Saxonville tactical marketing_plan_launch_of_national_italian_sausage_brand


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Saxonville tactical marketing_plan_launch_of_national_italian_sausage_brand

  1. 1. SAXONVILLE Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand Primo Italian Sausage Nicholas Dilley Dave Mongan Dan Wheeler James Wolf 2/13/2008A comprehensive report into the viability of a national Italian sausage brand. Including marketingresearch, product analysis, promotional and price recommendations.
  2. 2. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 TABLE OF CONTENTSAnalysis of Product Market 3Analysis of External Market 4Customer Analysis 5Competitor Analysis 6Company Analysis 8Marketing Information Requirements 9Product 17Place 19Promotion 20Price 24Control 25Financial Forecasts 26Timing 28References 29 Page | 2
  3. 3. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 ANALYSIS OF PRODUCT MARKET QUALITATIVE ANALYSISStagnant growth rates for bratwurst and breakfast categories across all sausageproducers nationwide.Several years of solid growth rates for Italian sausage across all producersnationwide.Grocers are finding that the predicted growth of specialty meat items can help raisetheir profits, especially if armed with educational materials and product-specificknowledge. There is becoming a need for point of contact personnel to understandthe common terminology such as “organic, natural, and naturally raised”.1While dinner sausage has become the fastest growing product within the nationalsausage market, it is important to note that consumers view Italian sausage as aningredient rather than a dinner option. This attitude will need to be addressed inthe promotional campaign.3Industry research increasingly shows the consumer’s demand of wholesomeproduct to be on the rise. This shift in consumer preferences will need to beaddressed in the promotional campaign.2No current national producer of fresh product29 current regional producers of fresh product MAJOR CONSTRAINTSItalian sausage marketing potentially leads to cannibalism of other portfolioproductsCapital intensive distribution network necessary for delivery of fresh productnationwideLarge number of regional producers necessitate flexible marketing in order to becompetitive in all markets Page | 3
  4. 4. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 ANALYSIS OF EXTERNAL MARKET ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENTWhile the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is forecasting the national economy toexpand by a rate of 2.5%, in line with the last two years growth numbers, they arequick to point out that this figure is considered below the potential growth for theUnited States. We should also expect to see volatile quarterly fluctuations, as well asslightly higher unemployment figures when compared to last year. 5While core inflation is expected to dip slightly below current levels throughout theyear, it is important to note that this figure excludes energy and food prices, both ofwhich are predicted to continue their upward trend.5Rising food and energy costs have adversely affected consumer expectations and ledto a reduction in consumer consumption. Furthermore, consumers are altering theirconsumption decisions based on these rising prices coupled with the collapse in thehousing sector.5While these Federal Reserve forecasts certainly paint a bleak picture for the state ofthe economy as we proceed with our planned expansion into new markets, weinterpret this data much differently. Increasing skepticism among consumers aboutjob and wage growth provides our company with an opportunity to capitalize ondecreasing consumption spending. As consumers change their spending habits,they will be looking for less expensive products that are easily substituted for areaswhere their spending is traditionally high. One change we expect to see is theconsumer’s increasing unwillingness to spend money dining out. As many peopleacross the nation increase the frequency at which they eat meals prepared at home,there will be greater pressure to create new and unique meals. Saxonville has anopportunity to demonstrate to consumers the many uses of our Italian sausageproducts, how they allow for a wide variety of delicious meals with a minimumamount of effort, and how using our products will ultimately save them money inuncertain times. Page | 4
  5. 5. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 CUSTOMER ANALYSIS POSSIBLE SEGMENTING DIMENSIONSCustomer Attributes o Values creating wholesome meals with fresh ingredients o Desires to please entire family with single dish o Hopes for quick meal preparation without sacrificing nutritional quality o Envisions family dinner facilitating feelings of togetherness IDENTIFICATION OF TARGET MARKETPrimary demographics o Female head-of-households o Sixty percent of users are described as a “loyalist”Secondary demographics o Work status  Full-time  Part-time  Work from home  Homemaker o Number of children in household o Education level o Household income CURRENT MARKET CONSIDERATIONSBehavior considerations o Vivio Loyalists o Competitive-brand loyalists o Degree of price-sensitivity o Frequency of every day dinner preparation o Use of other products within company’s portfolioGeographic considerations o Currently in strong Italian sausage markets o Strong Bratwurst markets where Saxonville is well developed o Strong Saxonville markets were Italian sausage is distributed o Strong Saxonville markets where Vivio is distributed Page | 5
