Colgate Palmolive Comes to Tuck

CDO, November 25, 2013 | 0 comments
Tags: first year, recruiting, career, internship, career development office, alumni, Career Trek

Several Tuck alums who work at Colgate Palmolive, including Michael Sload T’89, Vice President & General Manager, Global Personal Care returned to Hanover to provide students interested in marketing careers with two days of training.  On Thursday, they led a group of 30 students on marketing store checks around the Upper Valley and on Friday, they conducted over 25 one-on-one mock interviews to help students prepare for interviewing season. 


Erin (T’15) graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with majors in economics and math.  Before Tuck, she worked in corporate finance at EMC Corporation and at Bausch + Lomb.  At Tuck, she is exploring opportunities in marketing and general management, is learning Indian dance from some classmates and is loving tripod hockey. 

Part of being at Tuck is learning to view the world in new ways.  Thanks to the marketing team from Colgate, 30 Tuckies will never view shopping or marketing in the same way again!

A group of Tuck alums who now work in the marketing department of Colgate spent an entire afternoon and evening with us.  We started off with a classroom session on Shopper Marketing, to set the foundation for the rest of the afternoon.  Did you know that 50% of consumers make their decision on which product to purchase when they are in the store? This means that marketing can’t stop at TV, magazine and online advertisements.  Brands need to be able to stand out and get your attention when you are at the store.  But how do they do this? To see firsthand, the Colgate marketers took us out of the classroom and into the stores! Over the course of the afternoon, we went to Wal-Mart, Walgreens, grocery stores and BJs. 

We started thinking about many different questions as we ventured out.  When you buy toothpaste, was it on your list before you walked into the store? When you find the toothpaste aisle, are you stopping at the first toothpaste in the aisle? Looking for your favorite brand? Trying to find the toothpaste that matches the coupon you cut from the Sunday paper?  Are you trying to whiten your smile for Tuck’s Fall Formal? Or just trying to prevent cavities?

The Colgate team explained that they have to think about how each of their targeted shoppers would answer these questions.  Making it more complex, if you are going into Wal-Mart for toothpaste, you are probably answering these questions differently than if you are going into Walgreens.  By going into the different stores we could see how these questions and answers led to prices, promotions and product placement at each store.  Since Colgate also owns Palmolive, Speedstick and Irish Spring, we also got to see how these questions, answers and solutions vary across categories.  We also became more aware of the strategy of each store, and how the brand’s strategy needs to complement the store’s strategy.  (Ever notice that Wal-Mart has many more big displays in the middle of the aisle than Target? Ever notice that the full price in a grocery store is much higher than Wal-Mart but the sale price in a grocery store is much lower than Wal-Mart?)  With so many different, moving pieces, it’s clear that there would never be a dull moment working at Colgate!

To round off the day, we headed to Murphy’s (a favorite watering hole of Tuckies past and present.)  Over Happy Hour, we got the opportunity to ask more questions about Colgate and about the team’s fondest memories of their two years at Tuck!

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