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Saxonville Sausage Company

Sandesh Patil | Section A | Roll No: 41


Objectives of Case
Saxonville Sausage needs a well-thought-out positioning marketing plan to move their Italian sausage
brand to national category leader and match up core values in the hearts and minds, of consumers
with the attributes of a product portfolios to meet their specific needs

Current Situation of Saxonville


Saxonville Sausage is a private family owned company in Saxonville, Ohio, with
revenues of approximately $1.5 billion. Their main focus is on pork sausage products that are always
fresh. Saxonvilles main product is their bratwurst line, which makes up 70% of their revenues, breakfast
sausage that consists of 20% of their revenues and their small Italian sausage line, named Vivio that only
makes up 5%. Store brand product accounted for additional 5% of revenue.
On the other hand, Saxonville's sales in bratwursts have been flat and their breakfast sausage line has
been steadily underperforming in the market resulting in a double-digit decline in revenue. However,
the Italian sausage was the one category showing growth across producers in the retail sausage market,
having an annual increasing rate of 9% in 2004 and 15% in 2005. The one area where they have been
consistently increasing is their Vivio Italian sausage line, primarily in the New England area. However
Vivio was available in just 16% of the nations large supermarket, primarily Boston, New Jersey, New
York, Maryland, and South Carolina.
Saxonville dont spend on the breakfast category as compare to other competitors. These sausages were
eaten more at the special occasion, typically on weekends. Bratwurst is mainly prepared at the outdoor
grilling. Management is thinking about changing their promotional campaign for this category but since
they had fired their current ad-agency it was very difficult for them to get a new campaign developed
and fielded. Saxonville hired a new marketing director in Ann Banks to "make her mark" and launch a
national Italian sausage brand that Saxonville needed to bring to market in order to achieve profit
objectives for the next fiscal year.

How was the research method determined?


Ann Banks formed multifunctional task force that would provide input and perspective in her
investigation of the Italian sausage opportunity. In the meeting Banks pose the question to be solved
through research. What is the ideal name for Saxonvilles line of Italian sausage? Should a national
entrant continue with the Vivio brand name, or have a different Italianate name or utilize the
Saxonvilles name to leverage company heritage and brand equity?
She had a four step process to do positioning work. These are as follows:

Step One: Planning New Research on the Target Customer


This phase is to get quick handle on what current Italian sausage has to say about their use of the
product. Each group contained four to six users. The work serve to confirm some of the basic
information presented in A&U. This gave idea of language consumers used to discuss some of the
benefits Italian sausage delivered.
In phase II Saxonville engaged another two colleagues from Research Company. Main aim of this phase
is to understand current behavior, trigger to purchase, unmet need, product benefits, attributes and
ideals; and to develop soli feel for core values and the role this product plays. Since female were the
primary source of usage they were considered to be best source of insights for the positioning. 103
women had qualified for the focus groups. Keller talked with each focus group member and got the clear
idea about benefit and priorities they received from Italian sausage.

Step Two: Building on Learning from the Focus Group


Banks and Bishop learned about consumer behavior and they developed synopsis of the learning. All
women in the focus group described hectic family life and their ideal was to make wholesome and
appealing meals. They created perceptual map which clarified stressors in the respondents life. Italian
sausage was revealed as meal solution helping women during trade off of time and skill to prepare
meal against family member it would please. The next step on the path to positioning involved
characterizing the womens ideals of family life which involved creating happy childhood memory for
their children. This step brought six different themes for positioning the brand: Family connection,
clever cooking, Confidence, Appreciation, Quick and Easy, and Tradition

Step Three: Building Positioning Concepts


Banks preferred to use Brand Ladder to build positioning concept. In this method they started with a
core value, and then moved down to the emotional benefit, the functional benefit, and the product
attributes that communicated those benefits. They made a list of values which are at the top of this
ladder. These values were mostly about women doing great job as mother and homemaker. Now team
must next identify how each of the six positioning territories delivered an emotional benefit that paid off
to the stated value. They concluded that Quick and Easy would work better. In the final round they
developed four mock concepts and consumers to prioritize. Family Connection received the highest
vote next to Clever Cooking.

Step Four: Additional Research Delivers a Verdict or Two


Based on the qualitative research, Banks faced a quandary. In this phase they hired quantitative testing
agency & field-tested the Family Connection concept with 250 target consumers and Clever Cooking
with 256 target consumers. Of the two, Family Connection had scored better. They discussed how
advertising might look and feel, packaging, product attributes and how in store graphics. They also work
on naming along with considering sub-branding, finally picking the winner from the last two concepts.