  6. 6. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 TYPES OF BUYING SITUATIONSFirst time product purchase triggered by positive association with family brandedproductsCurrent consumers who view Italian sausage as a “meal-maker”, an ‘ingredient’ foodin sauces, soups, and casseroles NATURE OF RELATIONSHIP WITH CUSTOMERSSaxonville will need to establish itself as the company that understands the corevalues of our customersRegardless of why a customer chooses Saxonville Vivio Italian sausage, their needswill be met by our quality product COMPETITOR ANALYSIS NATURE OF CURRENT COMPETITIONCurrent producers of nationally distributed sausage distribute frozen productNational competitors have existing nationwide distribution networksProducts with their portfolios are marketed under a nationally recognized andrespected family brand o Jimmy Dean  Primary focus is on breakfast meats  Web resources greet customer with, “The Day Begins with a Happy Breakfast”7a  Current marketing involves Happy Breakfast Tour7b Free samples Live cooking demonstrations with professional chef Focus on teaching consumers how to create home-style breakfast quickly and easily o Bob Evans  Primary focus on “hearty home style” image of their products6  Product portfolio concentrates on breakfast meats o Johnsonville  Primary focus on sausage as “party food”  Marketing aimed at male consumers during warmer seasons “Flavor Up Your Game Day Party”8a  Relies on family brand identity to sell new products8b Page | 6
  7. 7. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008Current producers of fresh sausage products confined to geographic regionsLocal consumers prefer purchasing a product that is perceived to be “home grown”Fresh product made with local ingredients instills a sense of wholesomeness andnutrition, opposed to frozen or nationally distributed products o Syracuse Sausage Company  Based in Texas  Uses founder’s heritage to promote brand identity of, “True Italian Heritage”9a  Promotes use of highest quality hand blended spices and lean meats9b  Offers fresh Italian sausage, cooked products, gift packs o Scimeca’s Famous Italian Sausage Company  Based in Kansas City, Kansas10b  Brand identity rests on family tradition10a  Offers fresh Italian sausage and pre-cooked products o Fortuna’s Sausage Co.  Promotion centers on “Homemade” aspect of production11a  Uses interactive media to provide cooking tips to consumers  Product has received a number of national accolades and endorsements Google’s #1 pick, “Best Italian Sausage” Featured in L.A. Times, Playboy, Westerly Sun, The Tonight Show11b PROSPECTIVE COMPETITORS AND LIKELY RESPONSESCompetitors to our planned nationwide fresh product will likely come fromestablished companies o Current Frozen Competitors  May attempt to introduce fresh product under family brand, then distribute through existing supply chain o Current Fresh competitors  May attempt to distribute to larger geographic region, possibly nationwide COMPETITVE BARRIERS TO OVERCOMEFrozen national distributors o Nationwide brand awareness o Experience marketing product nationallyFresh regional distributors o Regional brand awareness o Consumers identify with local heritage Page | 7
  8. 8. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 POTENTIAL AREAS OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGERespected products within family brandNationwide distribution network for fresh productVivio implied branding as “authentic Italian sausage” not as locally produced COMPANY ANALYSIS COMPANY OBJECTIVELaunch a national Italian sausage brandAchieve profit objectives for the next fiscal year COMPANY RESOURCESNational distribution networkStrong brand recognitionVivio brand Italian sausage has matched the previous year’s rate of growth, though itis only available in 16% of the nation’s supermarkets. S.W.O.T. ANALYSISStrengths o National distribution network o Strong brand recognitionWeaknesses o Potential confusion of Italian-named sausage, Vivio, from German-named company, Saxonville o No comprehensive advertising campaign o Possible cannibalism of similar products within portfolioOpportunities o No national competitors of fresh Italian sausage o Category shows growth across all producers nationwideThreats o 29 regional brands with large percentage of market share according to geographic region o Frozen product is currently distributed nationwide by a number of other companies Page | 8
  9. 9. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 MARKETING INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS CURRENT MARKET RESEARCHPlanning new research on the target customer o Attitude and Usage data, Pennsylvania research facility  Men and women aged 25-50  Research identifies primary and secondary considerations  Relevant data from latest A&U study:Female head-of-household are primary purchasers of Italian sausage.Six out of last 10 purchases given to a particular brand is considered “a loyalist.”Heavy users used Italian sausage 3 + times a month.Mean Italian sausage usage constituted two times every six weeks.Heavy usage is among consumers aged 20-50 years.Age differentiation tends to manifest in 10 year increments.  Other potential demographic considerations:Working out-of-the home, part- or full-time vs. working at home as a homemakerThe number of children in the householdAges of children in the householdEducation levelHousehold income level  Other potential behavior consideration:Vivio loyalistsCompetitive-brand Italian sausage loyalistsUses/ does not use private label and store brands (degree of price sensitivity)Uses/ does not use Saxonville BratsUses/ does not use Saxonville Breakfast SausageFrequency of every-day dinner preparationUse of other sausage products; bratwurst, breakfast, kielbasa, etc.  Geographic considerationsStrong Italian sausage markets where Vivio is distributedMarkets where Vivio is particularly strongStrong Bratwurst markets where Saxonville is well developedStrong Saxonville markets where Italian sausage is distributedStrong Saxonville markets where Vivio is distributed Page | 9
