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Close-Up refreshes strategy for greater market share

Mumbai, July 26: Hindustan Lever (HLL) has fired a "fresh" salvo targeted at increasing the
market share of its leading toothpaste gel brand "Close-Up" to 30 per cent in one year. Close-Up
has been relaunched as "Super Fresh Close-Up" with an added attribute of containing an anti-
bacterial agent along with an existent mouth wash.

The current market share of Close-Up is about 20 per cent in the Rs 1,000 crore toothpaste
market. The move to revitalise Close-Up comes after a gap of almost two years since the brand
was relaunched with the benefit of having a mouth wash, aimed at delivering fresh breath.

The previous relaunch led to a significant gain in market share for the brand, the company said.
However, the market share subsequently flattened to about 20 per cent.

``The idea behind the relaunch now is to give the brand a strong, improved functionality and
provide better delivery of fresh breath. With the added benefit of an anti-bacterial, the product is
now geared towards delivering the core benefit of freshness more effectively,'' said HLL general
manager - marketing (oral care) Mukul Deoras.

The new advertising campaign for the new Super Fresh Close-Up is soon breaking in all media.
The company has also upgraded the carton and tube packaging of the product so as to change the
look and feel of the brand. The picture of a young couple which was earlier printed on the carton
has now also been embossed on the laminated tube. ``This is to emphasise on the USP of the
youth brand as one which delivers fresh breath that lasts longer,'' said Deoras.

The market research conducted by HLL among the youth on Close-Up revealed the need-gaps in
the market for a superior functionality in the brand. The target consumer - the youth - forms a
quarter of the total population. With the new excitement behind the brand, HLL hopes to
increase its market share to 30 per cent in one year, said Deoras. Competitor Colgate Gel has a
market share of about seven per cent.

The gels market is witnessing major activity with the other recent relaunch being that of `Colgate
Fresh Energy Gel' of Colgate-Palmolive (India). This relaunch was in line with Colgate's strategy
to get more focussed on the two main product attributes - "Freshness" and "Energy". Colgate Gel
too has undergone a change in its packaging to clearly set out the message of "Freshness" and
"Energy" to the consumer.

In the case of Colgate Gel, consumer research disclosed that the key consumer aspiration from
usage of gels was `Freshness' and `Energy'.The relaunched Close-Up is priced at Rs 33 for 100
gm. Close-Up traditionally attracts a price premium over the other toothpastes in the market.
This, the company says, is owing to a higher cost involved in the formulation and packaging of
the toothpaste. Colgate Fresh Energy Gel is priced at Rs 30.50 for 100 gm.
Benefit segmentation
 Benefit (or needs-based) segmentation is
based on providing/communicating the major benefits
that consumers are seeking
 A good example is the toothpaste market...
Market Segmentation is defined as:

“The process of dividing a market into distinct subsets of consumers


with common needs and selecting one or more segments to target with a
distinct marketing strategy”

Uses of segmentation
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breath. Than, as you brush in fluoride protection Close-Up gets your teeth cleaner, whiter and brighter, so
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Today there are at least 20 different brands of toothpaste in the market.


Most contains the same basic ingredients: Sodium fluoride or sodium mono-
fluoride.

TOOTHPASTE INDUSTRY: AN OVERVIEW

The toothpaste history in India can be tracked back from 1975 with
1200 tonnes of toothpaste produced by the toothpaste industry. Prior
to the toothpastes Oral Hygiene was the domain of local home made
powders and ayurvedh practitioners. With the entry of Colgate in
Indian marketplace the awareness about Oral care and the importance
of oral care. In recent years the Industry has shown impressive growth
rate of 18.6% (this growth is calculated in terms of value growth in
Rs. ).

The growth in the Urban market has been largely by the Gel Segment.
Presently, a large chunk of the Market is still held by Colgate. The
major players in the toothpaste Industry being Colgate Palmolive and
Hindustan Lever Limited and several minor players like Balsara
hygiene, Dabur etc.

