CP China's changes to the CMF marketing launch program justifiable?
Burton's objective was to market Colgate Max Fresh (CMF) as global venture. Each country had its own assumptions and trends that would make certain products popular. For CMF to appeal to a Chinese market it had to investigate and target those specific selling appeals.
Del Levin, who was in charge of conducting R&D for Colgate in Asia, discovered that that whilst a potentially huge market existed for the product -- it being that Asia had a large freshness segment -- it had to be marketed in a particular way in order to best appeal to the Asian consumer. Firstly, the name itself - Colgate Max Fresh -- did not appeal as well as other names in China would; the name was therefore changed to "Icy Fresh." Secondly, original marketing that used 'breath strips' was meaningless to an Asian market and would have been better modified to "cooling crystals' which was more relevant and meaningful to Chinese consumers
Consumer surveys targeted to the Asian public carefully investigated the various nuances that would make the product successful in China and, to that end, discovered that freshness was still a relatively new concept to this particular market and that, therefore, careful research would have to be done in order to precisely assess potential selling points. It would have to be the youth who would be targeted and they would be targeted at an emotional level. Emily Proctor and her role were unknown in China, and, therefore, more expense would have to be absorbed in creating publicity, from the start, for the Colgate product. It would have to be centered around an Asian celebrity rather than the U.S. "Emily Proctor" approach, even thoguh greater expense and sacrifice to brand reputations would be involved.
More drastic changes were also made to CMF that involved modifying its flavor, graphics, and packaging too in order to appeal to the Asian market. The product, despite difficulties which included extension of time and expense, slanted itself as a "stand-up tube" toothpaste, packaged in a lighter shade of green, consisting of three flavors, Tea, Citrus, and Mint.
Consumer research showed potential success from these intended changes, so, therefore, despite far more expense that Levin absorbed in the product, his modifications were rational and wise. If CP wanted its product to sell in China and to make profit, they were compelled to make these changes since; otherwise, they would most likely sell at a loss.
2- Did CP Mexico manage its CMF launch better than CP China?
It seems as though CP China managed its job better than CP Mexico did, but then Colgate faced more severe competition in Mexico than it did in China. In China, its greatest challenges were price and appealing to the concept of freshness. In Mexico they had the difficulty of securing interest in a new product altogether. Demand was also slow, with most Mexican consumers disinterested in superfluous oral care and growth in the toothpaste market was altogether dragging.
Consumer testing for the product -- based on purchase intent, value, liking, and uniqueness - demonstrated that, unlike CNF's outcome with the Asian market -- expected profits would be only moderate at best and that stable distribution could be achieved two years after the launch.
The project was also complicated by in-team disagreement of various key factors. Some argued that the CMF launch should have been accelerated whilst others argued that adapting it to the Mexican market was more important than accelerating it. This was the first sticking point that reduced its eventual outcome when compared to its launch in China where all collaborated on how to launch it. The team members were also divided on how to improve the product in order to strengthen its appeal to a Mexican market. In short, the CMF launch in China succeeded in an assembling a more cohesive team effort and R & D. project than the Mexican team did. Outcome may therefore have been less polarized than it was in Mexico.
3- Evaluate the global roll-out of CMF.
On December 2004, CP planned to enhance its global leadership by closing one-third of its manufacturing facilities. CP also planned to develop its centralize purchasing and other business support functions and to…