  10. 10. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008Building on learning from focus groups o Consumer behavior o Research identifies habits of typical Italian sausage usersThree groups of Italian sausages consumers clearly emerged. Heavy users purchased atleast once a week during the winter months and once every two weeks during the springand summer. Light users purchased at least once every six weeks with the same seasonalvariations as the heavy users. (Earlier A&U data had revealed the Negligible and Non-Usersseldom if ever purchased Italian sausage).Heavy, Medium, and Light users alike reported that Italian sausage made their lives easierbecause it was a meal that their husbands and children enjoyed. It was the one meal theyprepared that they did not need to call the family to the table to eat.Respondents were consistent in reporting that they did the cooking versus their partners93% versus 7% of the time, and that cooking was done primarily for evening dinner meals.Most respondents were very passionate in their descriptions of cooking and eating Italiansausage. They said it “had the same effect as popcorn at the movie theater,” in that “theminute you smell it you have to have some.” Many of the consumer sessions ended withrespondents saying they would go home and make Italian sausage for dinner that night.Italian sausage was considered a great “meal-maker.” Unlike bratwurst and breakfastsausage, respondents reported using Italian sausages as an “ingredient” food in sauces,soups, and casseroles, or sautéing it with a few vegetables and then combining with pasta orrice. Users reported felling they always “had a quick mean in the house” if there was Italiansausage in the refrigerator.The Vivio brand was considered by loyalists and competitive users alike to be ofexceptionally high quality, with good color, and above-average ratio of solids to fats, andgreat taste and texture. o Brand name issues o Research examines possible conflict for family-branded product o Respondents were given 20 brand names, including Vivio and Saxonville, and asked to select the names that fit best with their “ideal” Italian sausage products. The top- scoring names across groups were “Italy’s Best,” “Primo,” and “Perfecto.” “Vivio” ranked seventh. o “Saxonville Italian Sausage” did receive a lot of votes among Italian sausage users whether or not they used the brats or breakfast products. Consumers stated that they knew Saxonville by its moniker, “The Family Company,” and believed it was well-established business that would make good product. o In geographies where Saxonville Bratwurst was distributed, “Saxonville” was considered a poor brand name among Italian sausage users because of the more “German-seeming” heritage. o Among heavy Saxonville Brat users, “Saxonville Italian Sausage” received a mixed response: while consumers thought it might not “go with” an “Italian” product, they believed anything from Saxonville would have exceptional product quality. Page | 10
  11. 11. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008o Product positioning mapo Research gives clear picture of consumer’s perceived trade-offs between ease of meal preparation and which family members will most likely enjoy it. Meals that require minimal preparation are most enjoyed by children, while the adults desire meals that involve much greater skill and time.o The perceptual maps show an incredible opportunity for a product to fill both the need of easy preparation and the need to please the entire family. Page | 11
  12. 12. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 Page | 12
  13. 13. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 o Initial positioning territories o Research identifies a number of core values held by current users of Italian sausage. These are then narrowed down to the four most powerful buying influences.Family ConnectionFamily and friends around the table with good food, sharing and enjoying themselves andeach other, is what good living is all about. Everybody loves Italian sausage and the meal itmakes-and she is the magnet that pulls everyone in.Clever CookingUsing fresh, high-quality ingredients and making a recipe her own way, she puts a little ofherself into the meal. Italian sausage is so versatile it can be used in a number of differentways and it always adds a little zest to her dishes.ConfidenceShe’s not a confident cook especially when it comes to making things that are new anddifferent. She wants to make meals that her family will not only eat, but will love. WithItalian sausage she knows that whatever she makes will taste good and that she can’t gowrong. Italian sausage is a sure fire thing that enables her to “pull it off.”AppreciationHer family knows that her efforts in the kitchen are a true labor of love as she works tomake things that will keep everyone interested in “what’s for dinner.” While she doesn’tmeasure herself by praise or their appreciation, she’s happy to be recognized by them; it’s anice affirmation.Quick and EasyItalian sausage is quick and easy and so versatile that she can pull a delicious andwholesome meal together in less than 30 minutes. She can take nearly anything shehappens to have on hand-dry pasta, rice, fresh peppers, tomatoes, etc.-and make a quickhomemade meal.TraditionShe remembers simpler times when everyone came to the table every day and shared goodhome-made cooking. She’s like to provide a home environment where her children canhave those same feelings and grow up with happy memories of their childhoods. Italiansausage has always been a part of her life and is the main ingredient in a number of hermother’s recipes that she makes today. Page | 13
  14. 14. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008Building positioning concepts o Mock concepts o The four most powerful buying influences are further developed to reflect how the features of the product achieve the benefits sought after in each concept. Page | 14