Presently Colgate Dental Cream holds 52% of market share. HLL’s


Close up lies far behind with 23% of the existing market share. The
third player in the marketplace in terms of market share is Colgate Gel
with 10.5% of the market share. That leaves 14.5% market share for
other Brands like Pepsodent, Pepsodent G, Promise, Babool,
Sensofoam, Forhans, Cibaca, Neem, Vicco etc. The toothpaste market
is presently valued at Rs. 750 crores out of which the Gel segment has
already bagged 1/3rd portion of it. The Gel segment presently stands
at Rs. 248 crores and is growing at a rate much faster than Cream. In
India toothpaste usage as compared to other countries is very low
which signifies about the potential of the market. In Urban India the
usage of toothpaste per person per year is just 190gms. Where as it is
200gms of toothpaste per person per year in developing countries as
Indonesia and Thailand. In developed countries as USA and other
European countries the toothpaste usage is 375 gms per person year.
In India the toothpastes companies are going in for advertising on a
heavy note, on an average the companies managing this FMCG
category are spending 6.15% of their sales on development. Colgate
Palmolive had shelled out 15% of their sales on ads in the year 1994.
Dabur had an ad expenditure of 5.07% for the year 1993. whereas
balsara Hygiene spend a huge 10.17% of their sales.

TOOTHPASTE COMPANIES AND TOOTHPASTE BRANDS

(1) Company : Shri Niranjan Aurvedh Bhawan,


Tumsur (Mah)

Product Range : Niranjan

(a) 200 gm Tube Rs

(b) 100 gm Tube Rs

(c) 50 gm Tube Rs

Segmenting Factor : Veg. / Non-veg. Population

Target : 20% educate customers that all


toothpastes have di-calcium
phosphate or bone ash which is
animal based. Whereas they use
calcium rich PIPAL insted.

Availability : Maharastra

Distributors : 107 (newly appointed)

Positioning Stance : Yoga For Teeth.

Direct Competitor : Vicco Vajradanti, but they feel


that will beat them in the price
game as VICCO’s 200 gm tube for
Rs 44.
(2) Company : Hindustan Lever Limited

Brand Name : Close Up

Marketed By : Hindustan Lever limited (HLL)

Product Range : Close Up (Red, Green, Blue)


50 gm Rs
100 gm Rs
150 gm Rs
Pepsodent : 50 GM Rs
100 GM Rs
200 GM Rs
Pepsodent G : 50 gm Rs

150 gm Rs

Segmenting Factor : Age

Targeted At : Young people. The target market


being “Multi Brand Households”
where young does not use what
their parents. This particular
targeting was significant when
Close Up was launched because
Colgate positioning was a sort of
Flip flop between Tooth decay
and Bad Breath and Colgate was
going for a Broad market
constituting of all the age
groups.
Sought to be perceived by the customers was Fresh Breath. The
physical appearance by the users, the Bright Red Gel synerized well
with the Fresh breath Benefit. The advertising account was handled by
LINTAS which focused on Fresh Breath that brought teenagers closer.

By 1980 Close Up had 3% of the 16,000 tonnes toothpaste market. The


production capacity was doubled through a deal with third party
manufacturer and the Brand was taken National over the next year
and a half, the Premium slashed by 30%. In 1983 Colgate started
fearing after witnessing a downfall in market share and started airing
its campaign by inviting customers into its Dental ring of confidence,
by stressing more on breath and posing as a complete toothpaste.
Close Up countered this move by sharpening product benefits, while
urging the customers to do the HA test by blowing air on the palm, the
message was that Close Up feels a lot cooler which reiterated the basic
benefit of a fresh breath.

1987 was a “Probe into Problem” year for HALL as Close Up was much
below expectations with only 4.5% of the 32,000 tonnes toothpaste
market. They identified two basic problems:

(1) Appearance of Toothpastes detracts prospects from its serious


buyers.

(2) Commercials displayed too much of proximity between couples


which was too much for a mother, who actually purchased the
Toiletries.

1998 Lever reworked 3 Ps in its Marketing mix in Tamil Nadu where


people have a strong sense of Oral Hygiene and the area has a cost
effective media Reach. The three reworked Ps are as follows:

(1) Product :
· Blue mint flavour introduced.

· Tangerines of Read reduced. (for serious buyers.)

· Soft Squeeze lamitubes for toothpastes introduced for the first time
in the country.

(2) Communication

· Advertisement focus moved from spotlight to Gregarious couples.


This group orientation was more acceptable to the Mother.

(3) Distribution

· Took Brand to Sub Urban and Rural areas.

· Posters and Mobile Vans arrived in areas where Urban lifestyle was
a matter of aspiration. This was a purposeful move as the company
did not want the Brand to be saddled with a restrictive.

