Saxonville Sausage Company

Harvard Business School Case Study

Author of the paper: Adam Madacsi (HRYRTQ) Professor: Katalin Nadasi Ph.D., M.B.A.

2012. 03. 25.

The aim is to expand the product and the brand nationwide developing a repositioned national product with a huge national distribution network under the name Vivio or as a new brand. Market share and position of the product lines On the one hand the current situation reflects a struggling market nationwide in the US (0% volume increase) with no growth predicted in short term.25./3. The Italian Opportunity – Background of the Italian Sausage Business Saxonville hired a new marketing director. with revenues of approximately $1. Ohio. predominantly fresh. They must bring into existence a distinctive indentity that would stand out the competition and acquire the top of mind place in customer’s mind. which will be launched to market in order to achieve profit objectives for the next fiscal year.Name: Adam Madacsi . Primary they have to choose the best positioning strategy in order to create a strong. Background Information – What is the current situation? I.03. Last but not least the portfolio’s third element is the small Italian sausage line. 1 ./1. The only one area where they have been consistently increasing their sales is the Vivio Italian sausage product line. However. Other important product line of the portfolio is the breakfast sausage (both links and patties) that consists of 20% of the revenues./2. On the other hand following the nationwide market trend Saxonville's sales in bratwurst category have been flat also. Boston. The Company and the Portfolio Saxonville Sausage Company is a 70 years old private family owned firm. They need a well-thought-out and successful positioning plan to create the Italian sausage brand to national category leader and match up core values in the “hearts and minds” of consumers with the attributes of product portfolio to meet their specific needs. primarily concentrated just in one area (NY. Their product portfolio stands by pork sausage products. I. Unfortunately the breakfast sausage line has been steadily underperforming the market causing a double-digit revenue decline. the Italian sausage was the only one category showing growth across producers in the retail sausage market. New Jersey). headquartered in Saxonville. However. having an annual growth rate of 9% in 2004 and 15% in 2005. Saxonville’s primary product line is their bratwurst product. Saxonville Sausage Company Case Study I. not frozen ones. I. Store-brand products make up the additional 5% of total revenues. lucrative and valuable connection between the brand and customer’s core values.5 billion in 2005. Ann Banks to "make her mark" and launch a national Italian sausage brand.HRYRTQ Product and Brand Strategies Case Study 2012. which accounted for only 5%. which preforms 70% of the company’s revenues. this product has just a small distribution network reaching just 16% of the national supermarkets. named Vivio. There are two main product and branding strategic goals for the company.

03. they have to take into consideration the national advertising campaign and promotions to differentiate the brand from competitors. their lifestyle becomes more and more hectic. Timing is a very important obstacle as well. Appreciation. In this case the process is similar. mainly the package style is also an important strategic aspect. the action plan and dates of the launch should be carefully thought out. Taking into consideration the following years profit aims. The freshness is another important constraint.25. following Malhotra 2009] 2 . Confidence. minimizing the interaction between different products (or concepts). brats and breakfast categories across all sausage producers have been flat nationwide. they conducted three qualitative researches to get insights and to surface ideas. First of all they should carefully consider the positioning process of the Italian sausage line to avoid cannibalization in other Saxonville’s brands. According to the case study there are also several constraints and obstacles regarding to the reposition and market launch of the new brand. The Research methodology and the Results To find the right positioning method for the product. The main question is regarding the second strategic goal is whether should Saxonville keep the Vivio brand or should change to a different one? The brand identificaters. and there is a change in consumer tastes and preferences and cooking habits. Quick and Easy. the company conducted a four-step marketing research. according to Banks “each tactic has to be realized by the slated date for the brand’s national launch early in 2007”.Name: Adam Madacsi . which followed by qualitative and representative surveys to prove the developed concepts. Theoretically the companies use qualitative techniques first to get opinions and insights about a certain issue. with no other specific product comparisons. Only one product (or concept) is presented and an evaluation is requested. The four-step process is the following: 1 Monadic product tests: It is the presentation of a single product (or concept) for evaluation. Tradition (Exhibit 9) Secondly they have to create a brand name that can be easily adopted by the consumers and appeals to the expanded market. develop positioning concepts. Moreover the senior management has a lack of marketing and positioning orientation as well.HRYRTQ Product and Brand Strategies Case Study 2012. Validating these ideas through a broader population a fourth quantitative round (a monadic test1) was conducted. Before the launch. they need to establish a distribution network to launch and deliver fresh products. The brand management team determined the four best positioning strategy: Family Connection. Clever Cooking. [own definition. II. Other significant fact that since 2004. This method allowed each product (or concept) to be tested independently.