  15. 15. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 Positioning concept voting o Analysis to further narrow the concepts down to the top two brand positions Concepts: (F) Family (C) Clever Cooking (B) Balancing Act (L) Labor of Love Connection N= 69 69 69 69 st 1 Votes: 37 14 9 9 2nd Votes: 15 35 12 7 rd 3 Votes: 16 12 9 1Top Two Votes 52 49 21 16 54% of first place votes went to “Family Connection” Less than half as many went to “Clever Cooking” and “Balancing Act” respectively *Note: not all respondents selected a third favorite R&D, graphics, and sales o Focus groups brainstorm a number of ideas for continuing innovation of the physical product and its promotion.  R&D Kid-friendly-shaped pre-cut sausage pieces; dinosaurs, goldfish Different flavor varieties: spicy mustard, sweet “Oriental” style, gourmet cheese and smoked flavor, macaroni and cheese flavor, jalapeno pepper and cheese-infused “stuffed” varieties Insert fresh herbs that would be visible through the sausage casing but no impact the taste of the sausage Frozen sausage pellets, both raw and pre-cooked Different forms: uncooked pre-sliced “disks,” mini-patties, mini-links, and precooked “meatballs,” “salami” slices and “disks”  Graphics Label size and shape changes to maximize the product visibility window and provide in- case differentiation Alternate label graphics using background photographs, fresh ingredients depictions, the Italian flag Faux labels used as tip-ins in magazines to reinforce the brand Labels with “back-placed” recipes Different label-copy stickers that “pop”  Sales Larger package size with dinner-plate shaped trays Running more frequent BOGO’s (buy-one-get-one promotions) Famous potential spokespeople like Rachael Ray Refrigerated display units placed in the produce and dry grocery sections Celebrity recipes Celebrity store appearance program with on-site sampling Temporary Merchandising Display units that carry recipe cards, great cooking-with-sausage graphics, and can hold store merchandise, given with new account authorizations and/or increased facings Page | 15
  16. 16. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 Additional Research o Concept assessment o Research into the purchasing intent of prospective customers finds a near statistical equality between the final two positioning concepts.PURCHASE INTENT________________ ______CONCEPT_______________ Family Connection Clever Cooking (A) (B)Base Total Respondents (250) (256) % %Definitely/Probably Would Buy 81 72Definitely would buy it 23 41(A)Probably would buy it 58(B) 31Might or might not buy it 15 2Probably/Definitely Would Not Buy 4 2Probably would not buy it 1 1Definitely would not buy it 1 1 Note: letters in parentheses denote relative statistical significance at the 95%confidence level FUTURE MARKET RESEARCH It will be important to perform identical research in new markets after the first season of nationwide sales Research may show different preferences for usage, positioning, and concepts than identified in preliminary research There remains the possibility that single product will need to be marketed differently according to geographical preferences Page | 16
  17. 17. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 PRODUCT PRODUCT CLASSSaxonville’s Italian sausage is a consumer class product.As a homogeneous shopping product, consumers view all competitors’ products assubstitutes and will buy according to price. As price will be the main factor in thebuying decision, there will be implications for our pricing strategy as we launchnationwide. Furthermore, it will be vital that we differentiate our product from thatof the competitors to avoid a pricing battle. CURRENT PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE STAGESGrowth product stage in 16% of nation’s supermarketsProduct introduction stage in remaining 84% of markets BRANDINGIn markets where the Vivio brand is currently established, we have enjoyed successwith family branding. In these markets, other portfolio items such as bratwurst arenot the staple item they are in the Midwest. As such, when Vivio was marketedunder the Saxonville flag, consumers believed the product to be of exceptionalquality. However, research in areas where there is less brand awareness, the nameSaxonville appears too German to produce a quality Italian sausage. We couldchoose to continue with the family branding of the Italian sausage product, with theassumption that the Saxonville name will continue to encourage belief in a qualityproduct. There is the possibility that confusion of the product’s heritage will havean adverse affect on the brand identity. Another possibility would be to market theItalian sausage under an individual brand name. While this certainly alleviates anyconfusion surrounding the product’s heritage; it fails to utilize the powerful familybranding that has enjoyed success in certain markets.It is our finding that there is a viable compromise between the two plans.Saxonville’s Italian sausage will continue to be marketed under the family brandname Vivio in the markets that it is currently distributed in. This will allow theproduct to benefit from the positive association consumers have with all Saxonvilleproducts. In the remaining 84% of the nation’s supermarkets, the Italian sausagewill be branded individually under the name Primo Italian sausage. The namescores high in market research to determine the ideal Italian sausage name, and willalleviate any confusion with a product from a German-sounding company. Page | 17
  18. 18. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 o While it may appear to some that this plan cannot be accomplished, further research has found a number of products that are marketed under different names according to geographic region. When Dryer’s Grand Ice Cream brand began its eastern expansion from California in the early 1980’s, it came across a well-known competitor with a similar name, to further differentiate itself, Dryer’s Grand was to become known as Edy’s Grand in markets east of the Rocky Mountains.4 PACKAGINGLarge windows so that fresh ingredients are highly visibleStrong Italian colors/images to promote heritageIncluded recipes for quick meal ideas“Tips and Tricks” to teach clever cooking techniques CULTURAL SENSITIVTY OF PRODUCTWhile Italian sausage is generally viewed as a rather inert product, there are aspectsthat should be considered. While Saxonville uses only the freshest ingredients andtop quality meat in the production of its Italian sausage, the product is essentially apork derivative. As such, it would be wise to consider the demographic groups thatdo not use pork products, religious and ethnic. Geographic