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We make brands stronger.
We make brand leaders smarter.
Case Study, using fictional “Gray’s Cookies” brand to complete a business
review, which is the first stage of our Beloved Brands planning process.
Business Review Format
We make brands stronger.
We make brand leaders smarter.
Define
the
Brand
Think Strategically
Big
Idea
At Beloved Brands, we use a branding approach
Vision Analysis
Key Issues
Strategies
Execution
• Advertising
• In-Store
• Innovation
• Consumers
• Category
• Channels
• Competitors
• Brand
Values, Goals
• Experience
Brand Plan
Create Brand Plans
Inspire
creative
execution
Analyze
performance
Sm
art
Creative
Ideas
We make brands stronger.
We make brand leaders smarter.
2
4
31
Strategic questions to help
frame the key issues
5
Drivers and inhibitors currently facing
brand. Risks and opportunities for future.
Deep dive review looks at every
potential area of the brand
• Market: Macro view, economic indicators,
consumer behavior, technology, political
• Consumer: Target, buying habits, trends,
consumer enemies, key insights
• Channels: growth channels, major
customers, available tools and programs
• Competitors: Performance, positioning,
innovation, pricing, distribution, perceptions.
• Brand: Funnel, reputation, tracking results,
pricing, distribution, financial analysis.
Drivers Inhibitors
Factors of strength
or inertia that
accelerate your
brand’s growth.
Weaknesses or
friction slows brand
down, leak to fixi
Opportunities Threats
Changing
consumer needs,
technologies,
channels, legal,
Competitor launch,
trade barriers,
customer
preference.
What is the core strength your
brand can win on?
How engaged are consumers?
What is your current
competitive position?
How tightly connected is your
consumer to your brand?
What is the current business
situation your brand faces?
3
1
5
4
We make brands stronger.
We make brand leaders smarter.
1. Where could we be?
2. Where are we?
3. Why are we here?
4. How can we get there?
5. What do we need to do?
Before getting started on your Brand Plan, map out your
strategic thinking by asking 5 simple strategic questions
Vision/Purpose/Goals
Situation Analysis
Key Issues
Strategies
Execute & Measure
Questions to ask Planning elements
1
2
3
4
5 6
Use “where are we” questions to uncover
answers that frame the overall brand plan.
Lay out
elements of
the Brand
Plan, on one
page and in
a formal
presentation
Brand
Plan
2
The Annual “Brand Plan On a Page”
Analysis Issues and Strategies Executional Plans
P&L forecast
• Sales $30,385
• Gross Margin $17,148
• GM % 56%
• Marketing Budget $8,850
• Contribution Margin $6,949
• CM% 23%
Drivers
• Taste drives a high conversion of Trial to
Purchase
• Strong Listings in Food Channels
• Exceptional brand health scores among Early
Adopters. Highly Beloved Brand among niche.
Inhibitors
• Low familiar yet to turn our sales into loyalty
• Awareness held back due to weak Advertising
• Low distribution at specialty stores. Poor
coverage.
• Low Purchase Frequency even among most
loyal.
Threats
• Launch of Mainstream cookie brands
(Pepperidge Farms and Nabisco).
• De-listing 2 weakest skus weaken in-store
presence
• Legal Challenge to tastes claims
Opportunities
• R&D has 5 new flavors in development.
• Sales Broker create gains at Specialty Stores
• Explore social media to convert loyal following.
Key Issues
1. What’s the priority choice for growth: find new
users or drive usage frequency among
loyalists?
2. Where should the investment/resources focus
and deployment be to drive our awareness
and share needs for Gray’s?
3. How will we defend Gray’s against the
proposed Q1 2014 ‘healthy cookie’ launches
from Pepperidge Farms and Nabisco?
Strategies
1. Continue to attract new users to Gray’s
2. Focus investment on driving awareness and
trial with new consumers and building a
presence at retail.
3. Build defense plan against new entrants that
defends with consumers and at store level.
Goals
• Increase penetration from 10% to 12%,
specifically up from 15% to 20% with the core
target. Monitor usage frequency among the
most loyal to ensure it stays steady.
• Increase awareness from 33% to 42%,
specifically up from 45% to 50% within the
core target. Drive trial from 15% to 20%. Focus
for sales is to close distribution gaps going
from 62% to 72%.
• Hold dollar share during competitive launches
and continue to grow 11% post launch gaining
up to 1.2% share. Target zero losses at shelf.
Advertising
• Use awareness to drive trial of the new Grays.
Target “Proactive Preventers”. Suburban
working women, 35-40.Main Message of “great
tasting cookie without the guilt, so you can stay
in control of your health”. Media includes 15
second TV, specialty health magazines, event
signage, digital and social media
Sampling
• Drive trial with In-store sampling at grocery,
Costco, health food stores and event sampling
at fitness, yoga, women’s networking, new
moms.
Distribution
• Support Q4 retail blitz with message focused
on holding shelf space during the competitive
launches. Q2 specialty blitz to grow distribution
at key specialty stores.
Innovation
• Launch two new flavours in Q4/15 & Q4/16.
Explore new diet claims, motivating and own-
able.
Competitive Defense Plan
• Pre Launch sales blitz to shore up all
distribution gaps. At launch, heavy
merchandising, locking up key ad dates,
BOGO. TV, print, coupons, in-store sampling.
• Use sales story that any new “healthy” cookies
should displace under-performing and
declining unhealthy cookies.
Brand Vision: To be the first ‘healthy cookie’ to generate the craving, popularity and sales of a mainstream cookie. $100 Million brand by 2020.
Forecast
Analysis
Brand Vision
Strategies
Execution
Key Issues
Goals
1
5
4
3
2
6
5
Leading the Brand Planning process
Case Study: Gray’s Cookies
Gray’s Cookies is based on a 40-year-old family recipe that had been used for years in a local coffee shop in Stowe
Vermont. Gray’s was a local favorite and even among tourists, famous for it’s Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter
flavors. No one realized it was also a healthy treat—low fat, low calories. With the growing health trend in the 1990’s,
the Gray family decided to capitalize and launched Gray’s on a regional basis in New England and received moderate
success. In 2005, one of Boston’s internationally known diet experts came out with a glowing review of Gray’s. Other
dietitians backed Gray’s. The brand was now receiving national attention and demand. Robert Gray, grandson of the
original founder took Gray’s national.
