The case summary of

Saxonville Sausage Company
By Group 9 Akshay Narayanan Adithya Goel K Veeranjaneyulu Kartik Kumar Samala Poulami Roy Chowdhury Vandana Yadav 126 124 144 147 154 176

Saxonville Sausage is a private held family business in Saxonville, Ohio, with 2005 revenues of approx $1.5 bn. Their main focus is on fresh pork sausage products. Their main product is bratwurst line, which makes up 70% of their revenues, breakfast sausage that consists of 20% of their revenues and their small Italian sausage line, named Vivio that only makes up 5%. Current situation: But Saxonville's sales in bratwursts have been flat and the breakfast sausage line has been steadily underperforming in the market resulting in a double-digit decline in revenue since 2004. However, the Italian sausage was the one category showing growth across producers in the retail sausage market, having an annual increasing rate of 9% in 2004 and 15% in 2005. The one area where they have been consistently increasing is their Vivio Italian sausage line, primarily in the New England area. To address these issues, Saxonville hired a new marketing director in Ann Banks who was eager to "make her mark" . The owner, president, chief Marketing Steve Sears wants her to launch a national Italian sausage brand that Saxonville needed to bring to market in order to achieve profit objectives for the next fiscal year. Saxonville Sausage needs a good positioning strategy and marketing plan to move their Italian sausage brand to national category leader and match up core values in the “hearts and minds,” of consumers with the attributes of a product portfolios specifically to meet their needs. To get some idea about the consumers they needed to do some very essential research and analysis of consumers. Ann Banks, with the help of Laura Bishop, director of market research, was able to access company’s online market database. Bishop explained about the company like this. Saxonville doesn’t spend much to compete with big players. It entered the Italian Susage market in 2002 in the Northeast where brats were not a basic staple. The ‘Italian’ name was used as people wouldn’t buy an Italian

the whole farm-to-market idea.product from a ‘German heritage’ company. Positioning of the other competitive brands: Mama Mia in New York ‘authentic Italian heritage’. because the senior management felt the business was growing fine without research. Researching and Evaluating the Italian Opportunity Banks analyzed the past data about market research. Step One .    Vivio’s marketing strategy should dissuade the grillers from substituting Vivio for bratwurst. Current positioning of the Vivio brand: The label has ‘Vivio fresh Italian Sausage’ and has an Italian flag in one corner. packaging and graphics. began phase two with help of top brand consultant and a marketing research professional They managed the research company as they simultaneously recruited. She formed a multifunctional task force ‘Project Score’ to help with her investigation of the Italian sausage opportunity with 10 colleagues from R&D. The local brands have played up their ‘home grown’ heritage. But Bishop was skeptical of positioning. The team discussed the issue and gave the following observations. marketing and sales departments. She handed out the company’s sausage businesses and Vivio’s 2005 sales performance to understand the risks that future positioning of Vivio that might encourage cannibalization of the other products. The Brand Vivio was growing well along with other Italian sausage brands But Saxonville had not yet conducted a market research on the Italian sausage customer. brands’ annual business plans and year-end reports.Planning new research on the target customer     Four Highly interactive mini pilot groups each with 4-6 users. Hertfordshire in Pennsylvania ‘fresh and locally made’. Gradually the company established good relationships to introduce brats to the eastern United States. Paglia Brothers in Boston have an Italian name but work the ‘locally grown’ angle. screened and selected consumers for the focus groups . Problem with distributing outside the core geography Research Methodology: Banks proposed a four-step research methodology. both men and women Research revealed the language consumers used to discuss the benefits of the Italian sausage In October 2005.

.Considered as a great meal maker .Of the given 20 brand names Vivio ranked seventh Italian sausage users believed that saxonville Italian sausage was a well established business heritage.After a little warming up a lively discussion was generated with under the supervision of Keller Step Two .Vivio brand considered to be of high quality with good colour.Heavy users.Very passionate in their description of cooking and eating Italian sausage .In contrast with normal meals Italian sausage did not require the respondents to undergo a trade of in the time & skill required to prepare a meal . 103 qualified for focus groups . Focus group sessions were conducted .Cooking done primarily for evening dinner meals . but German seeming Respondents were afraid of dinner disasters and their feelings were summed up by constructing a perceptual map out of which the following picture emerges. an above average ratio of solids to fats and great taste and texture .Ran sessions with team members watching from behind a one way mirror .Meal that the husbands and children enjoyed. light users and negligible and non users . brand usage and other characteristics were considered while selecting consumers At end of November 2005.437 female cold called.Building on learning from the focus groups  Went through the insights generated from the focus group meetings and tallied up the voting and discussed the key conclusions The following learnings emerged from the focus group studies  .Three groups of Italian sausage consumers emerged. Age of consumers. .Italian sausage was revealed as a 'meal solution' The next step was how to position the Vivio brand according to women's ideals of family life .

Step three . and "Creative Cooking Concept" In the second stage customers were asked to select and prioritize three favourites  -"Family Connection" and "Clever Cooking" received the highest total votes of 52 and 49 respectively .While "Family Connection" received the most first placed votes(37)  Score team then asked to come up with potential tactical strategies to support the two top voted positionings and optimize brand identity At the end of meeting the group had narrowed down to R&D. namely "Family Connection". "Love Concept". then moved down to the emotional benefit.Building positioning concepts   Used brand ladder diagram to tell consumers a cohesive story about the brand Core value at the topmost rung. Graphics and Sales tactics  Step four . "Balance Concept". the functional benefit and the product attributes that communicated these benefits ''Job well done'' identified as the core value  Second round of research was to consist of four different core ideals agreed on by the group.Additional research   This phase employed quantitative testing The field agency led testing of "Family Connection " and Clever Cooking positioning concepts revealed that both were viable The quandary was to leverage upon one among these two positioning concepts and is discussed below  "Family Connection" Vs "Clever Cooking"   81 % said that they would definitely/probably buy Family Connection VS 72 % for Clever Cooking However 23 % said they would definitely buy Family connection compared to a higher 41% for Clever Cooking Also 4% said that they would probably/ definitely not buy Family Connection compared to just 2% for Clever Cooking In step three voting Family Connection led positioning strategy with 37 first votes compared to 14 for Clever cooking and 52 top two votes compared to 49   .

The distinctive Clever Cooking concept will help the company to shed its present 'me too' image and help Vivio grow as a brand . we recommend adopting " Clever Cooking" because of the idea seeming more distinctive and durable compared to the much more generic "Family Connection " concept. and the core values are depicted as "easy to make" and "family pleasing".The group decision Since the scores as well as votes are more or less balanced out among the two concepts.