concentrations of suchgroups should be taken into account when determining the specific advertising copyto be used in each market.12We should also take care to not discount special interest groups. Organizations thatbring pressure on businesses in order to effect change for a specific cause oftentarget industry leaders. For instance, should animal rights activists becomeconcerned with the treatment of animals used in the production of pork products;they will likely focus their attention on the largest producers, as they will have thegreatest influence of suppliers. It would benefit Saxonville to take proactivemeasures up the supply chain to ensure the ethical treatment of animals. Suchaction could preempt any charges by special interest groups.13 FIT WITH PRODUCT LINECompany product portfolio o Our cash cow product remains our bratwurst line. As 70% of sales, the product is in a maturity stage nationwide, but projects little opportunity for growth. o Breakfast sausages remain a question mark product. Though also a mature product, ne expectation for growth, and a highly competitive national market raise doubts about the viability of the breakfast sausage line. Page | 18
  19. 19. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 o The rising star is certainly the Italian sausage line. With nationwide growth in the double digits, and expected continued growth for the foreseeable future, it is imperative we capitalize on this opportunity by launching the first national brand of fresh Italian sausage. PLACE OBJECTIVESFor Vivio/Primo brand Italian sausage to be available in 100% of the nation’ssupermarkets. Because of the near commodity status of the product, consumers areunlikely to make a special trip for Italian sausage. We must recognize theimportance of time and place utility to our consumers. Purchasers of our productwill expect the ability to buy Vivio/Primo brand Italian sausage when and wherethey buy the rest of their food items.High level of customer service required in introductory markets. As a nearcommodity item, we must have personnel in place, whether our own salesrepresentatives or retail employees trained in the features and benefits of ourproduct, to aid in differentiating ourselves from our competitors. TYPE OF CHANNELDistribution channels already in existence from national distribution of otherportfolio products TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTSCurrently have the necessary shipping equipment used for national distribution ofother portfolio products FACILITIES REQUIREDCurrently have necessary facilities used for national distribution of other portfolioproducts Page | 19
  20. 20. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 PROMOTION OBJECTIVESThe major objective for Saxonville’s promotion efforts will be to introduce the Primobrand to a nationwide market. MAJOR THEMEThe research into the identified product positioning concepts shows strong supportfor both the “family connection” and “clever cooking” marketing angles. While“family connection” surpassed all other mock concepts, when asked about intent tobuy respondents answered with statistical significance that they would “definitelybuy” the product marketed under “clever cooking”. Further insight into the corevalues of consumers reveal that the “family connection” benefit may be reached bythe “clever cooking” feature. As such, we recommend that Saxonville market itsPrimo brand Italian sausage as an ingredient that allows female head-of-householdsto, “Release the chef within!” PROMOTIONAL BLENDAdvertising o In the 16% of national markets in which Vivio brand Italian sausage is sold, the brand was born with virtually no comprehensive advertising. Basic trade support and in-store sampling was all that was needed to raise the brand awareness. Coupled with the family name, Saxonville, customers knew they could expect a quality product. Within these current markets, we can still benefit by playing to the customers routinized response behavior. When a product is near commodity level, has a high level of price elasticity, and a small unit value, it is important to use a heavy amount of advertising as reminders. In conjunction with intensive distribution, and a copy thrust that downplays product info, we must simply remind current consumers to, “Don’t forget the sausage!” Page | 20
  21. 21. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008o Entering the national market, however, will require a much more comprehensive advertising campaign. We will not only be competing with nationally known and respected companies that currently produce a frozen product, but regional producers of fresh Italian sausage that have enjoyed relatively little competition within their geographical regions. These consumers will be exercising a degree of limited problem solving as they are currently aware of the product class, but may be willing to spend a little time investigating the differences between brands. Copy thrust in these emerging markets will require much more information about the brand, as well as where the product may be purchased. Once in the store, it will be up to print media and personal selling to finish educating the consumer about the new choice in Italian sausage.o Our advertising campaign must demonstrate the ability for time-constrained mothers and wives to put their own creativity into making a meal that everyone will love. Creating a unique dish that is both delicious and wholesome satisfies the woman’s desire to add a little of themselves to every meal. Apart from this internalized benefit comes the belief that the family will once again be excited about dinner, and the connection that so many women desire will also be fulfilled.o Italian sausage is a product that simply must be experienced to promote sales. Television advertising will be a key component to the campaign. As our primary demographic is women with husbands and children who cook dinner for the family but want something everyone can enjoy, we can maximize our investment by being selective about when we air commercial spots. Our initial television campaign will be centered in the early afternoon time slots on the broadcast networks. Such television programming as, The Martha Stewart Show, and Rachel Ray daily show women creating one-of-a- kind meals using all manner of spice and seasoning, with a minimum of effort. The viewers of these shows are at once inspired by such demonstrations, and discouraged by their own lack of knowledge. Promoting Vivio Italian sausage as the product with which such amazing meals can be prepared, for even those who doubt their ability, we tap into our target market at the very height of their emotion. Page | 21
