Seeing the power toothbrush category as a key growth driver in the oral care segment, Germany-based Oral-B Laboratories—part of the Gillette Company, US—is spreading its wings in the Indian market to make Oral-B power toothbrushes a mass brand in 2004.
On the company’s new plans, said Gillette India Ltd business director Vipul Sabharwal: “We have recently started importing ‘Oral-B CrossAction’ power toothbrushes from Oral-B Laboratories’ Germany-based plant. This will be available to Indian consumers at Rs 445 through 10,000 leading chemists, modern stores and departmental stores in the next four to six weeks. As part of the new strategy, we will focus on distribution, display and communication of our new product to consumers and for the purpose, increase our marketing spends which will constitute 10 per cent of our overall sales turnover, this year.”
Oral-B CrossAction toothbrushes have been launched in countries such as the US, Europe and the Middle-East.
According to Mr Sabharwal: “The objective behind the move is to enable consumers to upgrade from manual toothbrushes to power toothbrushes. This is because Oral-B also believes that the power toothbrush category has begun to shape up and by launching the right product at the right price, the power toothbrush category will grow by more than double digit this year. This will become an important option for people who are looking for superior solutions for oral hygiene. Internationally as well, the power toothbrush category has been driving sales growth.”
India is the second largest market for manual toothbrushes after China.
To create awareness about Oral-B CrissCross power toothbrushes in India, Gillette India Ltd is planning to conduct a ‘Dentist Education Awareness Programme’ to explain the benefits of power toothbrushes. It includes providing better oral hygiene and superior cleaning compared to manual brush. Besides, the company is also planning to launch new mass media advertising campaign in the next four to six weeks.
According to Mr Sabharwal, depending on the success of Oral-B ‘CrissCross’ power toothbrush, the company is looking at the possibilities of penetrating deeper into smaller towns with the new product.
According to Mr Sabharwal, with the new initiatives, Gillette India hopes to garner a double digit sales growth this year. In the first quarter of 2004, Oral-B has contributed 12.66 per cent to its overall sales turnover compared to a contribution of 12.5 per cent in 2003. With the new initiatives, Oral-B hopes the contribution of power toothbrushes to the $5.1 billion total world toothbrushes market to grow from one to five per cent within a year.