Ok, this blog post goes..You are fresh out of MBA school and need to show someone our marketing skill, so you write one on toothpaste brand extensions..Seems familiar? almost.
In fact, It has never been done. Though a senior consultant has written MarketSense on the illogical rush for brand extensions, commenting on her family heirloom the Crest her grandma brought home first, ha!
I would have thought more people would have written about toothpaste. As a principal, and having suffered enough at the hand of CXOs around the world, I cannot avoid spending money on toothpaste, either. And I invariably pick up a Colgate. Which one? 17 in the neighbourhood Kmart aisle, though even Wal-Mart has a lot of paste, maybe just P&G Crest.
I do not buy the logic at all. The toothpaste market is hardly $1.5 billion in the States and the same outside US if everyone is buying their hollow tube for the morning breath of freshness. In that Colgate has 17 brands of toothpaste and 8 brands of Toothbrush which are actually all the same brand. And each ‘ extension’ spends its own $30 million in the launch year. Colgate already sells one-third of the toothpaste in China despite a Chloroform controversy for it while Crest has made it too in 2009
In 1994, when I finished MBA school, it seems the buzz was for Tartar Control with Crest beating CP hands down with 16% share in the Tartar control toothpaste!
Colgate Sensitive is still spending $30 million on its latest avatar and the story still is a dentist or two recommending it etc throughout the world. Crest has recently conquered China as well, along with the premium priced Gillette mens products to ‘prove the point in quality and price’ I remember this signature product of toothpaste has also been used as part of dental convention humor in full length movies. Wasn’t it the same in the popular ‘Friends’ in the retiring season?
The $16 billion Colgate and the $84 billion P&G continue the freshness wars with no respite for the affluent and the BOP consumer in 100s of markets around the globe. Here’s what is sounds like when you praise your toothpaste - and I am quoting green:
I first tried Tom’s Natural Anticavity Fluoride toothpaste in Spearmint.
I want toothpaste. even when I sell it. not Natural, Anti-Cavity, Fluoride, Spearmint – literally biological warfare in my mouth, every time I wake up.
Seriously brand extensions are a big no-no. Even if it is squeezing the tube.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA LAUNCH
A planned study in contrast was the Colgate Wisp. If you grab hold of the viral video, make sure you listen to it till the end. They removed all the smart alt uses for the no paste no spit brush and spun a 4 for 1 Wisp offer and rafffles and free tickets around the World on your purchase. That dollar, is as tried as Granny’s pickle. really.
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