Monday, June 25, 2007

Brand Update : Pepsodent

The toothpaste war is going to get hotter. Following the high profile launch of Colgate Citrus Blast, Pepsodent has started fighting back with a new variant Pepsodent Center Fresh. The new variant is positioned as a toothpaste that fights germs and also with mouthwash. Now promoted heavily through TV and Print, this brand now adopts the tagline " Protection Outside Freshness Inside".I think that this is the first time Pepsodent is venturing outside its domain of germ protection.Theoretically, Pepsodent is diluting its core positioning of germ protection by adding one more feature. ie Freshness. Interestingly Mouthwash and freshness is the core strength of Close Up.
More interestingly Close Up has come out with a new variant with Fluoride that offers protection. Hence both Pepsodent and Close Up have exchanged its core positioning and now both have the same properties i.e Freshness and Protection. Utter confusion isn't it? So with one stroke, HLL has diluted the core positioning of both power brands. Remember that Colgate throughout its life has stuck to one positioning . ie Strong teeth and Pepsodent has successfully differentiated itself by Germ Protection. Now all these are stories of the past. Technically Close Up is Pepsodent in Gel Form and Pepsodent is Close Up in another brand name. Close Up earlier had a unsuccessful experience with its Anti Cavity Fluoride variant.

Having said that, there are certain lessons from the latest Pepsodent variant. The brand has used visual imagery to promote the new differentiation of Mouthwash. The color scheme and the analogy with Swimming Pool .. all supports the new thrust of mouthwash with in the toothpaste. But the marketing idea does'nt stop there. The brand uses visual proof of the presence of the attribute inside the toothpaste which can be physically seen by the customer. Hence three is a physical evidence of mouthwash within the toothpaste. This is not a new idea since HLL has succeeded in giving visual evidence for its Surf brand . ( Remember Power Booster with Granules). Such visual evidences provide the brand a powerful support and can be even considered to be a brand element. While the Pepsodent uses Blue liquid like visual for Center Fresh, Close Up uses White Color inside to represent Fluoride.
So whether it is mouth wash inside or outside, these brands are venturing outside its successful positioning. It has to be seen how market responds to these strategies. What do you feel?

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