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Colgate Palmolive Cleopatra Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2633 2062 Words (8 Pages) Sandra Vandermerwe, J. Carter Powis IMD : IMD071
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The new soap ‘Cleopatra’ was disclosed to an audience of 1000 and the anticipation regarding it was elevated. It was first familiarized by Colgate-Palmolive in France in November 1984, and it was perceived that the French-speaking Quebec would be an appropriate choice for a new market. The awareness of a market test was encountered with diverse judgments. Two categories of research were conducted and their outcome reflected the achievement of Cleopatra. Furthermore, the soap market in Canada consisted of $105 million. The competition in Canada was intense and the price was the most relevant factor in determining the sales of the soaps. 

Cleopatra was charged at a higher price than Dove, ‘Free Bar Coupons’ were given to 2500 households and Television was the main platform of advertisements. However, Cleopatra met high sales initially but eventually faced an intense setback. The major reasons behind the downfall of Cleopatra were deemed to be high prices and intense perfume. This entire scenario left Steve Boyd, Group Product Manager for Canada, in a quandary of future arrangements.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What are the major issues in the Cleo Case from the perspective of the product, and pricing?

  2. Are there issues with the market research?

  3. What organizational issues come in to play in the case? Who are the players and how do their positions in the company impact the market entry?

  4. Did they make the right choice? Why or Why not? 

  5. Are companies today any better than Colgate 20 years ago or do they still making some of the same mistakes?

Case Analysis for Colgate Palmolive Cleopatra

1. What are the major issues in the Cleo Case from the perspective of the product, and pricing?

It’s vital to analyse and ruminate the four Ps of marketing strategically and astutely. The product and price hold relevance in the four Ps and for success, their prominence must be assessed and implemented accordingly. The attributes of the product and the pricing were deemed as vital reasons for the downfall of Cleopatra. 20% of the 57 triers deemed the prices of Cleopatra to be high as one of the major dislikes. 

In addition, 19% of those who had viewed the advertisement and initially planned to purchase it, also didn’t buy the product due to its high price. In the case of luxury products, there is elastic demand which indicates an inverse relationship between the quantity demanded and the price. Hence, considering the high prices, there was a low quantity demanded the product. Moreover, there were substantial competitors of Cleopatra who had prices lower than theirs, of which DOVE was the core player. This reflected that in case one of the soap brands boosted their prices, consumers could conveniently shift to an alternate brand. While the average manufacturer's pricing for all toilet soaps was 31 cents per single bar, Cleopatra was sold for 87 cents per bar on average.

One of the major attributes because the consumers disliked Cleopatra and didn’t purchase it despite having the intention to do so was the extravagance of perfume smell. This also resulted in irritation of the skin which constrained the consumers from the purchase of Cleopatra. Moreover, 76% of consumers in the 99 respondents positioned Cleopatra to be for body use only which could have a relevant connection with the dryness that is caused by its harshness. Moreover, Cleopatra was also deemed unfit for the entire family and 65% out of the 99 respondents revealed their personal use of the soap rather than their households using it. The gentle and assured effect on the skin was also viewed to be trivial and dissatisfying. 

Hence, it can be evaluated that due to the high price in comparison to the competitors and the disappointing qualities of the product, the perception of Cleopatra was disapproving. 

2. Are there issues with the market research?

A systematic approach to learning as much as possible about target markets and consumers, starting with who they are, is market research. It is an essential company strategy and a major factor in maintaining competitiveness. It helps attain an in-depth analysis and evidence regarding a particular product and how it is viewed by the consumers.

Regarding Cleopatra, two separate kinds of research were done in Toronto to attempt to come up with an explanation. The first occurred among a "super group" of educated working women who had come together, particularly for the event. They were given brief explanations of the product, its price, and its advertising before being allowed to share their likes and dislikes in an open forum. Overall, the results were positive; people seemed to like the soap and the concept.

In the second experiment, more typical buyers were shown the predicted Cleopatra advertising and asked if they would purchase it. Respondents indicated they would in 50 percent of the polls. A bar of soap was also provided for them to experiment with at home. They received a call a week later to ask for their opinions. 64 percent of users of the soap said they would purchase Cleopatra as soon as it became available.

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