Colgate Actibrush Electric Toothbrush

Human Centered Design: Restoring a One-Time Market Leader to Primacy

colgate actibrush
  • Capabilities Used
  • Industrial Design
  • Engineering

A successful redesign of the Acti-Brush restored Colgate-Palmolive to its leadership position within the disposable electric toothbrush category. The company was so pleased with the result of the human centered design that it invited Altitude to collaborate on several other product initiatives.

The company understood that emphasizing value was a key to re-establishing a strong presence and restoring higher margins.

A Former Innovator Faces Extinction

Colgate-Palmolive created the original low-cost electric toothbrush back in the late 1990’s. After creating the category, the company faced aggressive competition that eventually eroded its once-strong position. With the entire market moving toward low-cost electric toothbrushes, fierce competition resulted in very low profit margins. The company understood that emphasizing value was a key to re-establishing a strong presence and restoring higher margins.  Colgate-Palmolive partnered with Altitude to give its slumping product line a boost.

colgate actibrush concept design

High Performance in a Slim Design

The Acti-Brush had slipped from first to fourth place primarily due to its not being updated since its introduction. It was time to reconsider the user group. Altitude’s research team determined that the primary users were young (under 20) and looking for a toothbrush that was better fitting, more effective, longer lasting, and easier to maintain. We not only met all of these needs, but also proved that a high-powered dual brush unit could be delivered in a slender profile.

Colgate-Palmolive and Altitude determined that the keys to reconnecting with users were differentiation from competitors, superior performance, and outstanding ergonomics. Focused on human centered design, Altitude developed the Motion, a high-powered, slim profile brush, with dual oppositional oscillating heads and a patented ergonomically correct arcing neck. Motion’s sophisticated color pallet and perfectly placed rubber grips got the customers’ attention, while the refined features and performance delivered on their needs.Red Altitude Logo