Colgate-Palmolive: Staying Ahead in Oral Care

Posted: 1 Mar 2012

See all articles by Rebecca M. Henderson

Rebecca M. Henderson

Harvard Business School; NBER

Ryan Johnson

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: August 2, 2011

Abstract

In 2011, Colgate-Palmolive (Colgate) was the global leader in oral care, with a dominant market share lead in toothpaste and a growing presence in toothbrushes and mouthwash. However, the firm faced stiff competition with perennial rivals P&G increasing their focus on the oral care and emerging markets where Colgate had traditionally been untouchable. To defend its lead Colgate attempted to cover all fronts, leveraging brand equity, fostering close relationships with dental professionals, innovating in underutilized markets, using its global network to quickly move products to market and reinvesting steadily in its brand.

Learning Objective: To highlight how Colgate successfully defended the Oral Care category by, leveraging brand equity, fostering close relationships with dental professionals, innovating in underutilized markets, using its global network to quickly move products to market and reinvesting steadily in its brand. Examine structural set up of Colgate when compared to other Consumer product goods.

Suggested Citation

Henderson, Rebecca M. and Johnson, Ryan, Colgate-Palmolive: Staying Ahead in Oral Care (August 2, 2011). Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Case No. 311-120. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2013414

Rebecca M. Henderson (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

NBER

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ryan Johnson

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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