Colgate-Palmolive Company is an American diversifies Multinational Corporation which is founded in year 1806. The company focuses on the production, distribution and provision of household, health care and personal products, such as oral hygiene products, soaps and detergents. However, in this assignment, we will be focused on how is the consumer behaviour toward one of its products, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste.
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Based on the Colgate Malaysia Omnibus Study, 14 per cent of Malaysians are having tooth sensitivity problem and it is affecting up to 57 per cent of dental patients worldwide, and they are Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief target market. Tooth sensitivity affect patients’ daily lives especially on the choices of food whereby they cannot take cold, hot, sour and sweet food as well as drinks.
In order to alleviate teeth pain, Colgate, the leading and trusted brand for dental care introduces Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, it is the first and the only toothpaste that is clinically-proven to deliver instant and lasting sensitivity relief. Regular brushing with this toothpaste builds a long-lasting protective barrier that acts like a seal against sensitivity.
In order to alleviate teeth pain, Colgate, the leading and trusted brand for dental care introduces Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, with its Pro-Argin Technology, it is the first and the only toothpaste that is clinically-proven to deliver instant and lasting sensitivity relief. Regular brushing with this toothpaste builds a long-lasting protective barrier that acts like a seal against sensitivity.
In Malaysia, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief can be found easily in the market such as grocery stores, supermarkets, hypermarket, convenient stores and pharmacies. These places are high traffic and people normally go to those places to buy their household, health care and personal products.
The price for Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief in Guardian Pharmacy at Centre Point, Bandar Utama is RM12.80. It is slightly more expensive than the other Colgate toothpastes as it has specific function that to give lasting relief for people who is having sensitive teeth.
Colgate do advertisement is television, magazines and newspaper to grab customers’ attention. Colgate normally gives out 50g toothpaste samples to let people to have a try on their products. Besides that, price discounts are given in certain retail stores when they are doing promotion.
Consumer Decision Process
There are six stages showing how consumers make decision for goods and services:
Search for information
Pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives
Post consumption evaluation
After consumers recognise their needs and requirements, they will purchase a product that they believe has the ability to solve their problems that they are facing. Marketers must know consumers’ need in order to come out with solutions to overcome the problems. Manufacturers and retailers on the other hand must monitor changes in consumer trends as it leads to new marketing opportunities. For example, Mary is suffering from toothache when she is eating ice cream. Hence, she needs something to solve her tooth sensitivity problem.
Search for information
Once need is recognized, consumers search for information to meet their need. There are two types of information searching: internal and external. Internal information search is where consumers use their stored information upon the products while external information search is where the information is collected from other people. Hence, marketers must provide sufficient information about the products so that consumers can get and understand the information easily. Negative news about the products should be avoided as consumer tends to not to buy the products although they never try the product before. Mary has found out that her sensitive teeth can actually be alleviated by using teeth sensitive toothpaste. From there, Mary goes online search information about the sensitive toothpastes.
Pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives
After the information search process, consumers evaluate for alternatives, make comparison and choose which product and brand are the best. Consumer preference may be affected by the product quantity, size, quality and price. Marketers must provide the best deal to the consumers so that they will be attracted to buy the product.
Besides Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, there are other brands of sensitive toothpastes available in the market such as Sensodyne Rapid Relief, Oral-B Sensitive, Darlie Sensitive, etc. However, most of the sensitive toothpastes only work by numbing toothache at the ending of the nerves which do not provide long lasting result while Colgate Pro-Relief toothpaste which is with its patented Pro-Argin formula, it aims to offer instant relief to people who suffer from teeth sensitivity. The technology works by plugging dentine tubules that actually lead to sensitive tooth nerves as well as blocking the transmission of heat, cold, air and pressure that stimulate pain receptors within teeth.
The table below shows the multi-attribute model for various brands sensitive toothpastes:
Multi-attribute Model for Various Brands Toothpastes
The table shows that Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief gives the highest attribute, follow by Sensodyne, Oral-B and Darlie sensitive toothpastes.
The perceptual mapping shows that how the marketers position their products and the perception of consumers toward the attributes of the products. Perceptual mapping above shows the various brands sensitive toothpastes.
After consumers make their decision, they will go to stores to look out for the products. First, consumers will choose one retailer over another based the conditions of the store, for example, cleanliness of the store, consumer traffic within the store, etc. Hence, retailers must provide the best attributes and image of their stores. After that, in-store choices may be influenced by salespersons, product displays and electronic media.
With more than half of purchase decisions now being made in the store, Colgate’s marketing strategy is to convert shoppers into buyers in the store. Colgate Pro-Relief toothpastes can easily be found in the market such as grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and it can also be purchased online too.
