Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Sensodyne : For Sensitive Teeth

Brand : Sensodyne
Company : Glaxo Smithkline Beecham ( GSK Asia)

Brand Analysis Count : 474

In line with the strategy of bringing in global brands from its portfolio, GSK has launched its toothpaste brand Sensodyne in India. This is GSK's second foray into the Indian oral care market. Earlier the company had launched its toothpaste brand Aquafresh which was later withdrawn from the Indian market.

Sensodyne is a global leader in the premium toothpaste category ( specialist toothpastes) in various markets like USA. The brand has been around since 1960 came into GSK fold in 2001. GSK bough the brand from its original owner Block Drug Company INC.

Indian toothpaste market is worth around Rs 2750 crore and is segmented into Economy, Popular and Premium segments ( Source : Rediff). The economy segment in worth Rs 530 crores, popular segment is the largest segment with a size of Rs 1930 crores and premium segment constitutes 8% of the market with a size of Rs 260. The urban market for toothpaste is valued at around Rs 1850 crores. 

The premium segment of toothpaste market consists of products which has therapeutic benefits. The brands in this category are Colgate Sensitive, Pepsodent Sensitive, Meswak , Glister etc. These toothpastes are priced significantly higher (>30% ) than the popular segment .

Sensodyne is a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. According to media reports, around 17% of individuals in India suffer the condition of sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth is a condition where the individual suffers sharp pain while consuming anything that is hot or cold. Since the awareness about remedy for this condition is low, most consumers avoid consuming foods that causes this pain. The fear of going to dentist and possibility of painful interventions often prompt individuals to manage the situation rather than taking remedial action. This is perhaps the most important challenge that Sensodyne faces in cracking the Indian market. 

The brand is operating in a niche. A niche is defined as a narrowly defined customer group seeking a distinctive mix of benefits. Niche is can be called as micro-segment which is small, profitable, with less number of competitors where the consumer is willing to pay a premium for the offerings. Usually niche brands commands a premium since it satisfies some distinct set of consumer needs. All these descriptions fit the category in which Sensodyne operates. The market is also expected to grow fast once the awareness sets in.

The brand is currently running a campaign in visual media with the aim of creating awareness about the condition of sensitive teeth and projects Sensodyne as the dentist's most preferred choice for this condition. Globally also Sensodyne is positioned as Dentist's choice for sensitive teeth. Along with the Above-the- Line promotions, Sensodyne is also conducting brand awareness programs among the key influencer - dentists. The brand is also conducting events called ' Chill Tests ' among consumers to spread the awareness of the condition of sensitive teeth. Sensodyne is banking on the promise that it provides relief in two weeks. 
In India Sensodyne competes with Colgate Sensitive. Colgate Sensitive has the first mover advantage over Sensodyne and has more brand visibility across channels. It will take a little while for Sensodyne to shake the position of Colgate Sensitive.