Using the regional sales results, Gray’s was able to gain a national listing at Whole Foods in 2006. Other food
retailers took notice and Gray’s secured listings at Safeway, Super-Valu, Kroger, Tops and A&P. Gray has a strong
listing base at food, but limited in other channels. Gray’s launched one new product every second year, with Oatmeal
in 2007, Peanut Butter in 2009 and Cranberry in 2011. Only Peanut Butter is meeting current sales thresholds. Gray’s
success came from “proactive preventers” consumers, who claim to work out 3+ times per week and ‘read labels
before eating’. Gray’s is loved among the very tight niche, but has yet to be embraced by mainstream consumers. The
brand’s awareness is soft, trial is fair, and conversion to purchase is very strong because of the taste. Gray’s recently
conducted a blind taste study shows Gray’s is as good as the market leaders. On top of that, watching what Special K
was doing, they did a study that showed if you used Gray’s as a Desert replacement, consumers could lose 5lbs over
12 weeks. The current customer value proposition is targeting Healthy Proactive Preventers. Arguably, Gray’s is a
beloved brand already among that niche target. Where else can they go, in order to get a broader mainstream
audience? Main benefit is balance of taste and health. Emotional connection is the guilt-free zone; allowing
consumers to cheat, yet stay in control of their diet. Reason to believe is one backing up of the taste and the other the
health. Natural ingredient is a bit of a throw away re-enforcement, maybe for the packaging.
The big question for Gray’s is how do you gain a broader audience for Gray’s? Or do we try to get current users to
use more. How do we use Advertising to drive more awareness? What role does gaining a broader distribution play?
And while there’s been mixed success using innovation, what’s the plan going forward?
2016 Business Review
This is an example of an Ideal Business Review presentation to
follow as a potential format or tips at each part of the plan.
Brand
Plan
Brand Vision
To be the first ‘healthy cookie’ to generate the craving, popularity and sales of a mainstream cookie.
Make Gray’s a $100 Million brand by 2025.
2017 Goals
Goals 2017 2018 Comments
Sales $27.5M $30.38M 11% growth rate
Share 0.8% 1.2% New triple chocolate 0.5% share
Distribution 62% 72% Increase coming mainly from fixing specialty.
Awareness 33% 42% Below norm, 80% among niche, < 20% overall
Purchase 10% 12% Brand promise & sampling helps drive trial.
Repeat 4% 5% High quality Taste converts high repeat
Vision and Goals
Business
Review
Theme of the Business Review
It is time to transition Gray’s from a product-led brand into
an idea-led brand by connecting with consumers by
owning the idea of “guilt free” snacking, rather than just
selling a great tasting cookie. Begin to dominate and lead
the “good for you” cookie segment.
Key
Issues
Gray’s Cookies Business Review summary
• Consumer: New consumers attracted to
Gray’s “guilt free” positioning, but conversion
to loyalty is due to the great taste.
• Marketplace: As America’s eating habits are
changing the cookie category is shrinking,
while the good-for-you segment thrives.
• Channels: Gray’s has many distribution gaps,
but needs to be mindful of choices, to maintain
investment in driving consumer demand.
• Competitors: Grays has an opportunity to
dominate the good for you competitors
before traditional brands enter segment.
• Brand: Growth has come from product
quality, but new “guilt free” position will
connect deeper and fuel demand
It is time to transition Gray’s from a
product-led brand into an idea-led
brand by connecting with
consumers by owning the idea of
“guilt free” snacking, rather than
just selling a great tasting cookie.
Begin to dominate and lead the
“good for you” cookie segment.
Themes each section from the review
Big Challenge for future
Brand
Plan
Drivers
• Taste drives a high conversion of Trial to Purchase (65% vs. norm of 50%).
• Strong Listings has driven strong Distribution in Food Channels (95%)
• Exceptional brand health scores among Early Adopters (“Proactive Preventers”)
making it a highly Beloved Brand among the niche.
Inhibitors
• Brand Funnel scores show that we are still a niche player (low familiar), but have
yet to turn our sales into strong following (low loyalty)
• Awareness among mainstream target (20%) held back due to weak Advertising
scores. Low Attention scores and Brand Link scores.
• Low distribution at specialty stores at only 16%. Poor sales coverage.
• Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm of 7.3) even among the
most loyal early adopters.
Gray’s Cookies Drivers and Inhibitors
Brand
Plan
Risks
• Mainstream cookie brands could enter the ‘health’ segment through R&D or
Acquisition. Rumors that Pepperidge Farms will launch in Q1 2014, and Nabisco
Q3 2014.
• De-listing of our 2 weakest skus (Oatmeal and Cranberry) because of POS
thresholds, could weaken our in-store presence down to 3 skus.
• Legal Challenge to “tastes as good as your favorite cookie”.
Opportunities
• R&D has 5 new flavors in development. Could launch Peanut Butter in Q4 of 2013
(top 15% in testing), Chocolate Chunks in Q2 of 2014 (top 50%)
• Specialty Sales Broker could specifically target Specialty Stores, which are in high
growth mode (+15% per year)
• Explore social media options as a vehicle for converting strong loyal following into
a more mainstream mass appeal.
Gray’s Cookies Risks and Opportunities
Key
Issues
Brand Health and Wealth
Internal Health:
Divided team on whether to go after new
users or drive frequency among core
users. Advertising programs has not
created awareness. Channel strength has
not reached beyond Food. Innovation has
not been consistent.
External Health:
Gray’s is a beloved brand among a core
niche (“Preventers”) but relatively
indifferent and unknown among broader
audience. Even among loyalists, frequency
is very weak. Gray’s is a special treat
rather than a usual brand.
Internal Wealth:
Gray’s has a unique recipe. With marketing
investment, profit margins have fallen from
12% to 9%, without seeing the growth ROI
from the programs. Debate on whether
Gray’s should focus on channel growth vs.
marketing led programs.
External Wealth:
Gray’s has a strong growth rate at +20%
CAGR. Sales of $25Million with a 48%
gross margins, above category norm of
42%. Gray’s has achieved a 3.3% share
at grocery but only 0.4% in the other
channels.
Internal
Brand Wealth
External
Brand Health
Brand
Plan
Key Issues Facing the Brand
What’s the priority choice for growth: find new users or drive usage
frequency among loyalists?
Where should the investment/resources focus and deployment be
to drive our awareness and share needs for Gray’s?
1
2
How will we defend Gray’s against the proposed Q1 2014 ‘healthy
cookie’ launches from Pepperidge Farms and Nabisco?
3
Brand
Plan
Sales Projection
Forecast for 2015 $27,354 Current LE for the year.
Forecasted Gains Comments
Added Awareness $6,565 New consumers become aware of Grays
Higher Trial Rate 2,000 Using awareness and sampling to drive trial
Walmart listing 340 New food listing
C store Listing 200 Based on success of last year's test
New Innovation 1,500 Two new flavors in Q3
Forecasted Declines
Two New Launches 4,500 Ipsos predicted impact on Gray's
Lost spring displays 630 Cancelled displays to pay for defense plan
Discontinued flavors 430 Cutting two worst performers
Net Forecast for 2016 $30,385 Expected gain for 2016 will be +11% growth.
Brand
Plan
Profit Projections
2014 2015 2016
$ g% $ g% $ g% Comments
Net Sales 21,978 44% 27,354 24% 30,385 11% With 2 competitors launching, growth will slow to +11%
Cost of Goods Sold 10,333 40% 12,606 22% 13,237 5% New plant production has given lower cost of goods.
Gross Margin 11,645 49% 14,748 27% 17,148 16% Gross margins continue to make efficiency gains.
