MKT271 Case Study – Colgate Max Fresh

Can you help me understand this Marketing question?


You should assume that you have been hired by the leadership at Colgate. as a marketing consultant and you have been selected to answer several questions related to their marketing efforts. You must advise the company on what to do.

In February 2005, Nigel Burton, in his third year as president of global oral care at Colgate-Palmolive Company (CP), had every reason to feel optimistic. Worldwide market shares were strong and Colgate Max Fresh (CMF), a new toothpaste that had helped drive Colgate to a record value share in the important U.S. market, was in the global pipeline for 2005. Burton had on his desk the proposed marketing launch plans for CMF in China and Mexico. Each plan sought to maximize the business potential in the local market. Burton had to assess the plans from a global perspective.

The Challenge

You must read the HBS case and prepare a response.

You should analyze the case and address these questions as a part of your response:

  • Did China and Mexico each do a good job of adapting the launch to meet local consumer needs? What is the likely profit impact of each plan? Which of the proposed adaptations were “must haves” versus “nice to haves”?
  • From a global CMF perspective, what is the short- and long-term impact of the complexity born out of these local adaptations? Is this added complexity good or bad for the global CMF business?
  • What guidelines could Burton propose going forward to optimize new product introductions for CP worldwide, for the regions, and for the country subsidiaries?

Read the scenario carefully and develop your position using supporting arguments from the text reading material and any supporting videos. You must outline your position clearly. Any questions at the end of the case are suggestions to prompt your thinking and do not need to be answered in sequence.


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Cathy, CS.