TLDR: When a company has been around for more than 200 years, it has to frequently update its marketing tactics to keep up with the times. Today, Colgate stays relevant by creating great brand associations, showcasing its expertise, educating consumers, tailoring its message to different segments, and showing its ethical side.
So What? Through careful marketing tactics, Colgate has remained a top name in the personal care industry. To guarantee the long-term success of your own business, consider taking some cues from Colgate’s marketing strategies.
Do you know how many people refer to tissues as “Kleenex,” even though Kleenex doesn’t manufacture them? In many countries, it’s the same for toothpaste, with many referring to it generically by the brand name “Colgate.” That’s because Colgate has been around for over 200 years and is very well-known in the personal care industry.
200 years is long enough for many businesses to come and go given the constant changes in consumer trends and preferences. Colgate came and remained, however, and its marketing tactics have played a significant role in its longevity. Here are some key strategies the company used to stay relevant and maintain its place as a top name in the personal care industry.
Make the Right Brand Associations
One thing Colgate does brilliantly is associate its brand with powerful images. It doesn’t do this in a standard, generic way. Instead, it has been created very specific and unique brand associations that resonate with its target audience in a method that’s meaningful to their everyday lives.
For example, for its Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste, which the brand wanted to associate with a sense of freshness and high energy, it partnered with actor Ranveer Singh. Singh was his typical energetic self, though he was made more so by Colgate MaxFresh. Not only did this tactic generate huge amounts of buzz for the product, but it also helped associate freshness, energy, and smiles (highly important things to consumers) with Colgate.
Don’t go the standard route when trying to create powerful and meaningful brand associations. Think about how you can integrate your brand into your message in a way that’ll amplify it and resonate with your target audience.
Showcase Expertise, Demonstrate Value
To stay relevant and keep customers loyal, it’s important to show you have the expertise and experience necessary to provide them with value. Colgate does this by partnering with dentists and hygienists in a way that allows them to discuss aspects of oral hygiene and promote their brand alongside Colgate as a trusted partner.
One such example is Colgate’s YouTube channel, which has several playlists dedicated to educating customers about oral hygiene. This is the perfect example of demonstrating your expertise in an important area to your target audience, and it could be just what you need to do to keep them coming back for more.
Proving you have the expertise necessary to provide real value is key for any business, regardless of industry. Whether you do this through online content or in-person presentations, showcasing your knowledge can help solidify your position as a top name in your industry.
Display Your Ethical Side
Today’s consumers care about the values and ethics of the brands they buy from. If you don’t have those aspects clearly reflected in your messages, it could hurt your business.
Colgate does this very well through initiatives like its Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures initiative, which supports oral health education among underserved children. Not only does this show Colgate has a strong sense of ethics, but it also builds trust with consumers and can be a powerful differentiator for the company.
The same applies to its #EveryDropCounts campaign, which raises awareness about water conservation, especially while brushing your teeth. This is another great example of how Colgate has positioned itself as an ethical and conscientious brand, and it can help build lasting customer relationships.
If you want to stay relevant in your industry, make sure your messaging reflects not just the value you provide, but the values you hold dear.
Tailor Your Message to Different Audiences
It’s one thing to have a cohesive brand message you use for every customer, but it’s another thing to tailor your messaging in a way that resonates with each audience member.
Colgate does this effectively by offering products and messages targeted toward specific audiences in different countries. This approach allows them to create messaging that resonates with particular groups, strengthen the brand, and build loyalty.
For instance, Colgate India utilizes traditional folktales to create messages that resonate with Indian parents and children. That’s because they understand different populations respond to different messengers and methods of communication. It’s an important lesson for any business looking to create a strong brand.
In contrast, Colgate Pakistan has a lot of songs for children and their parents to enjoy. This shows Colgate can communicate using different methods depending on the audience they’re trying to reach and what would be most effective in that context.
As you look to build your brand, you must understand how your messaging should differ for each audience you’re trying to reach. The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.
Know the Value of Marketing
As one of the world’s most recognizable brands, what keeps Colgate at the top of its game is no mystery (its focus on marketing and messaging). By keeping your messaging consistent, ethical, and targeted, you’ll be on the fast track to building a successful brand that resonates with customers for years to come.
What are some ways to effectively market your brand? If you’re not sure, get in touch! At Media Shower, we have the expertise for creating meaningful brand associations, and engaging customers in meaningful ways. Contact us today to learn more.