GM % 53% 54% 56%
R&D 346 3% 352 2% 360 2% Holding steady R&D flavor innovation budget.
Marketing Budget 5,528 22% 7,962 44% 8,850 11% Spending up in line with the sales forecast.
Ad Merchandisers 568 22% 855 51% 850 -1%
TV 1200 42% 900 -25% 1200 33% Increased budget as part of defense plan
On Line 233 3% 480 106% 900 88% Staying competitive with shift to on line.
Print 1355 22% 1050 -86% 1000 -100% Continued use of specialty health magazines
PR 59 15% 77 31% 200 160%
Sampling 500 4% 1200 140% 1400 17% Sampling is part of the mix to drive trial. Defense Plan.
Sponsorship 100 33% 500 400% 0 -100%
Research 200 55% 300 50% 500 67% Added tracking of two competitive launches.
Packaging 133 66% 100 -25% 50 -50%
Display 430 44% 1300 202% 1400 8% Lock up displays during the competitive launches.
Trade 750 1200 60% 1350 13% Increased trade spend to stay competitive.
Other SG&A 2,000 22% 289 -86% 989 242%
Contribution Income 3,771 22% 6,145 63% 6,949 13% Gains coming from production efficiencies.
CI % 17% 22% 23%
Business
Review
Business Review Agenda
Marketplace	
Consumer	
Channels	
Competitors	
Brand

2
3
4
5
1
Business
Review
Marketplace
As America’s eating habits are changing the cookie category
is shrinking, while the good-for-you segment thrives.
1
Business
Review
Flattening Cookie sales have created a war among major
competitors—lower prices and margins.
• While the overall cookie category had grown steadily through the 90s, changing consumer
habits led to declining unit sales over the past few years
• Loss has been accelerated by price decreases—as major players lowered price with
increased pack sizes (better value) as a strategy to gain share to counter the declining sales.
As a niche premium brand, Gray’s need to avoid the head to
head competitive battles and not use price as a weapon.
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Sales	$MM 3980 4057 3910 3718 3858 3430 3287 2951 2718
%	change 3% 2% -4% -5% 4% -11% -4% -10% -8%
Unit	Sales 2000 1960 1975 1978 1999 1960 1900 1822 1777
%	change 3% -2% 1% 0% 1% -2% -3% -4% -2%
Price	(Sales	$/units)
1.99 2.07 1.98 1.88 1.93 1.75 1.73 1.62 1.53
%	change 3% 4% -4% -5% 3% -9% -1% -6% -6%
Marketplace
Business
Review
Category growth and Gray’s growth coming from the West,
lagging in Southern region.
• The healthy cookie segment is seeing tremendous grow rates, as consumers moving to
healthier snacking options—with the West and Central driving that trend. Gray’s strongest
region is the West where we see +63% growth rate for Gray’s in a category growing 47%.
• The south is the only region trailing, where we see a slower movement towards health
trends. Gray’s share is also struggling in the South.
Stay focused on fueling the growth in the strong Western region
before trying to fix the slow growth Southern region.
WestSouth North East Central
Grays Cookies
Dad’s Cookies
Betty’s Kitchens
Scottish Sweets
Freaky Sunshine
Aurora Brands
Share
Point
Change
Share
Point
Change
Share
Point
Change
Share
Point
Change
Share
Point
Change
Share Share Share Share Share
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
22%
+13% +1% +27% +63% +33%
% growth
Marketplace
Business
Review
America continually looking at variations of diet—low calorie,
low carb, low fat, gluten free—yet consumers remain confused
• There is a lot of confusion in the
market, as the many diets
compete with each other.
Consumers lack proper education
about their eating habits.
• While government is attempting to
drive education, the lobbying effort
by major manufacturers is battling
attempts at improved food
labeling.
There is opportunity for Gray’s to
help educate consumers on how
to eat properly, and own the
solution for snacking occasions
Marketplace
Business
Review
Marketplace Review
1. Flattening Cookie sales have created a war among major competitors
—lower prices and margins
2. Category growth and Gray’s growth coming from the West, lagging in
Southern region.
3. America continually looking at variations of diet—low calorie, low carb,
low fat, gluten free—yet consumers remain confused.
Gray’s Cookies should continue to grow in the brand’s high
growth areas, to establish a strong share position to defend
against new entrants from traditional cookie brands.
Business
Review
Consumer
New consumers attracted to Gray’s “guilt free” positioning,
but conversion to loyalty is due to the great taste.
2
Business
Review
Gray’s taste is well liked by consumers. Taste drives a high
conversion of trial to purchase (65% versus a norm of 50%).
• In a blind taste test, Gray’s performed equal to the
consumer’s regular cookie. When Consumers
found out it was a low fat, low calorie option, they
said they would make it their regular cookie.
• In the market, Gray’s has a very high conversion
to purchase beating the norm (65% to 50%) and
considerably higher than the other two ‘healthy’
cookies (Dad’s and Sarah’s)
• Gray’s taste helps drive a high repeat %, beating
norm 40% to 25%.
Continue to drive trial, with the
high conversion to purchase.
Repeat	%
Conversion	%	to	Purchase
Sarah’s
Dad’s
Norm
Gray’s
Sarah’s
Dad’s
Norm
Gray’s
Consumers
Business
Review
Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm
of 7.3) even among the most loyal early adopters.
• Gray’s is under-developed on usage
frequency, vs. the category norm and
vs. Dad’s the nearest competitor. If we
could match the norm, we could triple
our business.
• Even amongst the most loyal
consumers, most use it as a treat (4x
per year) rather than a usual brand.
Recommend leveraging the Brand
love among loyalists to drive
frequency by creating a routine.
Consumers
0
2.5
5
7.5
10
Dad's Gray's Devon's Norm
7.3
5.6
2.2
9.3
Boxes per year
13%
25%
25%
38% weekly
monthly
4x per year
1x per year
Usage Frequency
Business
Review
Consumers love Gray’s new “guilt free” concept
• In concept testing, the “guilt free” cookie concept finished in the winning zone, where it scored
above the norm on both motivating (top 2 box score of 33% versus category norm of 22%) to
consumers and own-able for Gray’s (top 2 box score of 73% versus norm of 53%).
New tagline and advertising must reflect the new brand concept.
Consumers
Business
Review
Consumer Review
1. Gray’s taste is well liked by consumers. The taste drives a high
conversion of trial to purchase (65% versus a norm of 50%).
2. Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm of 7.3) even
among the most loyal early adopters.
3. Consumers love Gray’s new “guilt free” positioning concept
Need to use the “guilt free” concept to drive consumer trial,
knowing that the great taste will convert those that try.
Business
Review
Channels
Gray’s has many distribution gaps, but needs to be mindful of
choices, to maintain investment in driving consumer demand.
3
Business
Review
Need to maintain strength at Food, even while
looking at new distribution points.
