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Published: Friday, 28 April 2017 11:00 AM

How Colgate became $61.6 Billion Brand   

Management Gurus have always opined that Brand will be born and dying during Brand life cycles and will need a push for their sustainability.

The proliferation of toothpaste brands in the market was made possible when Colgate began mass producing toothpaste in collapsible tubes (instead of glass jars), in 1896 in New York City. And so began the journey to the domination of a brand, which is, now, the only brand in the world to be purchased by more than half of households globally.  

Colgate History in becoming 61.6 Billion Dollar Brand

Colgate is the brand name used to sell a variety of products, such as toothpaste, mouthwashes, toothbrushes and dental floss.  William Colgate started a starch, soap and candle business in New York City in 1806 under the name ‘William Colgate and Company’. Under the management of his son, Samuel Colgate, the firm introduces its first Colgate Toothpaste, an aromatic toothpaste sold in jars, in 1873 and shifted to tubes in 1896. Later, with Palmolive buying out the Colgate Company, the current name Colgate-Palmolive came into existence.

Market Share

According to a 2015 report by market research company, Kantar World Panel, Colgate is the only brand in the world purchased by more than half of households globally. Colgate has a global market penetration of 67.7% and a global market share of 45%. Despite this, it maintained the highest growth rate of all brands in the survey, with 40 million new households purchasing Colgate-branded products in 2014. Its global market penetration is nearly 50% higher than the second-placed brand in the study, Coca-Cola (43.3% penetration). The brand is present in around 200 countries and territories, with a market cap of $61.6 Billion.


With constant improvements and innovations, Colgate has diversified into producing a wide range of toothpaste, catering to specific needs of individuals, vis-à-vis oral hygiene. Some of the products are:

1. Colgate Strong Teeth

2. Colgate Total

3. Colgate Visible White

4. MaxFresh

5. Colgate Sensitive

6. Colgate Sensitive Pro- Relief

7. Colgate Active Salt

8. Colgate Kids

9. Cibaca

10. Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutralizer

These products cover a wide spectrum of benefits, such as whitening, cavity protection, sensitivity relief, germ protection, breath freshening, tartar control, gingivitis protection, enamel protection and so on. With the option of fruit or mint flavours, calcium or fluoride ingredient, gel or paste, Colgate has taken the lead in covering all possible requirements of the customers.


Colgate faces tough competition from products such as Close-up, which still holds a majority share in the gel category, Unilever’s Pepsodent, which put up a fight on the ‘healthy teeth’ platform. In India, Colgate continues to be the overall market leader, with a share of 55.9%. Besides Unilever, P&G and GSK, entry of a big international player like Oral-B has intensified the competition. A lot of these brands realise that they cannot take on Colgate head-on in its main product line and hence, have created smaller segments for themselves are managing to remain leaders in their respective sub- segments.

Colgate is one of the most trusted toothpaste brands in the world and has consistently improved and diversified to remain the market leader.

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