Problems because of mother brand endorsement

Mouthwash was relatively a new category and it was primarily driven by Medical Shops channel, as the consumers generally used to use Mouthwash only when prescribed by the dentists for some medical conditions. Colgate being a pioneer of the oral category, had the challenge to create consumer pull to this category and the brand. Colgate used its communication very well to create the pull, and it gained well from the Indian Metro consumer. Following is the TV commercial of Colgate Plax, which is a similar version from that of Australia.

Colgate Plax, Australia

Colgate Plax, India

With medical shops still being a major channel for this category, where brands like Listerine, Hexidine, Betadine are more prescribed than Colgate by the doctor. Consumers may not look at brand Colgate as having that curative efficiency. Also, Colgate being a household brand might not have the equity as being a prescribed medicine, as people may not feel a Colgate product to be a medicine.

The issue here is based on two targets:
1. Colgate wants more and more ordinary consumers to pick its mouthwash from the stores. Here the brand Colgate plays a major role.
2. As the medical shop channel is very important for the category, they would want doctors to prescribe the mouthwash and ideally consumers to not have ‘non-medicine’ perceptions towards Colgate. Here the brand Colgate may not be serve the intention.

The consumers of the same product behave differently in two different channels.This is one of the examples of the complexity created by the mother brand endorsement. Possibly, the way out of this complexity is to develop a new brand without any endorsement by the mother brand Colgate. Pulling out a queue from David Aaker, J&J seems to have adopted a similar strategy where there brands are not endorsed by the mother brand.

The thoughts expressed in this blog are completely my personal views and opinions based on observation and secondary research. The blog does not represent the views and ideas of any organizations or institutions I am associated with. Thank you.

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