• In the food channels, Gray’s has 90% distribution compared to 60% to Dad’s, our nearest
‘healthy’ cookie competitor. However, Gray’s has an over-reliance on the Food channel,
with 73% of the business coming from the Food channel, compared with 40% of Dad’s,
who have a much more balanced distribution. The category norm is 38%.
Strong Listings has driven strong distribution in Food
Channels (90%)
Gray's
Dad's
Channels
Business
Review
Explore options to reach the specialty market, which
could add incremental sales volume.
• While Gray’s is exceptionally strong in Food, it is equally weak in the Specialty channels,
with only 16% distribution compared to Dad’s at 72%.
• In Specialty, Gray’s focuses on national listings but there are very few national accounts.
Dad’s uses 210 part time merchandisers to reach the Specialty channel.
Low distribution at specialty stores at only 16%.
Poor sales coverage.
Channels
Business
Review
Weak coop/display performance for Gray’s is hurting in stores.
Directly linked to our lower dollar terms being offered.
• Gray’s is not getting it’s fair share of co-op
(0.89 index to share) and display (0.93 index
to share).
• Buyers have commented that our terms at 8%
coop dollars are not as strong as the average
of our competitors, who offer 15% coop
dollars.
• Scottish Sweets is highly over-indexed and
competitive intelligence shows that they have
been offering 20%.
Brands
$
Share
Share of
Co-op
Share of
Display
Co-op
FSI
Display
FSI
Gray’s 24.7 21.9 22.9 89 93
Dad’s 21.9 20.7 20.7 94 95
Stan’s 14.8 14.8 13.6 100 92
Devon 13.5 16.6 17.8 123 132
Channels
Work with sales on the ideal coop dollars that enable Gray’s to
get better in-store merchandising while maintaining healthy
advertising budgets to drive needed trial.
Business
Review
Channel Review
1. Strong Listings has driven strong distribution in Food Channels (90%)
2. Low distribution at specialty stores at only 16%. Poor sales coverage.
3. Weak coop and display performance for Gray’s is hurting us in the stores.
Directly linked to our lower dollar terms being offered.
Overall distribution continues to be a weakness for Gray’s,
and we need to ensure we make the right choices to
strengthen where it pays back.
Business
Review
Competitors
Grays has an opportunity to dominate the good for you
competitors before traditional brands enter segment.
4
Business
Review
Gray’s needs to re-evaluate their strategy and use their
power to begin to dominate the “good for you” segment.
• When Gray’s launched, the
intention was to dominate the
“good for you” segment of the
market. At the time, it was 1% of
the overall category but has since
grown to 6.4% this year—gaining
the attention of the large
traditional players.
Gray’s guerrilla strategy has gained notice among big
brands putting Gray’s at risk in head to head battle.
Tradi>onal
Good	for	you
100	Calories
6.4%
Competitors
Business
Review
Our toughest competitor is Dad’s who wins on Innovation
and price deep discounts. Weak on taste.
• Dad’s brand is the mature brand in the “good for you” segment holding on average a
25% share over the past 10 years. Dad’s scores low on taste quality, but higher on
innovation than Gray’s, launching 2 new flavors each year. In Q4 this year, Dad’s fought
their declining share with a “buy one get one free” that we decided not to match
24.9%
27.9%28.5%
24.6%
23.6%
21.3%
24.2%
27.8%
25.7%
24.7%
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Gray’s needs to step up on innovation to avoid losing trial to Dad’s,
and then use our superior quality to gain share against Dad’s.
Competitors
Business
Review
Major risk if the major cookie brands launch healthy
versions that are near-match taste versus current brands.
• In the last few years, we are seeing major
brand names entering into the healthy snacks
—with Lays Potato Chips and Hershey
Chocolates—doing a very good job in
duplicating the master brand.
• These power brands are beginning to dominate
their sub categories pushing out the mom-n-
pop type brands.
• The only success from major brands in cookies
came from the 100 calorie packs, which were
clearly a sacrifice on size and taste profile.
Continue to establish Gray’s with a solid
connection to loyal consumers before the big
brands enter the good for you segment.
Competitors
Business
Review
Gray’s has gotten big enough to attract attention of the major players
and needs a defense strategy to stay the segment leader.
Competitive Review
1. Gray’s may need to re-evaluate their guerrilla strategy and
use their power to begin to dominate the “good for you”
segment.
2. Our toughest competitor is Dad’s who wins on Innovation and
price deep discounts. They are weak on taste.
3. Major risk if the major cookie brands launch healthy versions
that are near-match taste versus current brands.
Business
Review
Brand
Growth has come from product quality, but new “guilt free”
position will connect deeper and fuel demand
5
Business
Review
Exceptional scores among early Adopters (“Proactive
Preventers”) making it highly beloved among the niche.
• Gray’s is very healthy among “Preventers” with strong awareness at 80% and all related Brand
Funnel scores significantly above norm. However, that strength has not carried over to the
overall market, where Gray’s is significantly under-developed in the overall market.
Explore ways to leverage Love from Preventers, as early
adopters, to influence the rest of the market.
Preventers Overall Norm
Brand Funnel Scores Preventers vs. Overall
Brand
Business
Review
Brand Funnel scores show that we are still a niche player (low familiar),
but have yet to turn our sales into strong following (low loyalty)
• Skinny Brand Funnel shows a lot of
gaps, pointing to the lack of marketing
success in generating awareness,
• Year 6, Gray’s still has very low Brand
Awareness (33% vs. 60% norm).
• Poor Ad tracking shows low Attention
(30% vs. norm of 50%) and poor Brand
Link ratio (.32 vs. .55 norm)
Both ends of funnel need
fixing. Need to choose
between either building
awareness or driving loyalty.
Brand
Business
Review
Awareness among target (20%) held back due to weak
advertising scores. Low attention scores and Brand Link scores.
• The latest Ad (“Back Home Again”)
failed to break through (Aided Recall
of only 38% vs. 62% norm).
• The Brand Link was considerably off
at only 33% vs. 50% norm.
• On the positive, the brand appears
highly unique suggesting the
concept is strong.
• For those who are engaged, the
purchase intention scores in line
with norms.
Need better execution of Advertising. Focus on driving stronger
recall and brand link to push awareness.
Tracking	Results Gray’s Norm
Aided	Recall 38 62
Unaided	Recall 30 46
Brand	Recognition 10 23
Brand	Link .33 .50
Main	Message 64 60
Uniqueness 38 22
Purchase	Intent 10 9
Ad Tracking
Brand
Business
Review
Brand Review
1. Exceptional brand health scores among Early Adopters (“Proactive
Preventers”) making it a highly Beloved Brand among the niche.
2. Brand Funnel scores show that we are still a niche player (low familiar),
but have yet to turn our sales into strong following (low loyalty)
3. Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm of 7.3) even
among the most loyal early adopters.
4. Awareness among mainstream target (20%) held back due to weak
Advertising scores. Low Attention scores and Brand Link scores.
After six years, Gray’s is a strategic crossroad, do we get
more to “like” us or the current few to “love” us?
