therefore competitors might be offering promotions.
Customers are finally starting to get informed about oral health and the importance of gum disease. Colgate has to be informed and constantly innovate themselves with new technologies in order to keep up with customer knowledge and needs. Other countries are also unaware of the importance of oral health, therefore the company should target them in order to become the leader in oral care.
A social challenge is the market is growing with competitors and as research on oral care increases, so do the people’s expectations and needs. There is many family demographics, therefore the company should have products for people’s different needs, such as sensitivity, gums, whitening. The products should also range from child oral health to elderly sensitivity.
A technological challenge for Colgate is the lack of interesting advertising. There is much more advertising in media for Crest, Sensodyne and other competitors. They use commercials, print ads, social media to attract their consumers, where as Colgate uses few advertisements and has commercials that are seen as boring. Competitors also have a diversity of products and variety for individual consumer needs. Crest and Aquafresh have developed foaming gel toothpastes that are new and different, while Colgate still lacks these new additions.
A legal challenge for Colgate is its past history with a recall in 2011 (Health Canada, 2011). The company recalled the “Colgate Motion Electric Toothbrush”, which was a recent event. This could affect the company’s reputation and drive the consumers to look at other competitors when choosing their products.
While the bargaining power of buyers is low, consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of oral health and the leading competitors present. After the 1990s the baby boomers became concerned with their gums, therefore toothbrush companies improved their technology and formed alliances with dental professionals (Priestley, 2011). As customer demands grow and they seek variety in their toothpaste and toothbrushes that are up to par with oral health research, Colgate might have to update its products and technology.
The industry is broken down by price and by category of therapeutic and cosmetic. If the economy shifts and the country experiences inflation, it will impact the businesses running and the product (Ali, 2012). With the current poor economy in many countries, sales might decrease, or customers might choose cheaper competitors in order to compensate.
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