DebDipta Majumdar | BIM Trichy
Pepsodent has established itself as a strong, reliable brand commanding the second place in terms of market share next to Colgate from Colgate-Palmolive Ltd. The product line of Pepsodent is wide spread right from lower end to the higher end addressing the basic needs of decay protection & advanced whitening to specific medical needs with Pepsodent G gum care and Pepsodent Sensitive. The customer expectations of the toothpaste market are good taste, fresh breath, clean teeth, more foam and proper cleaning.
Children are influencing around 41% of the total purchases in the total consumer market and children are permitted to make decisions in 65% of the total purchases in the toothpaste purchases. In this case ideally, a product for the children, launched properly should be a runaway success. Realizing this, Pepsodent introduced Pepsodent Kids and Pepsodent Junior in November 2007. Contrary to the expectations, Pepsodent Kids did not taste success. Colgate’s Bubble Fruit is the direct competitor of Pepsodent Kids. Pepsodent Kids comes with an attractive squeeze down pack in attractive colors with three variants, namely -
1. Barbie (pink color)
2. Superman (Blue color)
3. Tom & Jerry (Orange color)
Retailer observations for product improvement mainly involve two factors:
1. Size of the Pack
2. Color Variants
Small sized packs
As against the popular notion of high price of the Pepsodent Kids, the market can be sustained based on the exclusivity of the product for the Kids. Indeed the high pricing of Pepsodent Kids as observed in survey is not real but a perception created by its ‘Pack Size’. Analyzing the competitor Colgate’s Bubble Fruit pricing strategy sheds light on the same as given below.
Product Weight(Gms.) Price(Rs)
Pepsodent Kids 80 45
Colgate’s Bubble Fruit 40 22
As it can be observed, the pricing is not high but it is the pack size that gives them that impression. Tooth Paste Customers (Parents) can be classified into:
1. Informed Customer - the one who looks into the details deep into the contents of the product even that is not communicated by the marketer.
2. Un-Informed Customer - An uninformed customer is one who doesn’t look into all the details.
To take the product to the masses, the competitor reference prices in the minds of the customer must be made comparable. In other words, Price need not be reduced but the Pack Size can be reduced. Two inherent advantages in this approach are:
• The uninformed customers’ views that the product is in the same price as others.
• The informed consumer who may be price conscious will try to use it.
An average Indian family of 3 members uses single 80 grams pack for a month. Introducing 80gms pack in the child segment might not be well received because there is only one consumer in place of 3. The size of the family usually determines the quantity of the toothpaste bought and in our case the number of kids in the family forms another important factor.
Hence, reducing the size of the pack may be a viable and apt option to increase the children toothpaste market share.
It’s been a proven fact that children are attracted to bright colors more than the dull dark colors. The variants available in the market are Tom & Jerry (Orange Packs), Barbie (Pink Packs) and Superman (Dark Blue Packs). By the sales figures in the retail outlets, it was seen that the children respond positively only to first two variants.
• Attractive colors can be introduced to keep children pulled in to try the new variants every time.
• Special limited editions during festive seasons & holidays can be sold to increase revenue.
New cartoon characters in the current day channels (Jetix, Cartoon Network etc.) can be added as new variants. By the TRP ratings, children are found to watch Jetix channel’s Power rangers show more and form a potentially attractive market for the new variant. Moreover, each character in the power rangers can form a pack design adding more income to the sales figure through the collectors’ series.
An additional survey conducted among the children of age 10-14 years indicated that children tend to remember the swadeshi products more than the foreign products. They are able to remember Ruf & Tuf jeans though the kids watch Lee and Wrangler advertisements more. Creating paste for our own Indian characters like Krish or Mowgli in Jungle Book may be more appealing to children.
First, the child, the consumer watches the advertisement, urges the mother or father for the ownership of the same, parents verifies whether it is safe and purchases for the child.
Alternatively a child can get impressed by the product attractiveness, on visiting a retail outlet or through his friends in school. The urge may come at first sight or because of the impact of the advertisements. But in either case, the stress will be higher only when the product has established its footprint in the child’s mind.
In the second stage Decider or Ultimate Buyer, the parent analyzes the products safety and whether it is good for the child’s health. Based on their inferences and the level of urge by the child they decide to buy the product.
Retailers strongly feel that the ‘urge’ from children is missing in the case of Pepsodent Kids. Hence the marketing strategy must be targeted in two directions – towards the children and the parent.
• Colorful television commercials featuring cartoon characters of interest for current generation children.
• At the same time, Newspaper/Television commercials must convince the parents that the product is effective and makes brushing fun for children.
Pepsodent has already established trust in the minds of customers as a total family toothpaste. The time of telecast of the two advertisements and the programs which need to be sponsored should be different for two sets of advertisements.
The one which aims at the mothers must be telecasted during day hours and sponsoring the vernacular TV Serial shows will help the product. The message can be “Mummy, my mouth tastes sweet and look my teeth shines like silver.”
The other aimed at the children must be telecasted in Cartoon Network, Jetix, Animax and others. Thus, the marketing strategy gets tuned to winning the child’s heart and parent’s trust at the same time.
More than the Survey
In an FMCG industry, any consumer contact with theproduct/brand initiates a communication between the product and consumer/customers.The following personal suggestions derived from the survey, emphasis on the way the product is presented to the end customers.
“Pepsodent Junior” and “Pepsodent Kids” can be bundled together. Pepsodent Junior launched along with the Pepsodent Kids is moving well in the market. Pepsodent Junior can be bundled with the Pepsodent Kids in a small total dental solution kit.
1. The kit can be introduced along with a “Kids Stand” to hold only the Pepsodent Kids toothpaste and toothbrush in sockets. The sockets must be made to hold only the Pepsodent products.
2. The Kids Stand can be introduced in variety of themes matching different characters. The kit can also contain a booklet/ sheet depicting a small story or characters description. The children view these as their toy and also feel proud of owning it.
3. Children generally use the toothbrush for 3 months but the toothpaste gets over in a month considering 40 gm pack. Hence once the tooth paste gets over, children refill the socket with Pepsodent Kids toothpaste in that place.
Every children’s product has to be promoted not only through TV commercials but also from non-conventional events. A nation/State wide drawing competition can be organized for children of classes 1 to 7 standard. The competition can be conducted only to the children belonging to upper class, upper middle class and middle class families i.e., in the schools in which they study. The competition can be conducted in district levels, state levels and national levels. Prizes can be characters in the Kids series or the Pepsodent Kids Kit itself.
This campaign must be supported with a newspaper campaign and the combined cost will be lesser than a TV campaigns. The school management will support the initiative since such initiatives bring out the inborn talents of the children.
During the personal interviews with the store managers and the assistants, it is noticed that in some stores that the product is not actually displayed at a height easily assessable to the children. In a research for consumer browsing pattern of the products done with help of eye cameras fitted in the goggles, it is found that the adults mainly look at the products at the level between their chest and hip and the children at their eye level. Adults do not generally look at the products at their eye level. HUL’s sales representative must be informed to ensure the product placement at a height range of 110cms to 130cms. This enables easy identification of the product needs by the children and they urge their parent to buy.
By following this marketing strategy we can bring up the sales and market share of Pepsodent Kids in no time.