Brand
Plan
Brand Vision
• To be the first ‘healthy cookie’ to generate the craving, popularity and sales of a
mainstream cookie. Make Gray’s a $100 Million brand by 2020.
Strategies
1. Continue to attract new users to Gray’s
2. Focus investment on driving awareness and trial with new consumers and building a
presence at retail.
3. Build defense plan against new entrants that defends with consumers and at store level.
Game Plan must do’s for 2016
1. Continue to gain new users for Gray’s, driving trial from 15% to 20% and household
penetration from 10% to 12%.
2. Hold Gray’s share during the two competitive launches and show 11% sales growth.
3. Increase Gray’s distribution from 61% to 72%, while increasing the footprint of “healthy
cookies” at the shelf.
Gray’s Cookies Plan Summary

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Ideal Business Review

  • 1. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Case Study, using fictional “Gray’s Cookies” brand to complete a business review, which is the first stage of our Beloved Brands planning process. Business Review Format
  • 2. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Define the Brand Think Strategically Big Idea At Beloved Brands, we use a branding approach Vision Analysis Key Issues Strategies Execution • Advertising • In-Store • Innovation • Consumers • Category • Channels • Competitors • Brand Values, Goals • Experience Brand Plan Create Brand Plans Inspire creative execution Analyze performance Sm art Creative Ideas
  • 3. We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 2 4 31 Strategic questions to help frame the key issues 5 Drivers and inhibitors currently facing brand. Risks and opportunities for future. Deep dive review looks at every potential area of the brand • Market: Macro view, economic indicators, consumer behavior, technology, political • Consumer: Target, buying habits, trends, consumer enemies, key insights • Channels: growth channels, major customers, available tools and programs • Competitors: Performance, positioning, innovation, pricing, distribution, perceptions. • Brand: Funnel, reputation, tracking results, pricing, distribution, financial analysis. Drivers Inhibitors Factors of strength or inertia that accelerate your brand’s growth. Weaknesses or friction slows brand down, leak to fixi Opportunities Threats Changing consumer needs, technologies, channels, legal, Competitor launch, trade barriers, customer preference. What is the core strength your brand can win on? How engaged are consumers? What is your current competitive position? How tightly connected is your consumer to your brand? What is the current business situation your brand faces? 3 1 5 4 We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. 1. Where could we be? 2. Where are we? 3. Why are we here? 4. How can we get there? 5. What do we need to do? Before getting started on your Brand Plan, map out your strategic thinking by asking 5 simple strategic questions Vision/Purpose/Goals Situation Analysis Key Issues Strategies Execute & Measure Questions to ask Planning elements 1 2 3 4 5 6 Use “where are we” questions to uncover answers that frame the overall brand plan. Lay out elements of the Brand Plan, on one page and in a formal presentation Brand Plan 2 The Annual “Brand Plan On a Page” Analysis Issues and Strategies Executional Plans P&L forecast • Sales $30,385 • Gross Margin $17,148 • GM % 56% • Marketing Budget $8,850 • Contribution Margin $6,949 • CM% 23% Drivers • Taste drives a high conversion of Trial to Purchase • Strong Listings in Food Channels • Exceptional brand health scores among Early Adopters. Highly Beloved Brand among niche. Inhibitors • Low familiar yet to turn our sales into loyalty • Awareness held back due to weak Advertising • Low distribution at specialty stores. Poor coverage. • Low Purchase Frequency even among most loyal. Threats • Launch of Mainstream cookie brands (Pepperidge Farms and Nabisco). • De-listing 2 weakest skus weaken in-store presence • Legal Challenge to tastes claims Opportunities • R&D has 5 new flavors in development. • Sales Broker create gains at Specialty Stores • Explore social media to convert loyal following. Key Issues 1. What’s the priority choice for growth: find new users or drive usage frequency among loyalists? 2. Where should the investment/resources focus and deployment be to drive our awareness and share needs for Gray’s? 3. How will we defend Gray’s against the proposed Q1 2014 ‘healthy cookie’ launches from Pepperidge Farms and Nabisco? Strategies 1. Continue to attract new users to Gray’s 2. Focus investment on driving awareness and trial with new consumers and building a presence at retail. 3. Build defense plan against new entrants that defends with consumers and at store level. Goals • Increase penetration from 10% to 12%, specifically up from 15% to 20% with the core target. Monitor usage frequency among the most loyal to ensure it stays steady. • Increase awareness from 33% to 42%, specifically up from 45% to 50% within the core target. Drive trial from 15% to 20%. Focus for sales is to close distribution gaps going from 62% to 72%. • Hold dollar share during competitive launches and continue to grow 11% post launch gaining up to 1.2% share. Target zero losses at shelf. Advertising • Use awareness to drive trial of the new Grays. Target “Proactive Preventers”. Suburban working women, 35-40.Main Message of “great tasting cookie without the guilt, so you can stay in control of your health”. Media includes 15 second TV, specialty health magazines, event signage, digital and social media Sampling • Drive trial with In-store sampling at grocery, Costco, health food stores and event sampling at fitness, yoga, women’s networking, new moms. Distribution • Support Q4 retail blitz with message focused on holding shelf space during the competitive launches. Q2 specialty blitz to grow distribution at key specialty stores. Innovation • Launch two new flavours in Q4/15 & Q4/16. Explore new diet claims, motivating and own- able. Competitive Defense Plan • Pre Launch sales blitz to shore up all distribution gaps. At launch, heavy merchandising, locking up key ad dates, BOGO. TV, print, coupons, in-store sampling. • Use sales story that any new “healthy” cookies should displace under-performing and declining unhealthy cookies. Brand Vision: To be the first ‘healthy cookie’ to generate the craving, popularity and sales of a mainstream cookie. $100 Million brand by 2020. Forecast Analysis Brand Vision Strategies Execution Key Issues Goals 1 5 4 3 2 6 5 Leading the Brand Planning process
  • 4. Case Study: Gray’s Cookies Gray’s Cookies is based on a 40-year-old family recipe that had been used for years in a local coffee shop in Stowe Vermont. Gray’s was a local favorite and even among tourists, famous for it’s Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter flavors. No one realized it was also a healthy treat—low fat, low calories. With the growing health trend in the 1990’s, the Gray family decided to capitalize and launched Gray’s on a regional basis in New England and received moderate success. In 2005, one of Boston’s internationally known diet experts came out with a glowing review of Gray’s. Other dietitians backed Gray’s. The brand was now receiving national attention and demand. Robert Gray, grandson of the original founder took Gray’s national. Using the regional sales results, Gray’s was able to gain a national listing at Whole Foods in 2006. Other food retailers took notice and Gray’s secured listings at Safeway, Super-Valu, Kroger, Tops and A&P. Gray has a strong listing base at food, but limited in other channels. Gray’s launched one new product every second year, with Oatmeal in 2007, Peanut Butter in 2009 and Cranberry in 2011. Only Peanut Butter is meeting current sales thresholds. Gray’s success came from “proactive preventers” consumers, who claim to work out 3+ times per week and ‘read labels before eating’. Gray’s is loved among the very tight niche, but has yet to be embraced by mainstream consumers. The brand’s awareness is soft, trial is fair, and conversion to purchase is very strong because of the taste. Gray’s recently conducted a blind taste study shows Gray’s is as good as the market leaders. On top of that, watching what Special K was doing, they did a study that showed if you used Gray’s as a Desert replacement, consumers could lose 5lbs over 12 weeks. The current customer value proposition is targeting Healthy Proactive Preventers. Arguably, Gray’s is a beloved brand already among that niche target. Where else can they go, in order to get a broader mainstream audience? Main benefit is balance of taste and health. Emotional connection is the guilt-free zone; allowing consumers to cheat, yet stay in control of their diet. Reason to believe is one backing up of the taste and the other the health. Natural ingredient is a bit of a throw away re-enforcement, maybe for the packaging. The big question for Gray’s is how do you gain a broader audience for Gray’s? Or do we try to get current users to use more. How do we use Advertising to drive more awareness? What role does gaining a broader distribution play? And while there’s been mixed success using innovation, what’s the plan going forward?
