Nigel Burton, the president of global oral care at Colgate-Palmolive Company (CP), is reviewing market launch plans for a new toothpaste, Colgate Max Fresh (CMF) by CP’s Chinese and Mexican subsidiaries. Both launch plans involved departures from the CMF marketing program for the USA launch six months earlier. Burton must decide whether the costs of marketing program adaptation in China and Mexico can be justified.
“Was CMF launched in the U.S. with a global marketing program? If not, what aspects were not transferable?” The reality is that the U.S. Marketing team took little or no account of the global transferability of their program. They simply sought to develop the best possible marketing program for the U.S. This becomes apparent once the Mexico launch is introduced. The U.S. advertising was, most obviously, country-specific because the celebrity, Emily Proctor, was not known outside the U.S. CP dominates Crest in Mexico so any new CP product can probably obtain distribution. CMF is not essential to the Mexican portfolio but is being launched to block new products from Procter & Gamble CP’s market position in China is more similar to the U.S. than Mexico. CP and Procter & Gamble are in a battle for market share leadership. The marketing adaption costs for the CMF launch in China are much larger than in Mexico. “What are the various costs and benefits that a multinational company must live with when new product launches are delayed around the network?” To the opportunity costs of lost sales on the product in question should be added the knock-on launch delays that the next new product and the one after that may also suffer.
Assess the CMF launch in the US.
CP’s launch of Total in 1998 enabled it to regain share leadership in the U.S. from Procter & Gamble’s Crest. Total was, like Crest, targeted at consumers who were more concerned with deriving therapeutic value than cosmetic benefits from their...