  22. 22. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 o Print media will also be an important aspect of our advertising blend. As we are promoting our product as the answer to the customer’s desire to express their love through the meals they create, it is important to aid them in their knowledge. Included with supermarket mailers and manufacturer coupons, it is vital we include custom recipes for the customer to use. As well as entire recipes, we will lend credence to our market thrust by adding such features as “Tips and Tricks for making a recipe your own.” In such sections, we will describe the various spices and seasonings that are available to consumers, as well as the effects they have on food. Rather than forcing a particular set of ingredients, provide a full list of substitutes for each recipe so that the individual consumer has options to personalize each meal.Personal Selling o While the free samples provided at many retailers allow potential consumers to taste the product, we must take this idea even further. Limiting ourselves to precooked sausage placed on a nondescript tray and given to anyone who passes by, limits the experience our consumers will have. We need to aggressively promote cooking demonstrations, such as providing our own chefs (possibly current employees trained in cooking presentations) to prepare a meal in front of the customer. This will allow the public to not just see the sausage, but to experience the aroma as fresh sausage is cooked, to hear the sizzle in the skillet, to taste a freshly created dish using a fresh product. Individual customers may even be invited to step in and aid in the cooking, reinforcing the idea that anyone can cook a unique meal without a lot of time or training.Sales promotion o Sales promotion is likely the one area of our national advertising campaign that is currently suitable for a national audience. We will continue to provide retailers with the same trade support through offers and incentives currently provided in the existing markets. We will also continue with the strategy of providing consumer deals every other month as we did in the initial markets.Publicity o It is important that the company demonstrate our commitment to helping the public not just with daily task of cooking a creative meal the whole family will enjoy, but to aid our friends and neighbors when surviving become the main goal. As natural disasters seem to occur with more frequency, and a greater number of people are displaced by these events, Saxonville needs to understand the needs of the people, and be ready to do our part in aiding them however we can. An emergency relief program of donating food items to the support groups that come to the rescue of individuals in times of disaster shows the commitment to social responsibility that is the foundation of the Saxonville family. The expressed goal of this project should not be to garner goodwill, but to simply give back to the community that has put its trust in our product and our company. Page | 22
  23. 23. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008Interactive Media o The internet will allow us the opportunity to provide consumers with additional support that ties in with our “clever cooking” theme. Recipe ideas, tricks for ingredient substitutions and seasoning alternatives will be augmented by archived videos of actual cooking demonstrations. Televised cooking shows or live demonstrations are great, but they rely on the consumer’s ability to recall the steps hours or even days later. A greater benefit is provided by allowing the home chef to watch a program over the internet while creating their meal. The ability to pause and rewind a video will allow the cook to move at her own pace. The ease with which ideas for ingredient substitutions or seasoning alternatives can be accessed allow for even greater creativity during meal preparation.Who will do the work o The print and television media will need to be handled by an advertising agency. The size and sophistication of the campaign will prove too complicated to handle within the company. o The personal selling may require the hiring of new employees, individuals from a culinary background who can travel to the various regions to put on cooking demonstrations. Another viable option would be to train the current sales managers for each region on how to prepare a few simple meals before a live audience. We feel that the latter option will be the best, at least during the introduction stage. The regional sales representatives already have established relationships with retailers in their area. Because these representatives are already located in each major area, there is no additional cost of transporting a few specialists to each region. Furthermore, the early stages of promoting will not require extensive cooking skills, simply a few basic dishes that can be quickly learned and preformed. As the product moves into the growth stage, and consumers become accustomed to the basic recipes demonstrated, we may find that trained specialists will become a greater benefit. o Interactive media can be produced through either our current information technology department, or through the outsourcing to an independent contractor. Further cost analysis will determine which option will produce the greatest benefit at the lowest cost. Page | 23
