The CP Case Study
In the early 1990’s, the toothbrush industry was experiencing major growth; in fact, “in 1992 dollar sales increased by 21% in value and 18% in volume” (Quelch & Laidler, 2000, p. 48). The increase in sales was greatly due to a huge influx of new products, advertising, new technologies, and an increase in consumer concern for oral health. During this time, the Colgate-Palmolive (CP) company was not only a major player in the oral care industry, but also “CP was a global leader in household and personal care products” (Quelch & Laidler, 2000, p. 47). Management at CP understood consumer concerns and the need for advances in technology, and because of this, the Oral Care Division at CP was assigned for three years to develop a “technologically superior toothbrush” (Quelch & Laidler, 2000, p. 47). With the increase in toothbrush sales and technology, accompanied by a change in the behavior of a new generation of consumers, the toothbrush market segment also experienced changes. To understand the changes in the oral health care market, it is helpful to first be knowledgeable of some of the changes in the occurring in the toothbrush product category. The toothbrush is an ever evolving object; however, the idea of the toothbrush is nothing new. There is evidence to support that in 3500 B.C., Egyptians were fraying the edges of twigs to create bristles used for brushing the teeth ("History of Toothbrushes," 2006). The modern toothbrush design was first seen around 1780; the nylon bristled toothbrush was introduced in 1938 and was quickly followed by an electric toothbrush in 1939 ("History of Toothbrushes," 2006). That is history, but more recently, three changes have occurred in the toothbrush product category that has changed the way toothbrushes come to market today. Good marketing strategies greatly improve public awareness and public desire, to increase product sales. Kotler and Keller state “the job is not to find the right customers...
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