  • 5. 2016 Business Review This is an example of an Ideal Business Review presentation to follow as a potential format or tips at each part of the plan.
  • 6. Brand Plan Brand Vision To be the first ‘healthy cookie’ to generate the craving, popularity and sales of a mainstream cookie. Make Gray’s a $100 Million brand by 2025. 2017 Goals Goals 2017 2018 Comments Sales $27.5M $30.38M 11% growth rate Share 0.8% 1.2% New triple chocolate 0.5% share Distribution 62% 72% Increase coming mainly from fixing specialty. Awareness 33% 42% Below norm, 80% among niche, < 20% overall Purchase 10% 12% Brand promise & sampling helps drive trial. Repeat 4% 5% High quality Taste converts high repeat Vision and Goals
  • 7. Business Review Theme of the Business Review It is time to transition Gray’s from a product-led brand into an idea-led brand by connecting with consumers by owning the idea of “guilt free” snacking, rather than just selling a great tasting cookie. Begin to dominate and lead the “good for you” cookie segment.
  • 8. Key Issues Gray’s Cookies Business Review summary • Consumer: New consumers attracted to Gray’s “guilt free” positioning, but conversion to loyalty is due to the great taste. • Marketplace: As America’s eating habits are changing the cookie category is shrinking, while the good-for-you segment thrives. • Channels: Gray’s has many distribution gaps, but needs to be mindful of choices, to maintain investment in driving consumer demand. • Competitors: Grays has an opportunity to dominate the good for you competitors before traditional brands enter segment. • Brand: Growth has come from product quality, but new “guilt free” position will connect deeper and fuel demand It is time to transition Gray’s from a product-led brand into an idea-led brand by connecting with consumers by owning the idea of “guilt free” snacking, rather than just selling a great tasting cookie. Begin to dominate and lead the “good for you” cookie segment. Themes each section from the review Big Challenge for future
  • 9. Brand Plan Drivers • Taste drives a high conversion of Trial to Purchase (65% vs. norm of 50%). • Strong Listings has driven strong Distribution in Food Channels (95%) • Exceptional brand health scores among Early Adopters (“Proactive Preventers”) making it a highly Beloved Brand among the niche. Inhibitors • Brand Funnel scores show that we are still a niche player (low familiar), but have yet to turn our sales into strong following (low loyalty) • Awareness among mainstream target (20%) held back due to weak Advertising scores. Low Attention scores and Brand Link scores. • Low distribution at specialty stores at only 16%. Poor sales coverage. • Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm of 7.3) even among the most loyal early adopters. Gray’s Cookies Drivers and Inhibitors
  • 10. Brand Plan Risks • Mainstream cookie brands could enter the ‘health’ segment through R&D or Acquisition. Rumors that Pepperidge Farms will launch in Q1 2014, and Nabisco Q3 2014. • De-listing of our 2 weakest skus (Oatmeal and Cranberry) because of POS thresholds, could weaken our in-store presence down to 3 skus. • Legal Challenge to “tastes as good as your favorite cookie”. Opportunities • R&D has 5 new flavors in development. Could launch Peanut Butter in Q4 of 2013 (top 15% in testing), Chocolate Chunks in Q2 of 2014 (top 50%) • Specialty Sales Broker could specifically target Specialty Stores, which are in high growth mode (+15% per year) • Explore social media options as a vehicle for converting strong loyal following into a more mainstream mass appeal. Gray’s Cookies Risks and Opportunities
  • 11. Key Issues Brand Health and Wealth Internal Health: Divided team on whether to go after new users or drive frequency among core users. Advertising programs has not created awareness. Channel strength has not reached beyond Food. Innovation has not been consistent. External Health: Gray’s is a beloved brand among a core niche (“Preventers”) but relatively indifferent and unknown among broader audience. Even among loyalists, frequency is very weak. Gray’s is a special treat rather than a usual brand. Internal Wealth: Gray’s has a unique recipe. With marketing investment, profit margins have fallen from 12% to 9%, without seeing the growth ROI from the programs. Debate on whether Gray’s should focus on channel growth vs. marketing led programs. External Wealth: Gray’s has a strong growth rate at +20% CAGR. Sales of $25Million with a 48% gross margins, above category norm of 42%. Gray’s has achieved a 3.3% share at grocery but only 0.4% in the other channels. Internal Brand Wealth External Brand Health
  • 12. Brand Plan Key Issues Facing the Brand What’s the priority choice for growth: find new users or drive usage frequency among loyalists? Where should the investment/resources focus and deployment be to drive our awareness and share needs for Gray’s? 1 2 How will we defend Gray’s against the proposed Q1 2014 ‘healthy cookie’ launches from Pepperidge Farms and Nabisco? 3
  • 13. Brand Plan Sales Projection Forecast for 2015 $27,354 Current LE for the year. Forecasted Gains Comments Added Awareness $6,565 New consumers become aware of Grays Higher Trial Rate 2,000 Using awareness and sampling to drive trial Walmart listing 340 New food listing C store Listing 200 Based on success of last year's test New Innovation 1,500 Two new flavors in Q3 Forecasted Declines Two New Launches 4,500 Ipsos predicted impact on Gray's Lost spring displays 630 Cancelled displays to pay for defense plan Discontinued flavors 430 Cutting two worst performers Net Forecast for 2016 $30,385 Expected gain for 2016 will be +11% growth.
