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Saxonville sausage company


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Case analysis via case method from a HBR case.

Published in: Marketing
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Saxonville sausage company

  1. 1.  Saxonville was a 70-year-old, privately held family business headquartered in Saxonville, Ohio.  The company produced a variety of pork sausage products:  Growth History: Bratwurst- Flat(0% volume increase) Breakfast sausage- Decline(2-digit revenue decline) Italian sausage- Rise(9% in 2004,15% in 2005) o Bratwurst o Breakfast sausage o Italian sausage named Vivio
  2. 2.  Saxonville first entered the Italian sausage market in 2002.  The company gave it the required trade support, but chose not to go for any advertisement like the other companies in the category.  For Vivio’s first six months, it went on deal every other month, and also offered some in-store sampling.
  3. 3. Company used a Styrofoam tray covered in plastic wrap, with a label depicting coiled links of sausage next to a head of garlic and an old-fashioned sausage grinder. It says ‘Vivio fresh Italian sausage’ and has an Italian flag in one corner.
  4. 4. Which consisted of 10 colleagues that would provide input and perspective in her investigation of the Italian sausage opportunity. Note: Saxonville had not conducted market research on the Italian sausage customer before her joining. Their first Task:
  5. 5. Main Objectives:  To understand customer’s behaviours and needs.  Gain an idea of the language consumers used. Introduction of A top brand consultant, and a professional from a marketing research company.
  6. 6. They main priorities as set by Ann Banks for conducting the focus groups:  Understand current behaviours, triggers to purchase, and unmet needs  Get a clear understanding of product benefits, attributes and ideals  Develop a solid feel for core values and the role this product plays, or can play, in these people’s lives.
  7. 7. To make the score team easily understand the outcome of the focus group Banks and Bishop constructed a perceptual map
  8. 8. According to both maps Italian sausage was revealed as a “meal solution”(high rating on both X and Y axis)
  9. 9. From the conversations with focus groups six distinct themes were selected as potential territories (bases) for positioning the brand:
  10. 10. A list was made based on the values held dear by the target consumers
  11. 11. The discussion finally led to the establishment of 4 mock concepts. Namely:
  12. 12. Consumers were exposed to these 4 mock concepts and asked to select and prioritize their three favourites.
  13. 13. Brainstorming potential tactical strategies that would support the two top-voted positionings and optimize brand identity gave out the three lists:
  14. 14. Develop a national product under the Vivio name or as a new brand. Saxonville needs a well-thought-out positioning plan.
  15. 15. Fulfils the emotional value sought by the target customers. Saxonville is perceived as a family brand. Aspirational value. No unique positioning Easily replicable Cannibalization more likely
  16. 16.  Broader perception of product use.  Easier tactical application  Wider customer base.  Unique tag line/approach.  First choice in buying intention.  Catchy name/idea.  Loss of focus from original target group.  Less aspirational value.
  17. 17. Though “Family connection” may seem better idea, it might be because of consumers’ familiarity with existing brands’ “authentic Italian heritage” positioning, it is clear that “Italian” implied “family”, so there might exist a tendency of the consumer to feel more connected with this concept. From the Italian Sausage Concept Assessment data we see that: “Family Connection”(F) would buy:81%(23% definite+58% probably) “Clever Cooking”(C) would buy: 72%(41% definite+31% probably) We see that in F, % of definite buyers is not even 1/3 of the total “would buy”, and due to tough competition by similar positioning(Italian name brands) many from 58% may not buy the product.
  18. 18. The Vivio brand was rated at 7 among 20 in the data from focus groups, hence change in name is necessary to implement premium positioning as it is difficult to change the prospective in consumer’s mind.
  19. 19. The research conducted by Ann Banks and team clearly states that, the consumers under weekend-barbeque ‘Brat pack’ will remain unaffected by Italian sausage as the use of Italian sausage has nothing to do with what happens on the weekends. And secondly, ‘Brat’ was used mainly in outdoor grills on weekend afternoons and evenings, whereas Italian sausage was used mainly for dinner time eating. So, they are the options for totally different sections.
  20. 20. Including Saxonville in brand name:  Nationwide recognition and popularity.  Signifies premium quality.  Preferred placement with retailers.
  21. 21.  4 highest performing SKUs from 2005  91% of the 2005 Italian sausage revenue
  22. 22.  Large window such that the Fresh product is clearly visible.  Strong Italian colour/image along with the Italian flag to promote heritage and it would also indirectly promote the feeling of a family.  Back placed recipes(diff recipes for diff packages) for quick meals ideas only.  Vacuum sealed to preserve freshness.
  23. 23.  Priced at 10% higher SRP than competitive brands and 25% higher than store brands.  Conveys the premium positioning.  Will help support promotional costs.  Also consistent with the pricing of Saxonville(all other product also priced above competitive brands).
  24. 24.  Nationwide Distribution channels already in existence via “Saxonville” name.  SKU positioning important: eye level, easy accessible in regional market areas.  All major supermarkets and grocery markets.  But currently stay out of discount warehouses.
  25. 25.  Product Sampling  Recipe book giveaways  Limited stock/duration BOGO  Magazines(recipes/advertisement): women’s and cooking.  Puzzle games based ads in newspapers eg-reach a packet of Capucina via maze  Recipe-a-day campaign/competition.  Interactive puzzle/fun games.
  26. 26. If you want to make your wife happy/smile try taking home Capucina for a change.