Differentiation and Brand Positioning – Saxonville Sausage Company
Differentiation and Brand Positioning – Soxonville Sausage Company
1. What are the key issues facing Saxonville Sausage?
The company is experiencing stagnation in sales of bratwurst, which is its main product constituting 70% of the company’s revenues, and a double digit reduction in revenue of its breakfast sausage, which makes up 20% of the company’s revenue. Other products such as the breakfast products are recording 0% contribution to company revenue. These percentages are illustrated in the second exhibit in terms of amounts sold and revenues collected. The company has to find a way of improving its position among the preferred breakfast sausage brands. The company needs to increase the volume of sales of its two main products. This includes reviewing the methods of distribution. Currently, the breakfast sausages and the bratwursts are sold throughout the whole country through national and regional brokers and distributors. However, the company does not have a major presence in the Northeastern markets because it has limited distribution. Producers have not increased their production of the bratwurst and breakfast sausages brands, but they have increased production of their Italian sausage, vivio, brands. The company wants to reposition its Italian sausage brands. It wants to develop a national product of the Italian sausages since the sausages are only found in 16% of the country’s leading supermarkets in five states only.
Additionally, the Italian sausage was the only brand able to gain growth at the period while others brands that Saxonville sold caused a decrease in the amounts of revenues. The new products can be part of the vivio brand, or they can be developed as part of a new brand. The company does not have a positioning strategy for vivio, and it has not done in terms of creating the products brand awareness. However, the marketing strategy in the past needs to be reviewed a well as positioning and branding the new product to capture the focus market. Therefore, considering the Italian was the only brand that was gaining or improving in terms of revenues within the market, it is an indication that the company should launch it and use vigorous marketing strategy to win customers. The main aim should be seeking to increase the percentage contribution of Italian bran since it is the only one growing. With other brand performing poorly in the market, the only product with a good chance of increasing performance is the Italian sausage, which only contributes 5% to the whole company’s revenue. To increase performance of the company will require increasing performance of this brand that is still highly regarded in the market.
Saxonville past approach to marketing research was not appropriate for the new task of market researching on the new product, Italian Sausage. Previously the research did not consider the target market of the company. Thus, it was not known whom the target was, which made it harder for marketing. Marketing without a target can be quite costly and fruitless since the right people may not be reached by the marketing effort. However, with coming of Ann Banks, identified this problem and suggested a research methodology that would find out the target customer and any other relevant information for the task. Further, through her research, she sought to find out the link between customer values and the Italian Sausage they were planning to launch. This was quite proficient considering it would give the company a better chance of targeting the customer through providing the value they require. In order to gain knowledge about these, she used a research strategy that incorporated both qualitative research meant to generate ideas and a quantitative research for justifying and affirming the result of the qualitative research across a chosen population. For instant, exhibit 4 gives some details about the attitude of customers towards the products, where majority liked them for their value to their family. Qualitative data are quite helpful for understanding the attitudes and behaviors of customers towards the company, but quantitative data was not enough to give a clear guideline on which route to take. However, the research method failed in some extent by choosing to focus on women only, which meant leaving another half potential out there uncovered by the research.
If I had been responsible for designing the Saxonville’s research, I would have done some of the things differently. The first thing would be to use the same strategy for research as used by Banks, but this time with diversified focus groups in order to cover all potential customers. This would allow a wider coverage of the demographic. The focus groups could preferably consider men and women, with different conversations and approaches for each group. This would increase the opportunity of capturing other markets other than women only. Another strategy for creating a different focus group would be the income level of the potential consumers, different people will consider different alternatives before deciding what to pick for their families. This focus would provide an insight to the people who are more likely to use the products and the sizes of their families. An additional focus with the research could be the behavior of people and their attitude as well towards Saxonville, as a whole, or as a company. Finally, I would ensure to conduct a research on the Italian sausage in the market in order to make a decision what makes them better as a product for the company. This allows the company to realize the attitude that already exists for the product they are about to launch.
Some positioning ladder for each of the two finalists of the Italian sausage positionings might look as illustrated below
Family connection: the vivio is a sausage to be enjoyed by the whole family, offering more than just a sausage but also a unique taste for the whole family. Clever cooking: the vivio sausage offers extreme cooking experience for all while offering the best taste for the whole family.
The point behind the positioning ladder is to crate a chance for having the best positioning statement that would ensure to evoke the emotions of the customers and potential ones as well to buy the product. Considering that clever cooking was the best positioning strategy to use, a positioning statement that would evoke the right emotions can be as follows or close. For household-heads that like cooking special and creative meals for their families and loved ones, vivio offers the final ingredient that turns every meal in to an artistry masterpiece due to its complimenting ability than any other similar products. With its nutrition and ingredients as well as different flavors that suit your preference, a great meal is guaranteed.
Such statements first refers to the target group who are targeted and gives a strong message that evokes their emotions and offers to provide them with what they want most from meals that they serve their families.
From the market analysis, it was found that primary purchasers of the product are women between 25 and 50 years of age who are heads-of-households. The research found out that many of these women wanted to create a long lasting memory for their children. They sought to connect their families together through meals. From the fourth exhibit, it is realized that Italian Sausage created an effect similar to popcorn while one is watching a movie. Creating such a position would be a sure way of brining families together to enjoy the meals at dinner. Therefore, ‘family connection’ and ‘clever cooking’ seemed the best option for positioning the product from the quantitative research conducted by the company. This is because majority of the primary purchasers are women who happen to be head-of-kitchens. However, it would be important to consider that almost all Italian foods are associated to family connection, which is what Italians associate to their food. Therefore, a different positioning would be more appropriate that would give a different feeling but maintain a level of family connection since it is the value that a majority of the customers’ value can be met.
Some alternatives can be realized, such as focusing on Italians who are highly likely to associate with the product. However, of the two strategies, family connection was considered better. On to the contrary, many people said they would not necessarily purchase the products because of such positioning. Very few people agreed that they would buy the product due to such positioning. Therefore, an alternative positioning would be more appropriate. The reason can be traced to the fact that all Italian foods are positioned this way, so everybody is used to the strategy. However, ‘clever cooking’ has not been widely used within this market, which would make it a unique positioning from other marketers. With the ‘clever cooking,’ the emphasis can be on the confidence with making one’s own meal with ease. The ability to cook the food faster would also come in to encourage more people to buy food they can easily cook. The clever cooking is likely to win more buyers than family connection that looks more suitable but lacks enough buyers. This would provide a different experience for the customers since they are used to the family connection positioning.
Tactics accompanying launching
While launching the product, several tactics need to accompany the launching to compliments its brand. Before the launching, there would be a need for more research on the product in order to create the best quality product that can be differentiated from the rest. Some of the areas to focus their search would be focused on the product itself such as the packaging, advertising and several flavors for the product to attract a wider demographic. During launching, these flavors could be given to the different focus groups for testing. Their opinion should be collected to find out the one that most would prefer and give it more focus. Another tactic that should accompany the launching of the product should be renaming the product in order to differentiate it from the rest of the vivio brand that comprises of all the other Italian sausages. From exhibit 4, it is evident that many would prefer a new name such as ‘primo’ or ‘perfecto’ for the new product. Additionally, using a different name for the product is away of differentiating the product from the rest, which offers customers a new experience. After the renaming, heavy advertising campaign to create awareness with emphasis on the new name should be conducted to reach the targeted population. Advertisement can be through different advertising modes such as media, internet and billboards amongst others available to the company in order to reach a wider population.