Up market image

In the year 1990, Colgate followed Close Up by launch of it’s Blue


Colgate Gel. It was targeted at the youngsters within its Brand fold who
were seeking Freshness. It was priced at par with Close Up gel. The
Colgate ad showed a fluorescent Blue spiral round the users body and
it talked of Fresh Breath Energy. By this time Gel became the
Battleground in order to become the leader because:

* There is rapid expansion in gel segment.

* Youngsters thought white paste to be outdated.

In 1991, Close Up launched Zing Green and simultaneously Lever


sponsored “Close Up Sangeet Muquabala” targeted at the rural youth.
In 1991 Close Up’s market share increased to 16% of Rs 377 crores per
year market. 1991 witnessed a few problems for Close Up Blue, which
was faltering on repeat purchases as customers did not perceive
much freshness value in it. In 1992, HLL launched “AQUA BLUE” with
added attributes like increased Mouthwash contents and a more Minter
flavour, so that customer’s perceived benefit is Freshness which is
Lever’s Positioning stance. In response Colgate introduced “Red
Actirinse” and then “Colgate Blue”. People at HLL thought to counter
Colgate’s growth by cashing in on Medicinal appeal and came out with
“Pepsodent” with Germicheck snf “Mentadent G” now renamed as
“Pepsodent G” for Gum problems. Colgate countered this move by
launching “Colgate Total” as an advanced paste to fight.

Tartar, Gingivitis, and other Dental ailments. 1993 was the year when
HLL tried to woo the customers by innovative packaging. Firstly it
introduced “Stand Up Pump dispensers” for metros but it bombed in
the market because of High price perception as compared to benefits.
Sachets formula was used by lever to break into Colgate’s fort. The
Close Up sachets was priced at Rs. 3 per unit and it offered 20 uses,
which means that a family of five could use it four times each. The
year it sponsored zee Close Up Antaksharee. HLL also went in for Close
Up Toothbrushes under the Brand name “Confident” and launched it in
Tamil Nadu.

The confident toothbrushes were taken National and most importantly


HLL advertisement account shifted from LINTAS to FTA due to

Global alignment move by Lever’s parent Unilever. The brief given to


the new agency was to “Strengthen the Audience’s perception of
Brand’s functional values.”

Close Up’s formulation was reworked and the new Close Up was
enriched with “Microwhiteners” so that the perceived benefit by the
customer be that he will have Shining Teeth. As the ad account was
handed over to HTA, the ad moved closer to the Indian Culture, they
also took note of the cultural changes which showed in their ads like
Females were now more than equal participants in Boy Girl activity as
in Salim Anarkali ad which showed her confidence by joining the Boy
on the stage and saving the day.

1996 witnessed introduction of “Close Up Liquifresh” a liquid in a carry


along squeeze can in two sizes :

• 30 gm Rs.

• 100 gms Rs.

HLL gave it a dual positioning platform of a Mouthrinse and a


toothpaste, like squeeze the Gel directly into Mouth. Close Up is
pushing hard for semi Urban and Rural areas were disposable incomes
are rising rapidly and in order to tap these markets it is going for
Vernacular Advertising in Eight languages. In Bengal as the
communication did not work all that work initially, HTA has contracted
Anjan Dutta a signer popular with both Young and old alike in Bengal.

3) Company : Colgate Palmolive (India) Limited

Brand : Colgate

Product Range :

1. Colgate dental Cream

* 50 gm Rs.

* 100 gm Rs.

* 150 gm Rs.

* 200 gm Rs.
* 250 gm

2. Colgate Gel (Blue and Red)

· 50 gm Rs.

· 100 gm Rs.

· 150 gm Rs.

· 200 gm Rs.

· 250 gm Rs. -

3. Colgate Total

· 50 gm Rs. -

· 100 gm Rs.

· 150 gm Rs. -

· 200 gm Rs. -

4. Colgate Calciguard

· 50 gm Rs. -

· 100 gm Rs. -

· 150 gm Rs. -

· 200 gm Rs. -

5. Colgate Sensitive

Segmenting Factor : Family

Target Audience : The Brand Colgate and it’s extensions are


targeted at Indian families taking booth economical and premium
stances.

Availability : All over India.


Positioning Stance : on Health care through Duality of benefits,
talks about “Stops bad breath and fights tooth decay.” This positioning
stance has worked well in Indian probably because Oral. Now also the
company is constantly following the fresh breath route which proved
successful for the company.