Mary chooses to buy it in pharmacy as she can consult the pharmacist there for better understanding of the toothpaste. Besides that, sometimes there is Colgate salesperson in the pharmacy who does demonstration on how Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief gives instant relief for people having sensitive tooth problem.
After the product is purchased, consumer will use it. Mary bought Colgate Pro-Relief and used it for two weeks.
Post consumption evaluation
In this stage, the satisfaction after using the product will determine whether the consumers will repurchase the product or brand in the future. After two weeks, Mary feels painless when she eats ice cream and she is very satisfied with Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief. Besides that, she also introduces Colgate Pro-Relief to her friend, Anne, who is also having tooth sensitive problem.
Perception involved three stages which are exposure, attention and interpretation.
Exposure is created when customers see the advertisements either when they are watching television or flipping through the newspaper. However, customers often tend to ignore the advertisement. Hence, Colgate marketers should make the advertisement more interesting in order to grab customer’s attention.
The picture above is one of the Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief advertisements which is found in television commercial in Malaysia. The clip is length is 1.01 minutes long and it is gotten from YouTube with the title of “Iâ€¦Iâ€¦I Cant’t Believe It!”. The images is cut out from the clip. First, the dentist hands over a glass of water full with ice cubes to customers and ask them to take a sip. The customers feel toothache and discomfort once they sip the freezing cold water. At the second image, the dentist asks the customers to have a try of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief by rubbing the toothpaste on their sensitive teeth. The dentist explains to the customers that with one application of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief in one minute for instant relief in the fourth image. After the application, in the fifth image, the dentist hands over another glass of freezing cold water to the customers and ask them to have another sip. The next image shows that the customers are happy that they can drink the freezing cold water freely as the always wanted and they do not feel tooth pain anymore. In the seventh and eighth image, the dentists explain what causes sensitive teeth and how Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief uses its Pro-Argin technology to give instant relief, and with daily brushing, customers will get lasting relief. Image 9 shows the look and packaging of Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief and image 10 shows that Colgate is the number one brand recommended by dentists.
After the exposure, Mary who is suffering from sensitive tooth problem will be aware of this advertisement and she gets a lot of product information from the advertisement.
This stage is where the understanding of the consumer toward the advertisement and how they react toward it. Marketers must make the messages that they want to deliver to the consumers to be cleared and easy to be understood. Mary is interested in Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief and decided to have a try on the product as she feels that the advertisement is true and the product can helps her to alleviate her sensitive teeth problem.
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Under short-term memory, there are elaborative activities and maintenance rehearsal. Elaborative activities are previously stored experiences and beliefs. It’s approved by the American Dental Association that experts recommend Colgate more often than any other toothpaste. Hence, customers’ belief that Colgate is everyone’s trusted brand. Maintenance rehearsal is the continuous repetition of the same information and transform into long-term memory. From time to time, Colgate is doing the same advertisement which is with the dentists recommend their patients to use Colgate to protect their teeth. In consumers’ mind set, they will automatically belief that Colgate’s toothpaste is the best among all the other brands, same goes to Colgate sensitive toothpaste.
Colgate normally gives out small product sample to kids to remind them to take good care of their teeth after eating candies. However, marketers feel that it is ineffective to give the message to the consumers by using this way. Hence, instead product sample, marketers give out ice cream and cotton candy to children. The sticks that carrying the ice cream and cotton candy are actually carry a hidden message. Once consumers finish eating, the message printed on the tip of the stick shaped like a toothbrush shows “Don’t Forget” with the Colgate logo. This simple message effectively reminded consumers to brush their teeth.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Toothpaste is actually a physiological need for consumers as it keep daily freshness and hygiene of oral. Besides that, toothpaste can also be placed in safety stage, where consumers do not have the confidence if they do not brush their teeth and they tend to close their mouth when talking to somebody else as they scare the other person can smell their bad breath. Follow by love and belonging stage, toothpaste is also important for consumers to socialise with people without bad breath and to eat food and drinks that they love with their friends without worrying that they will get toothache.
McGuire’s Psychological Motives
Colgate uses need for self-expression. Colgate is different from others as its oral care products are corporate with the dentists and having dentists as their ambassadors for their advertisements. So, it is an expertise’s recommended brand which is different from other brands’ toothpaste. And its slogan is Colgate is the number brand recommended by dentists.
Need for cues is used too. To make customers believe that Colgate is dentists’ choice and will always be their number one choice too when comes to toothpastes.
Colgate uses need for consistency, where there will always be a dentist in its advertisements to make the customers feel that Colgate is actually a trusted brand that is recommended by expertises where Colgate toothpastes can reduce plaque for healthy smooth and clean teeth. Besides that, Colgate always uses red and white colours for its brand logo where people will think of Colgate when they see the both colours. For Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief advertisements, there will always have a glass of water that with ices cubes which actually remind the customers who are having sensitive teeth problem how their tooth hurts when they drink cold water. The advertisement emphasizes on the toothpaste gives instant sensitivity relief.
