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Colgate’s World of Care through Brand Innovation

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Colgate’s dependence on innovation for growth

Colgate (CL) is a multinational US-based FMCG (or fast moving consumer goods) company. Colgate’s business growth depends on the successful identification, development, and launch of innovative new products.

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Regional product innovation

Colgate and Procter & Gamble (PG) believe innovative new products are key drivers for profitable growth. Colgate has several consumer innovation centers. These primarily look at consumer behavior for inspiring new products and their variants. Innovation also gives CPG (or consumer packaged goods) companies the scope to introduce new products covering a wide spectrum of price points.

Colgate focuses on regional innovation and product localization depending on the market.

  1. In India, Colgate launched the Colgate Active Salt with Neem, as the Neem tree in India is known for its antibacterial properties.
  2. Colgate Plax Bamboo Charcoal in the mouthwash category was introduced in Asian markets, as charcoal is also widely known to fight bacteria.

Competitors Unilever (UL) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB) also depend on innovation and pricing to capture opportunities in emerging markets. For example, Unilever is constantly changing the presentation, bottle size, and pricing of its AXE male-grooming product, depending on the geography.

Successful innovations

In Latin America, Colgate’s innovation in Palmolive and Protex bar soaps helped strengthen its leadership position. The company now has a market share of 29.9% in bar soaps.

Also, the launch of Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Urinary Stress for curing feline urinary tract disease was supported by a comprehensive in-clinic communication plan and an extensive sampling program to veterinarians and their clients. This new product contributed to 1% volume growth in pet nutrition and improved market share in high growth countries like the US, Canada, and Europe.

A key innovation and productivity enabler has been Colgate’s strong network of relationships with stakeholders, including customers, medical professionals, and scientists. Colgate is also open to new ideas. Inventors are invited to submit product ideas in the fields of personal and oral healthcare.

The Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF (XLP) and the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) have 3.5% and 0.9%[1. Updated as on July 10, 2015] of their respective holdings invested in CL.

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