Targeting the premium segment

By , agencyfaqs! | In | October 25, 2000
As part of its avowed move to take the oral healthcare market to double-digit growth, Colgate-Palmolive launched its second toothbrush this month

agencyfaqs! News Bureau
NEW DELHI, October 25

Colgate-Palmolive, the $8.7 billion consumer products major, has launched the Colgate Navigator toothbrush in India as part of its plan to take the market, stagnant at 6 per cent to 7 per cent annual growth, to the double-digit level. This is the second oral care product to be launched by the company this month. Earlier this month, it had launched the Zig-Zag toothbrush.

The launch must be seen against the backdrop of the company's ongoing fight with Hindustan Lever Limited which has 35 per cent share in the oral-care market. Colgate, which closed its books in March 2000 with a 2 per cent growth in the market share of its flagship product Colgate Dental Cream, commands over 50 per cent share of the oral health care market.

The key problem in the toothpaste market has been a surfeit of brand launches and extensions. Analysts feel too many extensions have led to brand fatigue. Colgate-Palmolive, on its part, has taken several innovative steps to ensure that its oral care products are sold. For example, every three months, Colgate-Palmolive has a doctor contact programme.

In the new product, the company is banking on quality. The launch is being supported by a multimedia campaign and consumer promotions. Point-of-sale visibility is promoted through props like laminated sun packs on dispensers, shelf-top dispensers, display cards and crowners.

With an array of features such as a rubberised handle, flexible hinged head, bi-level bristles, contoured handle and cushioned gripping dots, the company is targeting the top end of the market.

Announcing the launch, a Colgate-Palmolive spokesperson said, "Colgate Navigator is an important step for us in the premium toothbrush segment - both in terms of looks and performance. Its advanced design has been developed using state-of-the-art technology to offer effective oral hygiene with the user's comfort in mind."

Colgate Navigator retails in three attractive colours - blue, green and purple - and is priced at Rs 35 per brush. It is available in Colgate's distinct sea-of-red global blister packs. Several features are innovative. The blister hugs the brush to emphasise the unique bristle pattern and distinct look of the handle. The pack also has a demo window that illustrates the unique brushing action of the flexible hinged head.

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