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Saxonville Sausage Company

1. What is the current situation? Saxonville Sausage Company is currently is facing a stagnant market for bratwurst and breakfast sausages and volume increase across sausage producers has been almost 0%. This underperformance led to a double digit revenue decline for the company. However, its Italian sausage brand, Vivio, has shown a respectable 9% and 15% annual growth rates in the years 2004 and 2005 respectively. But has a marginal contribution of 5% to the total revenues of the company. Till now the company has not promoted its Italian sausage range, so it is contemplating whether it should aggressively market this range particularly in areas other than the north east where penetration is negligible. 2. How was the research methodology determined? Develop a research design and explain what behaviours, demographics and lifestyle components do you deem important and why? Ann Banks, the product marketing director at Saxonville, devised the research methodology based on the companys past ten years of market research, recommendations of the multi-functional task force created for devising a position plan for Italian sausages, and her experience in brand identity and development. The current research methodology is a four step process comprising qualitative and quantitative research. The current four step process seems to be comprehensive. Some other research tools which could refine the current analysis are focus groups specifically for feedback from existing users. Till now the opinion of existing users is bundled with other research components. Involving the final consumer in strategic planning could valuable insights for devising a positioning strategy. Purchase intent surveys should include respondents from the west and sun belt where the consumption is very low. Lifestyle changes include a large number of single parent families who would look quick and easy cooking. Demographically, the sausage has been distributed only in the north eastern cities of New York, Philadelphia and Boston which have a large Italian American population. Therefore while expanding the reach of the product geographically; it should be kept in mind. 3. What were the research results? Select two different positioning territories identified in the case Exhibit 6. Trace back through the case, using Exhibit 4 and other embedded

information, to rationalise the development of these territory ideas. Or, what might the positioning ladder look like for each of the two finalist Italian sausage positioning? The first phase shows the Attitude and Usage details from the four pilot groups. The focus groups highlighted the consumer behaviour aspect. The perception map revealed that consumers rate Italian sausage high on family pleasing as well as easy to do parameter. Focus groups also reveal the positioning strategies. Finally it was concluded that the product must be positioned on the concept of family connection and clever cooking. Quick and Easy- Italian sausage can be the ingredient for a variety of foods such as soups, vegetables, pasta etc. So it is an easy way to quickly make an ordinary meal delicious. Users usually are time constrained and need something which they use to conveniently and quickly make meals. Tradition- while deciding the name of the brand, there were a lot of issues about the name reflecting authentic Italian content. Many times users tend to associate a traditional product with the values of the past. The focus groups also revealed a strong desire for women to act as nurturing mothers and trying to bring a lifestyle they had during their childhood for their kids too. It is difficult to speak on tradition in isolation with the family connection aspect. Invariably, a traditional view point will have a reflection of family connection.

4. What alternative do you recommend and why? Quick and Easy is safe choice. This is because, when expanding geographically, the positioning of Tradition might not be relevant in all contexts. However, the problem of having product that is always available as a quick meal in the house is universal. 5. What tactics should accompany the product launch? The presence of a new product which is fresh and not frozen needs to be highlighted. Sales promotion techniques such as sampling and bundling with other products of the company can be employed. The idea is to initiate the first time consumption to introduce the consumers to a different product which has the potential to become a part of everyday meal. The launch, apart from sales promotions, has to be supported by proper advertising plan which right mix of television, print and radio.