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Costly moves: a strong brand, Dentonic loses its power

Shahnaz Mohammad ali Meghani (Department Marketing, Institute of Business Management, Korangi Creek, Karachi, Pakistan)

Publication date: 8 October 2014


Subject area

Marketing Management.

Study level/applicability

BBA Students of Marketing Management.

Case overview

The brand ⇓Dentonic” by Ala Chemicals was originally launched as a tooth powder meant for the middle and lower socioeconomic classes. The tooth powder was a hugely successful product. Dentonic tooth powder held the highest market share in the category at 80 per cent in the 1990s. However, the tooth powder market in the urban areas is declining and consumer preference is slowly moving to toothpastes. Although tooth powder is still used in the rural areas, some toothpaste manufacturers have extended their reach at the lower end of the market offering consumers “value propositions” in the shape of toothpaste at the comparable price of tooth powder. The market for dental cleaning products has seen a shift in terms of young consumers switching from powder to the lower-priced toothpaste brands. The company Ala Chemicals did not want to sit back and face a declining tooth powder market. Therefore, they launched a premium quality toothpaste by the same brand name, Dentonic, and made efforts to penetrate the premium segment of toothpaste. However, the marketing strategies did not have the desired effect and the company was unable to get consumers to accept Dentonic as a premium toothpaste. Although Ala Chemicals indulged in promotional spending, using social media, offering a high-quality product and making it accessible with competitive prices, somehow they were unable to create the required pull.

Expected learning outcomes

This study provides an example of how “over positioning” of a brand can be an impediment in the case of a brand extension, especially when a lower end brand is positioned as a premium brand. It is also meant to show that the product concept alone cannot lead to marketing success and consumer acceptance. It also exposes students to the requirement of creating a Unique Value Proposition in a brand and the difficulties of pursuing a segment invasion, without considering the entry barriers, and the marketing strategies/positions of competitors.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



Meghani, S.M.a. (2014), "Costly moves: a strong brand, Dentonic loses its power", , Vol. 4 No. 5.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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