  24. 24. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 PRICE NATURE OF DEMANDDue to the nature of our competition and availability of substitutes, we expect a highdegree of price elasticity. While there will certainly be some flexibility in which tomaneuver the price within a market, we can predict extremely limited flexibility.Pricing too low will only serve to discount our product as an inferior good, yetpricing too high will drive consumers toward purchasing any one of ourcompetitor’s brands.There are a number of pricing strategies we may want to adopt. A target returnobjective, or profit maximization objective will shift focus to markets where themost profit is to be reached. While this seems to fit well with the company’sobjective of reaching our profit goals for the next year, it will ultimately ignore alarge number of markets where the highest markups are simply unattainable.Certainly a sales-oriented objective seems to fit with the, considering the method wehave chosen to evaluate performance, yet this type of strategy often ignores profit,the underlying motivation behind the launch of the national brand. Penetrationpricing is a viable option, especially when moving into regions with a dominant localproducer. However, this method can easily lead to a pricing war, with eachcompetitor dropping prices to gain market-share. It is important to be competitive,without giving away too much in profits. For these reasons, it is recommended thatwe follow a combination of introductory pricing, discounts for the early stages of thenational product launch, and flexible pricing in order to achieve both ourdistribution and profit goals.Price levels will need to be tied to a more aggressive target than a simple markup ofour store brand. Currently Vivio Italian sausage is priced at a twenty percentmarkup from our store brand’s price. While this strategy has produced acompetitive price within our existing markets, it may not be the best strategy topursue in a nationwide plan. As such we propose an alternative pricing scheme, onethat is tied to the prices of regional leaders. This method of determining ourproduct’s price will ensure competitive pricing in new markets, more so than asimple markup of our own store brand product. Page | 24
  25. 25. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008Adjustments to the list price will follow not only geographic terms, but seasonal aswell. The pegging of our price to that of regional producers both ensures acompetitive price in every market, and will inherently involve a form of pricingdiscrimination. Regional pricing of our brand will allow for higher prices in certainmarkets, as well as lower prices in other markets. Furthermore, our pricing willfollow seasonal demand differences for Italian sausage. Research shows that thewinter months, October through February, are the months when Italian sausageproducts reach their peak demand. As such, it will be possible to charge a higherprice that reflects this increased demand. During the summer months, whendemand shifts to bratwurst and other products within our portfolio, we will find itbeneficial to charge a lower price to increase sales. CONTROL CONCURRENT FEEDBACKIt is of the utmost importance that we evaluate the success of our nationwideproduct using real time data. Sales volume will be the most effective way ofconcurrently tracking our performance. As these numbers will be availablemonthly, we will be able to compare actual sales values against our projections.Regional sales managers will play a crucial role in the concurrent control process aswell. Actual versus budgeted sales variances can best be interpreted by theseemployees that already have an understanding for geographical preferences.Should there be differences in preferred core values based on geographical region, itis important that we recognize these immediately, in order to tailor the promotionalthrust for these areas.Toll-free telephone lines and a forum for internet communication will add to thereal time feedback we need. While these channels are seldom used by the majorityof consumers, they offer the benefit of immediate responses to the consumer’ssatisfaction with the product. In order to increase the volume of feedback throughthese channels, we recommend Saxonville offer rebates on purchases. Whilecoupons and other discounting promotions are an option, they will likely only enticeusers who plan to continue purchasing the product. A rebate, however, is useful notonly to those who will purchase again, but those who dislike our brand of Italiansausage. It is these people who can provide us with the most beneficial informationto the effectiveness of our campaign. Page | 25
  26. 26. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 NON-CONCURRENT CONTROLSThe marketing research conducted in Pennsylvania and New Brunswick, New Jerseyhas been the major basis on which our conclusions are drawn. As such, similarresearch will be invaluable as we measure our performance in the months followingour initial product launch. Therefore, we recommend conducting research inseveral regions throughout the nation at the close of our primary sales season. Bycoupling our findings from the concurrent controls with the more in-depthunderstanding of individual markets through market research, we gain the greatestamount of insight into the promotional needs for each geographical region.The compilation of each month’s sales data will also be important. As our fiscal yearends at the midpoint of our peak demand season for Vivio/Primo Italian sausage, itis vital we not only account for monthly data or yearly data, but rather seasonaldata. The analysis of the seasonal sales data will only be understood after thewinter months give way to spring. FINANCIAL FORECASTSExpected growth of the Vivio/Primo brand will come from two distinct sources: o Expanding from 16% of the nation’s supermarkets to a nationwide product will have the effect of increasing volume more than six-fold (6.25) o Continued growth in the Italian sausage market across all producers provides an additional increase to that of simply selling in more markets.  Our base case projections for Vivio/Primo brand Italian sausage is based on reaching 100% of markets coupled with a 7% increase in industry sales Product $ Volume Vivio Italian Sweet Sausage Link 24.41 oz $24,840,712 Vivio Italian Hot Sausage Link 24.41 oz $126,116,801 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Link 24.41 oz $283,649,537 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Link 55 oz $18,919,252 Vivio Italian Sweet Sausage Ground 14 oz $13,504,136 Vivio Italian Hot Sausage Ground 14 oz $231,956 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Ground 14 oz. $9,036,905 Vivio Italian Cheese Sausage Link 14.7 oz $5,818,666 Vivio Italian Pepper Sausage Link 14.9 oz $1,071,552 Vivio Italian Garlic Sausage Link 14.7 oz $5,571,136 Vivio Italian Mix Sausage Link 55 oz $8,260,353 $497,021,006 Page | 26