Care is not taken in a sensitized manner and hence the custom looks for multi-benefits.
History of Colgate :

For people in Colgate volume is the key. This is the Mantra for India a.
Today the Indian arm is one of the top 10 subsidiaries of the global
giant ; one of the top three volume drivers in toothpastes. In India, the
Multinational is first and foremost identified with Toothpaste (Dental
care) are currently there is a lot of curiosity on how C-P is responding
to the challenges that HLL is throwing it’s way. On toothpastes, where
C-P claims an overall 62.3 percent market share a clear cut strategy is
evident i.e. maintaining leadership in Oral care and expand the oral
care market size. Consistency of communication is of strategic
importance. More so in an increasingly cluttered environment. Vice
President of C-P (India) limited dually complies “We have not changed
the platform - Duality of Benefits - for the last 15 years.”

The main growth in the Urban toothpaste market for C-P has for
sometime been coming from the Gel segment. Colgate gel has been
performing well with it’s market share standing at 11 percent and a
growth faster than Close Up’s market share, which has declined by the
end of 96.

In an effort to capitalize in the growth, C-P recently introduced it’s


latest extensions, Fresh Stripes, with “Stripes of Benefit”. this latest
launch brings C-P’s toothpastes to a total of six, with mega Brand
Colgate Dental Cream (CDC), the category volume driver; Colgate Gel-
Positioned as giving long lasting fresh breath; Calciguard with an anti
cavity therapeutic positioning marketed in the Metros; Colgate Total
with it’s therapeutic positioning and multi benefits and Colgate
Sensitive being Marketed through Dental Profession.

To expand the category, C-P has an on going Rural Van programme,


rather similar to the HLL idea of expanding the market and also not
being confused as a premium consumers. An intensive investment this
Video van develops the market by teaching people to use a brush or
seen a finger properly to clean their teeth with the Big Red CDC. In
addition there is also a school programme which covered 1.5 million
children last year. According to Rechard Usuquen VP C-P (India) Ltd. C-
P’s action will center around finely balancing the Urban market - where
it claims a 59.5 percent market share - with the Rural where it claims a
68 per cent share. So while the company has introduced such premium
packaging as stand-up toothpaste tubes with Flip up caps in the Urban
market, it is also selling sachets of CDC at low prices.

In 2001, the company has come up with a lot of schemes such as 25%
extra in 100gm pack. In 50% gm pack there is an off of Rs 5.5. In
200gm pack the company is providing 2 toy planes for kids. They are
also providing a lot of discount and incentives to its stockiest and
retailers. They have also come up with transparent packaging in gel
segment to attract the customers.

DATA FOR THE TOOTHPASTE INDUSTRY :


(A) ZONE WISE SEGMENTATION :

ZONE PERCENTAGE
EAST 21%
NORTH 25%
WEST 21%
SOUTH 33%

(B) SEGMENTATION AS RURAL AND URBAN MARKETS :

RURAL MARKET 40%


URBAN MARKET 60%
The above segmentation details gives us an overall scenario of the toothpaste industry. As
seen from the zone wise segmentation table, the distribution is fairly even in all the
zones. Also the rural to urban markets ratio is 40:60 which is expected and thus no
surprises are seen from this data or rather no unusual variation is observed.

(C) MARKET SHARE OF MAJOR PLAYERS OF THE INDUSTRY :


NAME % SHARE
COLGATE DENTAL 46
COLGATE GEL 10
CIBACA 3
CLOSE UP 18
PEPSODENT 09
PROMISE 9.5
BABOOL 0.5

The data tabulated above clearly supports the fact that Colgate and HLL products are way
ahead as far as market share goes. These brands have earned a place in customers minds
or speaking in a technical term they have been positioned in the customer's minds.
Secondly, the brands like Promise and Babool are catering to a very specific segment of
customers which is the Herbal toothpaste user segment. Thus, they also have positioned
themselves as Herbal toothpastes and hence they always target the same segment. This
can be termed as a 'niche market' which they are catering to these segments.

What Is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction measures how well a company's products or services meet or exceed
customer expectations. These expectations often reflect many aspects of the company's business
activities including the actual product, service, company, and how the company operates in the
global environment. Customer satisfaction measures are an overall psychological evaluation that
is based on the customer's lifetime of product and service experience. "
Why is Customer Satisfaction So Important?

Effective marketing focuses on two activities: retaining existing customers and adding new
customers. Customer satisfaction measures are critical to any product or service company
because customer satisfaction is a strong predictor of customer retention, customer loyalty and
product repurchase.