Colgate-Palmolive: Creating bright smiles for over 200 Years with Innovation for Growth; Effectiveness and Efficiency; and Leading to Win.

Colgate as we know, is one of the best global conglomerate that serves people with consumer products in over 200 countries across the globe. Little do we know that it is a US based conglomerate? Most of us think of Colgate as a home grown brand, such has been the reach of the firm globally making the world look like a minuscule of what it actually is.

The company is valued at $17.3 billion. It specializes in product offerings such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwashes, bar and liquid soaps, deodorants/antiperspirants, dish-washing detergents, household cleaners, fabric conditioners and specialty pet food.

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Let us see how Colgate has made its presence felt globally and how it has become a household name. One of the essential aspects to succeed globally is to know your Target market, their requirements and how to position oneself.


Over a period of time we have known, the main aim of a marketer is to generate value and satisfy consumer wants, but in today’s modern, and complex society, everyone’s needs are not the same. Needs and wants tend to change from time to time. In the same way the product’s offered by firms tend to become obsolete much faster.

However, it is of utmost importance on the part of the firm to define how many market segments it would like to cater to.

Why care about segmentation, let’s get out and sell?

Segmentation and target marketing not only reduce waste, but also help to boost sales, and find the best affordable prices. On the contrary, sloppy and careless target marketing not only wastes resources, but also damages an organizations goodwill.   In the case of Colgate, it initially followed an undifferentiated strategy wherein they provided a limited amount of products to all its customers. Later on with the passage of time and a rise in global competition from Oral B, Pepsodent, etc. to name a few. Colgate changed its segmentation and targeting strategy by catering to different markets with differentiated products.

For example: Globally, Colgate engaged with consumers in innovative ways. In Asia, web sites, social media and mobile were used to support the launch of Colgate Total Charcoal Deep Clean toothpaste. Owing to Colgate’s product offering we can confidently say that Colgate caters to the whole world as its Target market.

Going ahead, we take a look at how Colgate selects its target market segment from a large pool of segments.

As we are aware that Colgate caters to the needs and wants of the entire global audience, it tends to divide the larger segments on the basis of Geographic, demographic, psycho-graphic and behaviouristic criteria.

It further segments the target market into smaller segments based on the

  • Segment Size
  • Segment Profitability
  • Segment Growth
  • Segment Attractiveness
  • Competition and
  • Resource requirement. (Kotler and Keller, 2009)

Before looking at Colgate’s positioning let us know in brief what positioning means.

In order to develop a comprehensive positioning strategy, marketers must understand the current lay of the land. Contrary to direct competitors, firms should be more aware and vigilant of the competitors from related products. Sometimes the indirect competition can be more detrimental than direct competition. For years Colgate developed positioning strategies based on only its direct competition.

1392047371-0228 pepsodent toothpaste ingredients

Furthermore, to engage with dental professionals more frequently, Colgate are using the power of technology to supplement in-person visits. In Brazil, Colgate are using virtual detailing to reach dentists across the country without travel time or expense.

With retail customers, Colgate is engaging with stores of all sizes to make sure their products are available, visible and irresistible. Especially in emerging markets Colgate’s relationships with small rural shops whose owners have influence on their shoppers’ purchase decisions. Colgate on the other hand support small store owners with inventive customized programs that address their unique business challenges. These programs provide information on how to focus on having the ideal assortment of products in each store and increasing visibility of its own products at point of sale. Colgate also engages with key stakeholders in the area of sustainability. For example, Colgate actively participates in the Consumer Goods Forum, a global network of consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, and supports its collective commitments related to sustainability and climate change in this way it builds its global presence and market dominance. (, 2016)

To end this on a positive note Colgate has been successful in developing and conquering global markets following this immaculate saying “ If there ain’t no fish in the pond, don’t fish there…wrong targets are a waste of time. (Smith, 2003)

References: (2016). Colgate | Bright Smiles, Bright Future. [online] Available at: (2016). Colgate Annual Report | About. [online] Available at:

YouTube. (2016). Colgate Dentist DRTV. [online] Available at: (2016). Colgate-Palmolive Company History 1991-Present. [online] Available at: (2016). colgates STP strategy – Google Search. [online] Available at:

Kotler, P. and Keller, K. (2009). Marketing management. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Sandhusen, R. (2008). Marketing. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s Educational Series.

Smith, P. (2003). Great answers to tough marketing questions. London: Kogan Page.

Solomon, M. (2009). Marketing. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Zico gonsalves



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