• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Branding wisdom by way of a Colgate toothbrush

Here is a lesson in the power of brand, which oddly enough came to me by way of the toothbrush.

See, there are many times in our lives when the power of brand unconsciously triggers our purchasing decisions. Whether we are making big purchases or small, what we believe to be true about ourselves when we use a product is always in the foreground — even when we are not aware of that understanding.

A few days ago, while perusing the aisles of the grocery store, my wife and I stopped in the “Bath and Body” section. While there, my wife said in a loving yet leading kind of way: “You know, the bristles on your toothbrush are now horizontal. Maybe it’s time for a new one.” How could I not agree with this sentiment?

So there we stood. Before us, a wall of colorfully designed toothbrushes separated only by brand name. On each, powerful messages like, “Easy to grip!” or “Three different types of bristles!” punctuated the box. But none of that mattered to me or my wife.


Because without thinking, we chose an affordable toothbrush pack made by Colgate.

This may not seem like much, but within this purchasing instance, we instantly chose a brand we believed in. Intrinsically, using Colgate toothpaste makes me feel like I’m better at cleaning my teeth than with other brands. I am the guy with white teeth and, maybe, looking for people to notice. So we buy it on a continuous basis. Why then, would we not assume that a Colgate toothbrush would do the same? In our hearts we did, which is why we went with the Colgate toothbrush pack – and I was powerless to do anything else.

So tonight, as I brush my teeth with fresh, vertically facing bristles, I know I will be satisfied with my Colgate toothbrush. I am sure all the other options would work just as well, but at least I find comfort in the recognition that I am brushing my teeth with a product made by a brand I believe in.

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