“If that day I was more stable, more experienced, I would not have come to the situation like today. Deciding to enter into a joint venture with Colgate was the biggest mistake of my business life” – regret made Mr. Nhon’s voice drop.
Deciding to sell to Colgate was the biggest mistake
Until now, many people still ask the question: If Mr. Nhon was not affiliated with Colgate at that time, would Da Lan disappear from the market?
In a press interview, Mr. Nhon admitted that even when Da Lan toothpaste was developing very well, he was not aware of the brand and its value. So the answer to the question is: Da Lan may still exist, but can survive, damn it. Because, a product cannot exist when the owner does not understand the value of the brand. Mr. Nhon only understood this after selling it to Colgate. Moreover, without a joint venture with Colgate, Da Lan will become a direct competitor. And with Colgate's sense of methodical branding, professional management, modern production lines, and stronger resources, Da Lan is not a visionary competitor.
What is brand value?
Ignorance can also appear in a story of the "secret history", which is both funny, embarrassing, and funny that only insiders know. That was when negotiating a joint venture between Da Lan and Colgate. After more than a year of flying back and forth, researching and analyzing the market, Colgate asked for a final session to "close" the discussed issues. What is the value of the factory, which is the commitment to continue to employ employees, which is the division of management positions... Finally, Colgate's side asked in surprise: "What about the issue of brand value, why do you guys? not given?”.
Mr. Nhon said, at that time, on the Vietnamese side, everyone was bewildered, not understanding what the "brand value" was! When he was also the last, he tried to calm down and said that for health reasons, the negotiations could be discussed the next day.
Then, thanks to the quick advice of experts, at the final judge's party, Da Lan's brand value was valued at approximately 3 million USD. That's not what "happy, embarrassed, and funny" is all about!
However, so far, Mr. Nhon said, to achieve only 5% of the market share, 3 million USD is too small a number.
Remember, P/S Live is where they are today because they were acquired and invested by Unilever. Many people believe that Mr. Nhon made a mistake when selling Da Lan brand. However, financially, this is a very successful deal. (At that time, Mr. Nhon specified the price of Da Lan's physical assets at nearly 800 US dollars). More importantly, Mr. Nhon understood the lesson of branding.
Magical opportunity to buy the brand
Fortunately for Mr. Nhon, Palmolive bought the Da Lan brand but did not register for exclusive protection. Mr. Nhon was determined to bring Da Lan back to the market when he affirmed: "When I realized that I had made a mistake to let the Da Lan brand disappear, I regretted it more than anyone. Now thinking back to the arduous days, thanks to so many benefactors' help to build the brand, the more I feel that I have to do better, so I remind myself with the sentence "Da Lan - The perfect comeback perfect”.
It is not easy, when nearly 80% of the toothpaste market share currently belongs to Unilever (with 2 brands P/S and Close-Up) and Colgate Palmolive (with brand Colgate). "Da Lan will share the remaining 15%, it's okay. Consumers of the old generation still remember the Da Lan brand, so this is an advantage that I can take advantage of," said Mr. Nhon optimistically.