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Market Place

What advertising can do, markets can see, hear and consume

Colgate Palmolive East, West Africa professional relations manager Chelin Twigg with the University of Nairobi School of Dental Sciences dean Loice Gathece at a past event. Colgate has world’s highest penetration at 62 per cent. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
Colgate Palmolive East, West Africa professional relations manager Chelin Twigg with the University of Nairobi School of Dental Sciences dean Loice Gathece at a past event. Colgate has world’s highest penetration at 62 per cent. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive dominates the country’s toothpaste market with 59 per cent market share, despite increased competition in the category, indicating the success of its distribution and marketing efforts in the larger market.

A study released last month by research company GeoPoll reported that Colgate, since 2014, had increased its advertising spend in Kenya in an effort that increased its brand awareness and saw it pull ahead significantly as market leader, with its closest competitor Close-Up achieving only 12 per cent market share and Aquafresh 11 per cent.

“There has been continued increase in advertising spend by the Colgate brand in Kenya. As noted in our daily usage survey data, we have focused on oral care, mainly toothpaste, and ask the questions to determine advertisement recall, most often used brand, brands respondents would recommend, and attitude towards the various brands in the category,” reported GeoPoll.

“The Colgate consumer advocacy is unmatched by its competitors. Brand awareness attributed to increased advertisement has influenced usage, which leads to likelihood in recommendation to friends and relatives by a consumer of a product.”

According to the study, Colgate’s advertisements have contributed approximately 75 per cent of the brand’s awareness, advocacy and usage, while recommendations from consumers have contributed to approximately 85 per cent of its brand awareness, advocacy and usage.

“Colgate has achieved market top-of-mind brand awareness, whereby, when thinking of buying toothpaste, the first product that most buyers think of is Colgate. Such brands become the general name for all other competing products in the category, achieving high market share and becoming a dominant player for a long period,” said Stella Kimani, brand strategist.

This level of brand awareness has landed Colgate in the most chosen brands list globally— Kantar Worldpanel’s 2017 Brand Footprint Report. It was ranked second after Coca-Cola in a list of the world’s top 50 brands.

“It is the only brand in any category to be purchased by more than half of the world’s population. Colgate has the world’s highest penetration reaching 62 per cent of the global population and it has attracted more global shoppers than any other brand over the past five years due to its strategy of adapting to local tastes,” reported Kantar.

Its ability to influence consumer choice can also be linked to its in-store marketing. By making the product more visible than its competitors at the point of purchase such that it is the first product that the consumer interacts with at the toothpaste category, it increases purchase intentions.

In 2011, Ian Cook, chairman, President and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive, noted in its annual report that in emerging markets it has adopted strong in-store execution to increase visibility.

“The trade environment in emerging markets is often predominately small stores. We try to ‘paint the store red’ with strong in-store execution that increases the visibility of Colgate products,” he said.

Furthermore, Colgate’s ability to adapt to market changes and ways of making its product accessible to its consumers has also played an important role in ensuring its market leadership.

In its 2016 annual report, Cook stated the company is advancing its strategies to assure that its products continue to be available by embracing online shopping.

Kantar in its Brand Footprint Report predicts that by 2025, online FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sales will reach $150 billion (Sh 15 trillion) globally and, as a result, manufacturers need to be available at every touch point.

“While e-commerce is still relatively small in our product categories, our intent is to invest ahead of the growth curve, especially in must-win areas,” said Cook.

- African Laughter

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