Need to attribute causation is used. From the advertisement, customers know that drinking ice water will lead to tooth pain if they are having sensitive teeth. To alleviate their tooth sensitivity problem, by using Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief will give them lasting relief and they can drink ice water freely.
Colgate uses need to categorize. The price for Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief is set at RM12.80 to avoid being categorized at RM13.00.
Learning occurs when a person has gone through some changes in life due to experiences. For example, Mary has been using Toothpaste X before this, she is not satisfied with the product and she will not buy the same product again in the future. Mary thinks of using Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, if the toothpaste can give her lasting relief with regular brushing, she will never change to other brand anymore.
Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief is considered as a high involvement product as not everyone uses sensitive toothpaste and people tends to buy ordinary toothpaste as the feel that all of the toothpastes are the same and they are in cheaper prices.
Attitude consists of three components: cognitive, affective and behavioural. The three components influence each other and then react toward an object.
It is one’s belief toward an object. Marketers must make consumers believes that the products can help them in their daily life. There is always a dentist in Colgate toothpaste advertisements, consumers tend to believe that Colgate toothpaste is the best as it is developed with dentists, whereby dentists are the experts of oral care. Besides that, the price of Colgate toothpaste is slightly higher compared to the other brands toothpaste, and consumer beliefs that higher price means higher quality.
It is one’s feelings or emotional reactions toward an object. Marketers have to relate the product to consumers’ daily routines so that the consumers will feel that they need the product. Mary who is having tooth sensitive problem feels that she has an urge to use Colgate Sensitive Pro Relieve to alleviate her tooth sensitive problem.
It is one’s respond toward an object. Marketers must provide positive information about the products and the product can do to help the consumers. Mary is a person who does not really care about the price of a product, what she cares about is the outcome after using the product. After she has searched for so much information about the sensitive toothpastes, she finally decided to give a try on Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief.
Since 1965, together with Ministry of Education of Malaysia, Colgate School Program was launched to educate school children on proper oral hygiene habits in their young age in the classroom by teachers and dental nurses who are from Ministry of Health. To help to achieve the goal, government dental nurses give free dental checkups and brushing drills too. Colgate has distributed Dental Health Kits consisting Colgate toothbrush and toothpaste to more than 12 million primary school students over 41 years. Hence, people start to use Colgate toothpastes since their young age, most of the people will continue to use the same product if they find out that the product is suitable for them. From here, Colgate has created a lot of loyal customers who starts to use its products since they are small.
Colgate Pro-Relief toothpaste is with its patented Pro-Argin formula which is aims to offer instant relief to the people who suffer from teeth sensitivity. The technology works by plugging dentine tubules that actually lead to sensitive tooth nerves as well as blocking the transmission of heat, cold, air and pressure that stimulate pain receptors within teeth. With the latest technology, consumers tend to believe that the toothpaste can help them to solve their teeth sensitivity problem.
Culture and Subculture
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country, hence, the product information which is printed on Colgate Sensitive Pro-relief uses three languages: English, Malay and Chinese, for customers to read any languages that they prefer.
In year 2009, Malaysia population is 28.3 million, out of 65% of the population are Malays. Colgate have obtained the Malaysian Halal Certification for its toothpaste and mouthwash products sold for consumers. Colgate toothpaste which is sold in Malaysia is Halal which is more preferred by the Muslim consumers as they can use Colgate’s products without worrying that they will break their Islamic law.
In Malaysia, people tend to call toothpastes as Colgate no matter what is the brand of the toothpaste. It is just like people call instant noodle as Maggi which is one of the instant noodle’s brand names. Hence, people will think of Colgate first whenever they are going to buy toothpastes.
Consumers’ decision is influenced by social too. For example, if people around them do not like a certain brand, they tend to avoid buying the brand and it works the other way too. In Mary case, her family members have been using Colgate all the time and they have never changed their toothpaste brand, so Mary has more confident to buy Colgate sensitive toothpaste compare to the others.
Mary love to make friends and socialize with others, she often chit chatting with her friends at restaurant or café while eating snacks. However, her sensitive teeth bother her a lot as she is suffering toothache when eating her snacks. So, Mary urges to use Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief to solve her problem so that she can enjoy eating her favourite snacks when outing with her friends.
As the conclusion, marketers have to make a lot of efforts to make sure that their products are able to meet the highest sales. In order to achieve the target, advertising is the best way among the others as it influences consumer behaviour toward the particular product the most. Hence, the advertisement must be creative and attractive to grab consumers’ attention. Besides that, marketers must always do research and study about the psychological core of consumers to understand the needs of consumers and find ways to fulfil them.
Word Count: 2842 words
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