Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning of Toothpaste Industry

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Introduction and background of Report
The tooth paste industry is one typical model of an oligopoly meaning that it is dominated by a small number of major firms such as Colgate-Palmolive, Procter and Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline(Aquafresh) (Industry structures 17. 2008.).The competition among the different companies have always been ferocious with companies launching new products with new features regularly be it whitening toothpaste, mouth fresheners toothpaste or economic toothpaste. This is just an example of how the competition is harsh and how the companies want to target different market segments and the Mauritian market is far from being spared by this harsh competition. Moreover since the last few years the Mauritian market for toothpaste as well as that for other dental products have gone trough an important growth due to increase awareness about oral health (island of Mauritius An analysis of the health situation 2007). So as as result the toothpaste market in Mauritius is a very dynamic one with lots of products which are bent on targeting different market segments.

This is why this report has been designed, to analyse the different ways in which the different competitors available segment the Mauritian toothpaste market and how different brands use these segments to position their products. In this part emphasis has been put on 3 toothpaste brands which are Colgate Fresh confidence, Aquafresh White and Shine and Colgate sensitive.

Market segmentation
Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into 2 or more segments with each having specifics needs and characteristics and who will need specific products or marketing mix. For a market to be broken up into these different segments different segmentation variables must either be used individually or in combination, these variables are: (tutor2u n.d.) (Kotler et al.2006,217) 1. Geographic variable

This variable is used when markets are divided according to geographical units be it in regions, states, cities etc 1. Demographic variable
This is when markets are segmented according to population variables like age, sex religion etc
2. Psychographic variable
This is when markets are segmented according to personality related variables such as life style, social class etc 3. Behavioural variable
This is when markets are segmented according to the actions and reactions of the customers to products. These can be usage rate, brand loyalty and benefits sought. It is considered the best starting point for segment identification and analysis

Some other factors must also be considered to ensure that the market is being properly segmented these are (Kotler et al.2006,225) • The segment’s measurability
The organisation must analyse to what degree the different segments can be measured • The segment’s substantiality
The organisation must analyse the size and growth of the segments and see whether they are profitable • The accessibility of the market
The organisation must also analyse to what degree each segment can be reached and serviced

Market positioning
After choosing a market segment the organisation must decide which place its product in its customers mind compared to competitors products in the segment. To properly position a product various positioning strategies may be used. Some examples of these are: Positioning by product attributes, according to usage occasions, according to user classes, against competitors and away from competitors and positioning for different product classes (Market positioning 2007) (Kotler et al.2006,233)

The positioning process consists of 3 steps:
1. Identifying a set of possible competitive advantages
2. Selecting the right advantage
3. effectively communicate the advantage
The major step in this process is to identify the proper competitive advantage; a competitive advantage is one which gives advantage over competitors by...
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