Nigel Burton, the president of global oral care at Colgate-Palmolive Company (CP), is reviewing market launch plans for a new toothpaste, Colgate Max Fresh (CMF) by CP’s Chinese and Mexican subsidiaries. Both launch plans involved departures from the CMF marketing program for the USA launch six months earlier. Burton must decide whether the costs of marketing program adaptation in China and Mexico can be justified. “Was CMF launched in the U.S. with a global marketing program? If not, what aspects were not transferable?” The reality is that the U.S. Marketing team took little or no account of the global transferability of their program. They simply sought to develop the best possible …show more content…
The management challenges were the delays to the market launch date caused by the various adaptations. In some cases, such as the packaging, the delays were unanticipated and perhaps the incremental benefits achieved did not justify the opportunity costs of the delays. In the end, the china launch occurred twelve months after the U.S. roll-out in August 2005
Did CP Mexico manage its launch better than CP China?
CP dominates the toothpaste category in Mexico and, therefore, can probably secure distribution for any new product in its portfolio. This is reflected in the comparative income statements which show CMF losing money in China in the first two years after launch while making money from year one in Mexico.
Though not under pressure from Crest in the Mexican market, it was prudent for CP Mexico to preempt Procter & Gamble by launching CMF ahead of Crest Cool Explosions and possibly Crest + Scope. CP Mexico accepted the CMF brand positioning concept as developed for the U.S. Adaptation efforts centered on the necessity of developing new television advertising. Instead of using a local celebrity, their Snowsurfer ad (Exhibit 18) focused on the brand. How would Burton prioritize additional countries in the global CMF roll-out? Ideally, he would probably favor countries with:
A large overall market size
A well-developed interest in the toothpaste category
A tight race