Product Branding & New Products- Is it Ethical?

By TREVZSAAGA ID 215007576

download brandingdownload 1 Branding

What is product branding? Simply put, it is how a product interacts with its consumer audience using design, logo, and messaging that triggers an emotional connection in consumers. Furthermore, if done well, product branding can be maintained and produce a solid, well-connected connection with its target market throughout the life of the product.

Example of a Product Branding done well

images colgate logo

The brand Colgate has been one of the most trusted tooth paste brands for decades. It is not only the older generation which grew up with Colgate, it is a first brand, even for the young, when it comes to oral care. The brand has faced bursts of competition from time to time and has fought back effectively to regain market share. In the 1960s, Forhans was the challenger brand but it is completely forgotten today. In the 1970s Binaca, which later became Cibaca challenged the market but was eventually taken over by Colgate.

STRONGEST Challenges to date:

Despite the strong brand and Colgate’s focus on oral care, in the late 1980s Close-Upimages (3)close up changed the way toothpaste looked and felt in the mouth. High on freshness ingredients, the transparent look and the youth-centric approach gave Colgate some sleepless nights at the time. Close-Up gained a significant share of the market, forcing Colgate to launch a similar product and alter its strategies for some time. Colgate has regained its share since then, but Close-Up continues to hold a majority share in the gel category, with Colgate Gel remaining a distant second.

Unilever also attacked Colgate on the ‘healthy teeth’ platform with Pepsodent, thereby attacking on two fronts. download pepsodent

Despite the strong challenges to date Colgate has 55% of the market share and maintain a substantial product range dominating the world markets.

How does Colgate maintain its dominance?



Colgate products comes in 45 different varieties of toothpaste products sold worldwide targeting a whole range of consumers of different ages and needs. It sells its product under 5 different brands called Colgate Total, Colgate Optic White, Colgate Enamel Health, MaxFresh, and Colgate Sensitive Total advocating the following 10 benefits for usage such as Whitening, Cavity Protection, Sensitivity relief, Gingivitis Prevention, Germ Protection, Breath Freshening, Enamel Protection, Tartar Control, For Children & Prescription Only,  it also comes in 3 flavours of Cinnamint, Fruit and Mint which you can get in 2 types, Gel/liquid gel or Paste. More importantly the different products are sold in different price ranges depending on consumer preferences.

Further Colgate has 55.9% of the Oral produts market in India where per capita consumption is reportedly almost one-fourth that of the US, and less than half that of other emerging markets. Toothpaste has a high penetration of around 78% in urban India and Colgate is the overall market leader with agresive branding and new products in the following broad segments:

Moreover Colgate has over the years tried to fight the sub-segments through a sub-branding strategy and has launched sub-brands such as Colgate Gel, Colgate Sensitive, Colgate Herbal, Colgate Active Salt and Colgate Total. It is clear that the other players, besides Unilever and P&G, are not very keen to take Colgate head-on in its main product line. Hence, they have started carving smaller segments for themselves which Colgate also maintains a precence to carve out a piece of these markets.

So now that weve establisehed Colgate secret of success with product branding and pricing and so forth, I now go back to the question of Ethics in branding.

So….. is COLGATE’s product branding ETHICAL?.

In my opinion the answer lies with the ingredients.

For all the different Colgate products sold under the different branding and different price ranges, they are all made from the same 3 ingredients of Baking Soda, Peroxide, and Fluoride.




BusinessLine, 2014,  CASE STUDY: will Colgate’s branding strategy beat the competition,  BusinessLine, retrieved 20 April 2016,<;., 2016, Colgate Products,, retrieved 20 April 2016, <>.

Google, 2016, “images for colgate”, retrieved 24 April 2016, <;.

Google, 2016, “images of closeup toothpaste”, retrieved 24 April 2016, <;.

Google, 2016, “images for pepsodent”, retrieved 24 April 2016, <;.

HOW, 2016, Product Branding Strategy Across, Multiple Platforms, How, retrieved 20 April 2016, <;.

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