How Colgate-Palmolive Grew Share of the At-Home Teeth Whitening Market 2x by Uncovering Category Barriers

When a company is seeking growth in a saturated market with low penetration, what is the next step to take? 

This is exactly the position that Colgate-Palmolive was in with their at-home teeth whitening category when they came to Protobrand. As shown in our new report, their retail partners needed growth, not product substitution, and the growth opportunity was within the untapped 90% of the market.

“We couldn’t simply ask consumers why they don’t buy at home whitening products, as we have heard the answers before.” says Xavier Vaissiere, North America Omnichannel Insights Lead at Colgate-Palmolive. “They say, I don’t need it, it’s expensive, I heard it’s dangerous.”

There was a need to go beyond the surface, beyond the reach of traditional research methods.


New report shows: Metaphor elicitation uncovered deeper insights


One method of research, metaphor elicitation, uncovers deeper, personal motivations that influence consumer decision making. In the case of Colgate-Palmolive, this method helped to dimensionalize purchase barriers further, actually giving clear direction on how to overcome them within the untapped 90%.

Combined with innovative questioning and a willingness to embrace tough choices, this method empowered Colgate to grow market share by 2x, rising above competitors in the at-home whitening segment. 

Interested in learning more about the findings and how Colgate-Palmolive achieved these results? To see the purchase barriers that Colgate uncovered (and ultimately overcame) as a result of using Protobrand’s insights, download the full report here.