  27. 27. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008o In order to perform a scenario analysis, we must include best case and worst case projections for our yearly sales figures.  The assumptions on which we base our best case scenario is that our product reaches 100% of the nations markets, and the industry-wide increased consumption rate of 15% Product $ Volume Vivio Italian Sweet Sausage Link 24.41 oz $26,697,962 Vivio Italian Hot Sausage Link 24.41 oz $135,546,094 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Link 24.41 oz $304,856,979 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Link 55 oz $20,333,776 Vivio Italian Sweet Sausage Ground 14 oz $14,513,791 Vivio Italian Hot Sausage Ground 14 oz $249,298 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Ground 14 oz. $9,712,562 Vivio Italian Cheese Sausage Link 14.7 oz $6,253,707 Vivio Italian Pepper Sausage Link 14.9 oz $1,151,668 Vivio Italian Garlic Sausage Link 14.7 oz $5,987,669 Vivio Italian Mix Sausage Link 55 oz $8,877,949 $534,181,455  Of course, there is also the possibility that the industry has seen the end of its continued growth. This assumption leads to the worst case scenarioz: Saxonville achieves its goal of reaching 100% of the national markets, but there is not further industry growth Product $ Volume Vivio Italian Sweet Sausage Link 24.41 oz $23,215,619 Vivio Italian Hot Sausage Link 24.41 oz $117,866,169 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Link 24.41 oz $265,093,025 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Link 55 oz $17,681,544 Vivio Italian Sweet Sausage Ground 14 oz $12,620,688 Vivio Italian Hot Sausage Ground 14 oz $216,781 Vivio Italian Mild Sausage Ground 14 oz. $8,445,706 Vivio Italian Cheese Sausage Link 14.7 oz $5,438,006 Vivio Italian Pepper Sausage Link 14.9 oz $1,001,450 Vivio Italian Garlic Sausage Link 14.7 oz $5,206,669 Vivio Italian Mix Sausage Link 55 oz $7,719,956 $464,505,613 Page | 27
  28. 28. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 TIMING SEQUENCE OF EVENTSBecause the purpose behind the launch of a national Italian sausage brand is toachieve profit objectives for the next fiscal year, it is imperative that the nationallaunch occur before the start of the peak demand season. As such, we are proposingan aggressive timeline. o We must begin the search for an advertising company to handle the multifaceted national campaign immediately. In order to maximize sales at the end of the fiscal year, it is important to have the national advertising support ready to launch concurrently with the product. We recommend spending no more than two months to select the agency that will handle the account; this will take us through the end of May. The agency will then only have four months to create a national campaign of both print and televised media. o With six months until national product launch, we must also begin training our regional sales executives on basic product knowledge and sample cooking demonstrations. These too will need to coincide with the product launch in order to maximize sales in the final three months of the fiscal year. o Three months prior to launch, we must hire an information technology contracting firm to begin development of the interactive media. One month prior to launch, the internet tools should be online and available for use. Current users of the other portfolio products can begin touring the additional information. o One month prior to the national launch, regional sales managers will begin communicating with retailers the details of the new product, as well as channel promotions and shelving requirements. o Two weeks prior to the launch, regional sales managers will begin educating retailers on the features and benefits of the Primo brand. Retailers are the first point of contact for the consumers; retailers also will only carry those products which generate a profit. These factors create the need for retailers to be trained about how our product is differentiated from the competition. o October 1st, national product launch LIKELY CHANGES OF PRODUCT LIFECYCLEAs the existing market and new markets move from the growth and introductorystage respectively, they will reach a point where both converge in the productmaturity stage. As such, new promotional methods will be adopted, specificallyadvertising. Page | 28
  29. 29. Tactical Marketing Plan: Launch of National Italian Sausage Brand February 13, 2008 REFERENCES1. Major, Meg (2006).Kicking it up a NICHE. Progressive Grocer. 85, 42-45.2. Pellegrini, Megan (2007, August). Edging out the competition. The National Provisioner, 46-48.3. (2006, August). Dinner sausage sizzles. The National Provisioner, 54-56.4. Dori Fors Business/Facility Coach Johnsonville Sausage, LLC, PO Box 906 Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085-0906 920-453-6924 Wed. 2/4/2008 11:39 am Email Contact5. Dreyers grand ice cream, inc. Retrieved February 6, 2008, from Funding Universe Web site: Cream-Inc-Company-History.html6. Strauss, William A. (2008). Economic outlook symposium: Summary of 2007 results and forecasts for 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2008, from Chicago Fed Letter Web site: www.chicagofed.org7. A. B. A. B. A. B. A. B. A. B. substitutes/15. Page | 29