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Colgate-Palmolive SWOT and PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52320353 | Jan 2018

COMPANY PROFILE - Colgate-Palmolive

Business Sector : FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)

Operating Geography : United States, Global

About Colgate-Palmolive : Colgate-Palmolive is a global company which started in New York City with a small soap and candle business by William Colgate in 1806. Its corporate headquarters is located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Colgate manufactures and markets personal care, oral care, home care and pet nutrition products under internationally recognized brand names. It has around 38,000 employees in more than 200 countries as of 2017.

Colgate-Palmolive Revenue : US $15.2 billion – FY 2016

Competitive Analysis of Colgate-Palmolive

The SWOT analysis of Colgate-Palmolive is presented below:
1. Strong Engagement
2. Strong Popular Brands
3. Innovation for Growth
4. Strong Research and Development
1. Exchange Rate for Foreign Currencies
2. Counterfeit products
1. Potential in Emerging Markets
2. Mergers and Acquisitions
1. Global and Local Competitors
2. Legal and Regulatory risks

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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Colgate-Palmolive


1. Strong Engagement: Engaging customers is the key ingredient in the growth strategy for Colgate-Palmolive. The company is strengthening its engagement through digital media and it accounts for 20%-25% of the working media expenditure. The company knows it well through its research that emotional connection with the consumers has a strong impact on them. One of the examples of a social media video campaign is the Tom’s of Maine brands in the U.S. In this campaign, women shared a video of why and when they decided to switch to Tom’s natural deodorant. This led to increase in the sales of Tom’s of Marine brand by 12% in 2016.

2. Strong Popular Brands: The Company has internationally recognized brands and did worldwide net sales of 47%, 20%, 18% and 15% in oral care, personal care, home care and pet nutrition respectively by the end of 2016.Colgate is a market leader in many product categories of personal care. It is a global leader in liquid hand soap which it sells under the Softsoap, Palmolive and Protex brands.

3. Innovation for Growth: The Company invests in innovations to identify how well they can serve the needs of the customers from different geographies and culture. They launched Colgate Naturals toothpaste with twin lotus flower in China and Colgate CibacaVedshakti toothpaste in India, knowing that a section of consumers value the natural ingredients.

4. Strong Research and development: Colgate-Palmolive has a state-of-the-art research and development centre in New Jersey. The company spent $289million in 2016, higher than the previous two years. The Colgate Technology centre with a team of more than 200 scientists, engineers and clinicians is committed to improve oral health with advance-edge technologies. It also has laboratories, on-site consumer testing site where visitors from the areas of different geographies and dentistry meet the scientists. They discuss products, experience, needs and technologies to improve the oral health and quality of life of the patients.


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1. Potential in Emerging Markets: The global oral hygiene market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 4.15% during 2016-2020. Growth opportunities are expected to be more in the emerging economies where there is a rising consumer income. The company can improve its relationships with the consumers, retail customers, veterinary and dental professionals, online only retailers to address this market.

2. Mergers and Acquisitions: Although Colgate-Palmolive is a market leader, however, in order for it to continue being the leader, the company should consider merger and acquisition with the local players having strong footprint. There are new players, like Patanjali, giving neck to neck competition and it is necessary for this giant to consider merger as a strategy to beat the competition.


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1. Colgate Professional- Research:

2. Global Oral Hygiene Market 2016-2020:

3. Colgate-Palmolive Company 2016 Annual Report:

4. Total net sales of Colgate-Palmolive worldwide from 2011 to 2016 (in million U.S. dollars)

The PESTLE/PESTEL analysis of Colgate-Palmolive is presented below:
1. Political instability1. Impact of GST
2. Potential in Emerging Markets
1. Improving health and hygiene1. Engagement using new technologies
2. Leveraging digital marketing
1. Regulatory and Legal requirements
2. Non-compliance of the laws
1. Reducing the impact on climate and environment
2. Save Water campaigns
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Detailed PESTLE Analysis of Colgate-Palmolive


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This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


1. Engagement using new technologies: By the use of technology, the company can address to the need of the customers. The company conducted its first virtual dental conference in 2016. This included virtual networking, live chats and sessions branded as #ColgateTalks. This event lasted for duration of 4 months where over 1600 dental professionals attended the event and more than 16,000 professionals visited the virtual conference website. These ways to connecting to the customers incurs low cost and is an effective way of engaging the customers.

2. Leveraging Digital marketing: The Company is leveraging digital marketing and have saved on its advertisement cost considerably using digital marketing. These channels help in better segmentation and understanding online behavioural patterns. As of 2016, the digital media accounts for 20% to 25% of the working media expenditure globally. In case of Hill’s, the entire media budget is in digital. The company is digital in 52 countries and over 70% of the marketing campaigns is using digital media. This is essential owing to the technological transformations that the customers are going through and making the use of digital platform is going to make a huge difference in the overall business.


1. Regulatory and Legal requirements: The legal challenges related to price control, profit control, labour laws, trade restrictions etc. have a significant impact on the business. The regulators like U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Environment Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission monitor different facets of the business. The use of “Triclosan” an ingredient used in Colgate Total Toothpaste is not permitted in U.S, as of September 2017, considering the environmental and human risks.

2. Non-compliance of the laws: If the company is found violating the laws then they will be subjected to civil remedies, which include fines, criminal sanctions and damages. The company will come in negative publicity and this will affect the brand image and reputation of the company adversely, ultimately affecting its business profitability. The company may incur huge losses and pending cases in the courts which is not feasible for its growth and sustainability.


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1. A stronger dollar and the prospective end of TPP to hit consumer goods companies:

2. Colgate-Palmolive market share falls again as pre-GST destocking hit volumes:

3. Colgate-Palmolive Company 2016 Annual Report:

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Copyrights and Disclaimer

Colgate-Palmolive SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted by Dhammapriya Kamble and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

Copyright of Colgate-Palmolive SWOT and PESTLE Analysis is the property of Barakaat Consulting. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer for usage guidelines.