Colgate Case

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Date Submitted: 01/29/2009 09:42 AM

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Ashley Keefer

Colgate-Palmolive (Cleopatra)

Case Discussion

Every year, a large number of new product developments come to the market and an overwhelming portion inevitably fail. Whether through failure to do the appropriate marketing research, choosing the incorrect market strategy, or pricing in a way that is inconsistent with the company’s overall competitive marketing strategy, the product is unable to capture significant customer interest. In this case, Colgate-Palmolive faces this precise problem in generating demand for their new soap product “Cleopatra.” As a result, they are met with the decision to discontinue the brand, modify their current marketing strategy, or drastically alter the strategy or the product itself.

Colgate-Palmolive plans to target the skin care segment in Quebec, particularly the 80% of Quebec’s population who list French as their mother tongue. They perceive that Quebec has similar interest in fine quality soaps as France, where Cleopatra experienced overwhelming success. Colgate-Palmolive formulated a precise marketing mix for the Quebec market:

• Product: Premium quality skin care product, with a unique formulation containing the best ingredients. Packaged in a gold-laminated carton, the soap itself is carved into a special shape stamped with the Cleopatra logo.

• Price: Premium price, most expensive in the skin care segment; no discounts.

• Promotion: Heavy focus on advertising/sales promotion (pull strategy). Use of TV commercials, free bar coupons, sweepstakes promotion.

• Place: Competitive Canadian (Quebec) soap market: the product is sold at supermarkets, drugs stores, and discount retailers.

The objectives of Colgate-Palmolive’s promotions campaign in Quebec include: increasing market share to 4.5% in 1986; obtaining maximum shelf presence and desirable shelf positioning akin to Dove’s competing product. Additionally, they want to maintain their premium price strategy and remain the “big...