Colgate Palmolive is the current leader in manufacturing and distribution of oral care and general hygiene products in the world (Crescendo Networks, 2011). Almost all households on the globe use a product of Colgate Palmolive. The success story of Colgate Palmolive started way back in 1873 when its founder, Mr. Colgate, started the company, and ever since, the company has been rising in the corporate world to achieve its current position. However, this does not mean that all has been well throughout. Each business environment has challenges that businesses have to overcome to remain competitive. This is mainly done by formulating and adopting effective strategies that will not only help to overcome the challenge but also to enhance creativity and innovation. At Colgate Palmolive, innovation is highly encouraged and practiced which explains its broad range of products.
As part of its innovation strategy, Colgate Palmolive (CP) decided to manufacture a new product-toothbrush in the early 90s. This was after some extensive research was done to determine consumer purchase behavior and the extent of competitive rivalry in the industry. According to Allprojectsmba.com (2010), research can be done by using a number of methods to collect the data that are analyzed to draw conclusions. Such methods include interviews, focus group, questionnaires and online research. Interviews can be done either one on one or via the telephone where the researcher/interviewer selects a sample that is representative of the whole consumer population. The interviewer asks and interacts with each person in the sample to pick up the information he needs. Alternatively, questionnaires can be produced and mailed to respondents who fill them and send them back. Another approach is to identify a group of people called a focus group and ask them to discuss their opinions on a product or service as the researcher notes down main points (Gibbs, A. 1997). A more recent trend is the use of online research where the researcher uses the web to find all related material and interacts with respondents through the internet. This method is advantageous because consumers are able to give their opinions anytime they want by using the firm’s chat sites and websites. It thus turns consumers into partners in the innovation process instead of mere respondents, which is a more proactive method.
CP used these methods in collecting data on consumer habits and the prevailing industry situation. Online research was particularly useful in obtaining information on competitors’ products like Reach, Oral-B and Aqua fresh flex, while the company’s website provided a platform for customers to post their views and comments (Oppapers.Com, 2011). Questionnaires and focus groups were also used to get feedback on specific issues from consumers. CP then used this information to analyze the industry, the competition and the environment in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and...