residence: citizens nationwide in the USA .03. testing generates After the presentation of the actual research methodology I am trying to formulate an appropriate research design2 with necessary and important demographic.has children. Exploratory research in the form of secondary data analysis of the mature market could be effective performing studies. loyal to other brands of Saxonville .C1). household income Behavioral .B.HRYRTQ Product and Brand Strategies Case Study 2012.men and women aged between 30 and 50 (primary female head-of-household) . family  part or full-time worker . and likes to cook special meals The emphasis is mainly on women.attitude1: buys mainly not prepackaged. frozen food. satisfaction). First of all the characteristics of the target group should be determined: Variable categories Appropriate characteristics. and families. buys special foods as well . 3 . family happiness. concepts • refine all gathered information into concepts • consumers prioritize and imporve these concepts • testing. consumer’s attitudes and competitive products. who cooks (30-50y) . but fresh ones . 2 In this paragraph I am going to adopt the theoretical background of market research of Malhotra 2009. or cook meals for his/her family . components Demographic .attitude2: wants to cook easily but substantial and delicious meals Lifestyle . behavioral (attitudes) and lifestyle variables.25.Vivio loyalists or competitor’s brand loyalist. The aim is to measure consumer awareness of the Italian sausage.medium and high-rollers (primary ESOMAR: A. It is important also to explore who is the concrete buyer and who is the initiator in the purchase process. evaluating position concepts • get purchase intent scores.frequency of dinner preparation. loves to cook. qualitative research sequantial round of customer sessions Actual concepts Monadic & quantitative testing • with target customers • to understand their behaiviours and needs • develop appropiate language • gain reactions to different positioning ideas. data about the market.life stage: mothers with children or father.Name: Adam Madacsi .housewife family role .or anybody who cooks often. monitor their satisfaction and attitudes associated with the product and track product usage and diagnose problems as they occur and to gather all possible information to redefine the position and the brand concept of this foodstuff. According to the theory of market research an exploratory research should be conducted first providing insights and comprehension of the situation.buys regularly in supermarkets. who wants to cook appealing meals for the entire family (easy and substantial dinner. There are two main target group stages: firstly mothers (families). .price-sensitivity. On the other hand anybody who wants to cook something special in an easy way.

35 second and 12 third votes) models are the most appropriate position targets. Vivio was just the 7 th. the opinions about using the company’s name for brand name was controversial The result of the independent evaluation of the earlier developed positioning concepts using monadic test shows that the “Family connection” (52 votes altogether: 37 first. It is perceived as an ingredient food as well. good color. “quick and easy” is not a distinctive characteristic and can interpreted in a negative way as well (“fast food. which represents the whole target market or a monadic test) to draw conclusions: the results of the descriptive study can be generalized to the entire population. great taste and texture 7) Brand name issues: need a more Italian name (like Primo). Finally a casual research form. the level of satisfaction with the current product and insights about the new positioning and branding concept. sauce. The result shows that 81% of respondents would definitely or probably buys the product with a positioning focused on “Family Connection” and 72% if the company would use the “Clever Cooking” concept. Exploratory qualitative research involving focus groups should also carry out in order to determine the needs and desires of the consumers. medium and light users) 2) Heavy users purchase Vivio at least once a week during fall and winter and once every two week during spring and summer (primary for evening dinner meals) 3) It is a product. rather an ingredient food (!) 6) Loyalists and competitors users considered (intent value of the product): high quality. On the other hand 41% would definitely buys the product with “Clever Cooking” concept and just 23% with “Family Connection”. unhealthy food”) which could be significantly harmful to the brand. 15 second and 15 third votes) and the “Clever cooking” (49 votes altogether: 14 first.HRYRTQ Product and Brand Strategies Case Study 2012. passion in connection with Vivio 5) Easy to make. The development of positioning territory ideas The selected two positioning territories are “Quick and easy” and “Clever cooking”. soups etc. III. which makes life easier  husbands and children enjoy this food 4) most respondents have positive emotions. from this.g. a survey. Furthermore. 4% would definitely not buys in case of the “Family Connection” position model. The next step should be a brainstorming to collect ideas and determine concepts in terms of the next stage of the research and in terms of the positioning and branding techniques. But these abilities are not a unique selling point on the market. According to the focus group research users reported that they feel they always have a quick meal in the house if there is Italian sausage.03. and only 2% in the case of “Clever Cooking” concept.25. This information shows that the quick preparation is a perceived and intended value of this product. “meal-maker”. On the other hand. here are the main results of the conducted focus group research: 1) There are 3 groups of consumers (heavy. which could be appropriate and should be tested.Name: Adam Madacsi . After the concept testing a quanitative research was conducted testing the two “winner” concepts representatively. customers can cook pasta. a conclusive research should be conducted (e. a test marketing should be carry out to observe and test the consumer’s attitude and purchase intent in reality. above-average ratio of solids and fats. 4 .