  • 14. Brand Plan Profit Projections 2014 2015 2016 $ g% $ g% $ g% Comments Net Sales 21,978 44% 27,354 24% 30,385 11% With 2 competitors launching, growth will slow to +11% Cost of Goods Sold 10,333 40% 12,606 22% 13,237 5% New plant production has given lower cost of goods. Gross Margin 11,645 49% 14,748 27% 17,148 16% Gross margins continue to make efficiency gains. GM % 53% 54% 56% R&D 346 3% 352 2% 360 2% Holding steady R&D flavor innovation budget. Marketing Budget 5,528 22% 7,962 44% 8,850 11% Spending up in line with the sales forecast. Ad Merchandisers 568 22% 855 51% 850 -1% TV 1200 42% 900 -25% 1200 33% Increased budget as part of defense plan On Line 233 3% 480 106% 900 88% Staying competitive with shift to on line. Print 1355 22% 1050 -86% 1000 -100% Continued use of specialty health magazines PR 59 15% 77 31% 200 160% Sampling 500 4% 1200 140% 1400 17% Sampling is part of the mix to drive trial. Defense Plan. Sponsorship 100 33% 500 400% 0 -100% Research 200 55% 300 50% 500 67% Added tracking of two competitive launches. Packaging 133 66% 100 -25% 50 -50% Display 430 44% 1300 202% 1400 8% Lock up displays during the competitive launches. Trade 750 1200 60% 1350 13% Increased trade spend to stay competitive. Other SG&A 2,000 22% 289 -86% 989 242% Contribution Income 3,771 22% 6,145 63% 6,949 13% Gains coming from production efficiencies. CI % 17% 22% 23%
  • 16. Business Review Marketplace As America’s eating habits are changing the cookie category is shrinking, while the good-for-you segment thrives. 1
  • 17. Business Review Flattening Cookie sales have created a war among major competitors—lower prices and margins. • While the overall cookie category had grown steadily through the 90s, changing consumer habits led to declining unit sales over the past few years • Loss has been accelerated by price decreases—as major players lowered price with increased pack sizes (better value) as a strategy to gain share to counter the declining sales. As a niche premium brand, Gray’s need to avoid the head to head competitive battles and not use price as a weapon. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Sales $MM 3980 4057 3910 3718 3858 3430 3287 2951 2718 % change 3% 2% -4% -5% 4% -11% -4% -10% -8% Unit Sales 2000 1960 1975 1978 1999 1960 1900 1822 1777 % change 3% -2% 1% 0% 1% -2% -3% -4% -2% Price (Sales $/units) 1.99 2.07 1.98 1.88 1.93 1.75 1.73 1.62 1.53 % change 3% 4% -4% -5% 3% -9% -1% -6% -6% Marketplace
  • 18. Business Review Category growth and Gray’s growth coming from the West, lagging in Southern region. • The healthy cookie segment is seeing tremendous grow rates, as consumers moving to healthier snacking options—with the West and Central driving that trend. Gray’s strongest region is the West where we see +63% growth rate for Gray’s in a category growing 47%. • The south is the only region trailing, where we see a slower movement towards health trends. Gray’s share is also struggling in the South. Stay focused on fueling the growth in the strong Western region before trying to fix the slow growth Southern region. WestSouth North East Central Grays Cookies Dad’s Cookies Betty’s Kitchens Scottish Sweets Freaky Sunshine Aurora Brands Share Point Change Share Point Change Share Point Change Share Point Change Share Point Change Share Share Share Share Share 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 22% +13% +1% +27% +63% +33% % growth Marketplace
  • 19. Business Review America continually looking at variations of diet—low calorie, low carb, low fat, gluten free—yet consumers remain confused • There is a lot of confusion in the market, as the many diets compete with each other. Consumers lack proper education about their eating habits. • While government is attempting to drive education, the lobbying effort by major manufacturers is battling attempts at improved food labeling. There is opportunity for Gray’s to help educate consumers on how to eat properly, and own the solution for snacking occasions Marketplace
  • 20. Business Review Marketplace Review 1. Flattening Cookie sales have created a war among major competitors —lower prices and margins 2. Category growth and Gray’s growth coming from the West, lagging in Southern region. 3. America continually looking at variations of diet—low calorie, low carb, low fat, gluten free—yet consumers remain confused. Gray’s Cookies should continue to grow in the brand’s high growth areas, to establish a strong share position to defend against new entrants from traditional cookie brands.
  • 21. Business Review Consumer New consumers attracted to Gray’s “guilt free” positioning, but conversion to loyalty is due to the great taste. 2
  • 22. Business Review Gray’s taste is well liked by consumers. Taste drives a high conversion of trial to purchase (65% versus a norm of 50%). • In a blind taste test, Gray’s performed equal to the consumer’s regular cookie. When Consumers found out it was a low fat, low calorie option, they said they would make it their regular cookie. • In the market, Gray’s has a very high conversion to purchase beating the norm (65% to 50%) and considerably higher than the other two ‘healthy’ cookies (Dad’s and Sarah’s) • Gray’s taste helps drive a high repeat %, beating norm 40% to 25%. Continue to drive trial, with the high conversion to purchase. Repeat % Conversion % to Purchase Sarah’s Dad’s Norm Gray’s Sarah’s Dad’s Norm Gray’s Consumers
  • 23. Business Review Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm of 7.3) even among the most loyal early adopters. • Gray’s is under-developed on usage frequency, vs. the category norm and vs. Dad’s the nearest competitor. If we could match the norm, we could triple our business. • Even amongst the most loyal consumers, most use it as a treat (4x per year) rather than a usual brand. Recommend leveraging the Brand love among loyalists to drive frequency by creating a routine. Consumers 0 2.5 5 7.5 10 Dad's Gray's Devon's Norm 7.3 5.6 2.2 9.3 Boxes per year 13% 25% 25% 38% weekly monthly 4x per year 1x per year Usage Frequency
  • 24. Business Review Consumers love Gray’s new “guilt free” concept • In concept testing, the “guilt free” cookie concept finished in the winning zone, where it scored above the norm on both motivating (top 2 box score of 33% versus category norm of 22%) to consumers and own-able for Gray’s (top 2 box score of 73% versus norm of 53%). New tagline and advertising must reflect the new brand concept. Consumers
  • 25. Business Review Consumer Review 1. Gray’s taste is well liked by consumers. The taste drives a high conversion of trial to purchase (65% versus a norm of 50%). 2. Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm of 7.3) even among the most loyal early adopters. 3. Consumers love Gray’s new “guilt free” positioning concept Need to use the “guilt free” concept to drive consumer trial, knowing that the great taste will convert those that try.
