What Is the Dilemma Facing Colgate-Palmolive?

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Colgate is a player in the $7.5 billion market of oral hygiene in the United States. This market includes products that cleanse, disinfect, freshens breath and whitens teeth and Colgate has a share of that market for all these products. The competition in this market makes being innovative practically a requirement since it is difficult to encroach upon your competitors. Knowing this information, companies must also ensure that they maintain a good balance of products in this industry.

While being innovative in this market, Colgate-Palmolive introduced the Wisp, a new product that they believed would make having a fresh breath while on-the-go a reality. This would definitely be of interest to many consumers since it did not require water, rinsing and lastly toothpaste. Although this seemed like a brilliant idea, it appears that Colgate-Palmolive didn’t forecast that there new idea would probably cause them to lose some of the revenue they generated from their toothpaste and toothbrush sales.

Another concern for Colgate-Palmolive was the pricing strategy that was created for the Wisp. A quick scan at the local store for the prices of reusable toothbrushes averaged $2.50 and the cost of a tube of toothpaste averaged $3.00 and these products would probably last 2 people 3-4 weeks. The price for the Wisp retails at $7.99 for a 16-pack of disposable one-use Wisp’s which made it more costly to use the Wisp for consumers. Other companies have tried selling a disposable toothbrush but were unsuccessful after not realizing a return on investment(ROI), in fact after Procter & Gamble failed miserably in 2004, they ceased to continue marketing a disposable toothbrush. Also if the Wisp were to become a success, it wouldn’t take long until the other manufacturers began marketing similar products, which would have further cut into the Colgate-Palmolive market share.

Colgate-Palmolive did not apply any social marketing concepts when introducing the Wisp. In...
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