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Segmentation can decrease brand loyalty 

Cranky at Things that Suck notes that there are now 20 types of (a former JY&A client) toothpaste, all fighting for . But the down side of this is that no one could possibly know what the Colgate now stands for by examining the product—or even Crest, which has almost as many types.
   I know that there is in the market-place and all, but I wonder if the is so segmented that we need 20 kinds of Colgate. Here in , there’s Raspberry , Citra Coke, and all these different flavours as well. All for the same reasons.
   And here, to my recollection, I have not seen a Colgate for a long time. I might have seen some animated toothpaste man for Colgate Total. But that’s about it. He doesn’t mean a lot to me. I don’t know if the Colgate lifestyle is the one I buy into as a bachelor. I remember said he uses Colgate. That might be reason enough to not use it, for some people.
   As a kid, I remember three Colgates. Regular, mint, and mint so strong it would burn your mouth off. I just want clean teeth. I used to be on toothpastes but with all these varieties, I no longer care—because of all the differences, I now view them as all the same.
   Reduce the varieties, and I might come back to one . Be daring and have a single Colgate that does it all, and that would be bloody compelling. Right now, with all these varieties, I can’t understand what these mean—and, therefore, I can’t find which brand has the most with me. I have to even confess that I now use whatever has been given to me by a company in connection with my , so it is in my house.

Del.icio.us tags: Colgate | branding | market segmentation | brand loyalty
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Plus, advertisers don’t even have the resources to build segmented brands. Producing multiple ads only leads to generic messaging versus truly segmented communications. The desire to be sensitive to diverse audiences results in disorganized chaos; and ultimately, a diverse collection of really bad advertising.  
Excellent point, HighJive. And it makes me wonder: why start things that cannot be supported? They are trying to capitalize on segments they barely understand, and cannot link back to their brands.  
Part of the problem is rooted in category leaders’ paranoia. For a challenger brand to seriously compete, they usually have to create a niche benefit. When these niche/challenger brands show some success, the category leaders respond by introducing a competitive niche product (or line extension, if you will). Next thing you know, there are 20 types of Colgate on the shelves. And probably countless Colgate brand managers gnashing their teeth because they can’t present messages that might conflict with or disparage the sister products.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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