  • 26. Business Review Channels Gray’s has many distribution gaps, but needs to be mindful of choices, to maintain investment in driving consumer demand. 3
  • 27. Business Review Need to maintain strength at Food, even while looking at new distribution points. • In the food channels, Gray’s has 90% distribution compared to 60% to Dad’s, our nearest ‘healthy’ cookie competitor. However, Gray’s has an over-reliance on the Food channel, with 73% of the business coming from the Food channel, compared with 40% of Dad’s, who have a much more balanced distribution. The category norm is 38%. Strong Listings has driven strong distribution in Food Channels (90%) Gray's Dad's Channels
  • 28. Business Review Explore options to reach the specialty market, which could add incremental sales volume. • While Gray’s is exceptionally strong in Food, it is equally weak in the Specialty channels, with only 16% distribution compared to Dad’s at 72%. • In Specialty, Gray’s focuses on national listings but there are very few national accounts. Dad’s uses 210 part time merchandisers to reach the Specialty channel. Low distribution at specialty stores at only 16%. Poor sales coverage. Channels
  • 29. Business Review Weak coop/display performance for Gray’s is hurting in stores. Directly linked to our lower dollar terms being offered. • Gray’s is not getting it’s fair share of co-op (0.89 index to share) and display (0.93 index to share). • Buyers have commented that our terms at 8% coop dollars are not as strong as the average of our competitors, who offer 15% coop dollars. • Scottish Sweets is highly over-indexed and competitive intelligence shows that they have been offering 20%. Brands $ Share Share of Co-op Share of Display Co-op FSI Display FSI Gray’s 24.7 21.9 22.9 89 93 Dad’s 21.9 20.7 20.7 94 95 Stan’s 14.8 14.8 13.6 100 92 Devon 13.5 16.6 17.8 123 132 Channels Work with sales on the ideal coop dollars that enable Gray’s to get better in-store merchandising while maintaining healthy advertising budgets to drive needed trial.
  • 30. Business Review Channel Review 1. Strong Listings has driven strong distribution in Food Channels (90%) 2. Low distribution at specialty stores at only 16%. Poor sales coverage. 3. Weak coop and display performance for Gray’s is hurting us in the stores. Directly linked to our lower dollar terms being offered. Overall distribution continues to be a weakness for Gray’s, and we need to ensure we make the right choices to strengthen where it pays back.
  • 31. Business Review Competitors Grays has an opportunity to dominate the good for you competitors before traditional brands enter segment. 4
  • 32. Business Review Gray’s needs to re-evaluate their strategy and use their power to begin to dominate the “good for you” segment. • When Gray’s launched, the intention was to dominate the “good for you” segment of the market. At the time, it was 1% of the overall category but has since grown to 6.4% this year—gaining the attention of the large traditional players. Gray’s guerrilla strategy has gained notice among big brands putting Gray’s at risk in head to head battle. Tradi>onal Good for you 100 Calories 6.4% Competitors
  • 33. Business Review Our toughest competitor is Dad’s who wins on Innovation and price deep discounts. Weak on taste. • Dad’s brand is the mature brand in the “good for you” segment holding on average a 25% share over the past 10 years. Dad’s scores low on taste quality, but higher on innovation than Gray’s, launching 2 new flavors each year. In Q4 this year, Dad’s fought their declining share with a “buy one get one free” that we decided not to match 24.9% 27.9%28.5% 24.6% 23.6% 21.3% 24.2% 27.8% 25.7% 24.7% 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Gray’s needs to step up on innovation to avoid losing trial to Dad’s, and then use our superior quality to gain share against Dad’s. Competitors
  • 34. Business Review Major risk if the major cookie brands launch healthy versions that are near-match taste versus current brands. • In the last few years, we are seeing major brand names entering into the healthy snacks —with Lays Potato Chips and Hershey Chocolates—doing a very good job in duplicating the master brand. • These power brands are beginning to dominate their sub categories pushing out the mom-n- pop type brands. • The only success from major brands in cookies came from the 100 calorie packs, which were clearly a sacrifice on size and taste profile. Continue to establish Gray’s with a solid connection to loyal consumers before the big brands enter the good for you segment. Competitors
  • 35. Business Review Gray’s has gotten big enough to attract attention of the major players and needs a defense strategy to stay the segment leader. Competitive Review 1. Gray’s may need to re-evaluate their guerrilla strategy and use their power to begin to dominate the “good for you” segment. 2. Our toughest competitor is Dad’s who wins on Innovation and price deep discounts. They are weak on taste. 3. Major risk if the major cookie brands launch healthy versions that are near-match taste versus current brands.
  • 36. Business Review Brand Growth has come from product quality, but new “guilt free” position will connect deeper and fuel demand 5
  • 37. Business Review Exceptional scores among early Adopters (“Proactive Preventers”) making it highly beloved among the niche. • Gray’s is very healthy among “Preventers” with strong awareness at 80% and all related Brand Funnel scores significantly above norm. However, that strength has not carried over to the overall market, where Gray’s is significantly under-developed in the overall market. Explore ways to leverage Love from Preventers, as early adopters, to influence the rest of the market. Preventers Overall Norm Brand Funnel Scores Preventers vs. Overall Brand
  • 38. Business Review Brand Funnel scores show that we are still a niche player (low familiar), but have yet to turn our sales into strong following (low loyalty) • Skinny Brand Funnel shows a lot of gaps, pointing to the lack of marketing success in generating awareness, • Year 6, Gray’s still has very low Brand Awareness (33% vs. 60% norm). • Poor Ad tracking shows low Attention (30% vs. norm of 50%) and poor Brand Link ratio (.32 vs. .55 norm) Both ends of funnel need fixing. Need to choose between either building awareness or driving loyalty. Brand
  • 39. Business Review Awareness among target (20%) held back due to weak advertising scores. Low attention scores and Brand Link scores. • The latest Ad (“Back Home Again”) failed to break through (Aided Recall of only 38% vs. 62% norm). • The Brand Link was considerably off at only 33% vs. 50% norm. • On the positive, the brand appears highly unique suggesting the concept is strong. • For those who are engaged, the purchase intention scores in line with norms. Need better execution of Advertising. Focus on driving stronger recall and brand link to push awareness. Tracking Results Gray’s Norm Aided Recall 38 62 Unaided Recall 30 46 Brand Recognition 10 23 Brand Link .33 .50 Main Message 64 60 Uniqueness 38 22 Purchase Intent 10 9 Ad Tracking Brand
  • 40. Business Review Brand Review 1. Exceptional brand health scores among Early Adopters (“Proactive Preventers”) making it a highly Beloved Brand among the niche. 2. Brand Funnel scores show that we are still a niche player (low familiar), but have yet to turn our sales into strong following (low loyalty) 3. Low Purchase Frequency (2.2 boxes per year vs. norm of 7.3) even among the most loyal early adopters. 4. Awareness among mainstream target (20%) held back due to weak Advertising scores. Low Attention scores and Brand Link scores. After six years, Gray’s is a strategic crossroad, do we get more to “like” us or the current few to “love” us?
  • 41. Brand Plan Brand Vision • To be the first ‘healthy cookie’ to generate the craving, popularity and sales of a mainstream cookie. Make Gray’s a $100 Million brand by 2020. Strategies 1. Continue to attract new users to Gray’s 2. Focus investment on driving awareness and trial with new consumers and building a presence at retail. 3. Build defense plan against new entrants that defends with consumers and at store level. Game Plan must do’s for 2016 1. Continue to gain new users for Gray’s, driving trial from 15% to 20% and household penetration from 10% to 12%. 2. Hold Gray’s share during the two competitive launches and show 11% sales growth. 3. Increase Gray’s distribution from 61% to 72%, while increasing the footprint of “healthy cookies” at the shelf. Gray’s Cookies Plan Summary