Disclaimer: Collective Bias has done business with Colgate-Palmolive in the past.
Did you know that Colgate-Palmolive is a 200-year-old company with products available in over 220 countries across the globe? Colgate-Palmolive makes tons of terrific brands that are a part of so many American households. In fact, Colgate-Palmolive has huge household penetration to the tune of 64.7 percent of homes with brands like Colgate toothpaste, Hills Science Diet, Softsoap and Tom’s of Maine, to name a few.
So how does a two-century-old company continue to drive value when price discounts and coupons aren’t working? How does Colgate-Palmolive drive profitable and sustainable growth?
Well, here’s the first-hand scoop coming out of this year’s Path To Purchase Expo in Chicago. First, it starts with global teamwork, a determination for continuous improvement and a culture of caring. But, building brand equity in an omni-channel environment is a huge challenge.
Barry Roberts, Director of Retail Shopper Solutions at Colgate, together with Marie-Agnes Daumas, Director of Shopper Marketing Center of Excellence, had this to say, “You need to think about shopper as a team sport.” Team sport means getting out of the silo and embracing omni-channel programs. This seemed to be a big topic at this year’s Expo. Other brands spoke vigorously about the need for digital, social, traditional and shopper to all work better together. Secondly, Barry and Marie-Agnes spoke to shopper starting with understanding the difference between the user (mindset) versus the chooser (behavior). How often do we think of the user and the chooser as one in the same person?
To build share, growth and margin, Colgate focuses on shopper platforms (solutions). Don’t think of platforms like a social media marketer would but think of it as an overarching idea that covers not just in-store but online marketing. And the shopper platform encompasses both the user mindset and chooser’s behavior. When done correctly, it also provides that emotional connection to the brand consumers are looking for.
As a part of the presentation, Colgate shared campaigns for Colgate toothpaste and back-to-school, Tom’s of Maine’s support of Earth Day and a launch of their South American fabric softener brand, Sauvitel, in the U.S., borrowing from its successful “Soft as Mother’s Love” campaign. What did each of these campaigns have in common besides following the seven steps above? First, they were all omni-channel campaigns. Second, they all had an influencer marketing component showing that a 200-year old company understands that influencer marketing is deserving of a seat at the table. About six years ago at a previous employer, I had the pleasure of working on what I believe was Colgate’s first effort working with influencers for the launch of Colgate Wisp, a tiny disposable on-the-go toothbrush. They approached the process with trepidation, but it’s nice to see they have adopted influencer marketing on a broader scale.
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