Using the adjectives “quick. creative” together creates the concept of “Clever Cooking”.” IV. In my opinion “Clever Cooking” is more versatile. I recommend continuing using the brand name Vivio. 5 . Fast. At the same time. both position “Clever Cooking” and “Family Connection” are viable options according to qualitative and quantitative testing. the company must demonstrate innovation and quality within the product. easy. more distinctive. In my point of view using this positioning tactic and integrate it to the concept of “Creative Cooking” should be appropriate. Recommendations and additional tactics I recommend applying the “Clever Cooking” positioning concept. which creates a stronger and more effective brand and product perception and customer awareness. Furthermore. But “Clever Cooking” has got better purchase intent ratio in case of “definitely buy and definitely not buy”. this concept is easier or cheaper to communicate to the target group. I this case the operational or cognitive advantages would be combined with affective attitudes. lasting and what is the most important. Saxonville have to compete against consumer known companies for the same target market. retaining the original name will spare money to the company. promotions. Accompany the product launch using this concept the company should firstly format a position statement: “With Italian Sausage. which has more perceived value and unique message on the market in order to differentiate the product against the competitors. Creative – just enjoy!”.HRYRTQ Product and Brand Strategies Case Study 2012. you will have always great ideas for creative and delicious dishes in minutes your whole family will enjoy. almost twice as many respondents said they definitely would buy the product based on the “Clever Cooking” than the “Family Connection” position. store advertising. The concept development in this case should focus on characteristics like “delicious and quick way to express creativity” and “always some new family approved fresh meals in minutes with Vivio. Developing and applying a new brand name causes a lot costs as well.03. loyalists and quality image and they can expand the distribution in other regions in the same time. therefore a creative potential positioning concept is necessary. There are numerous companies that exclusively sell Italian Sausage to the market. As the case points out.25. this position threatens to cannibalize Saxonville’s other products and could fail to differentiate itself from other brands. shelf placement and sampling to increase customer awareness: “make a creative buzz” to achieve high ratio of customer recognition and recall.Name: Adam Madacsi . The first step is developing a strong food marketing campaign with advertisements. emphasize creativity. Furthermore. articles.” or “all they will know is they love it!” or “Easy. Moreover there is a good chance that the respondents’ familiarity with exiting brands’ “authentic Italian heritage” may have biased their opinion toward Family Connection. With this strategic move the company can retain the current profitable customers. easy and fast cooking and freshness as a unique selling point. There is still plenty of work to be done.

Malhotra – Marketing Research. Pearson 2009 6 . Naresh K. List of Reference: 1.Name: Adam Madacsi .25.HRYRTQ Product and Brand Strategies Case Study 2012.03. an Applied Orientation. Kate Moore – Saxonville Sausage Company. Harvard Business School Publishing 2007 2.

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