Saxonville Sausage Company
A. Current Situation
Saxonville Sausage Company is a company that produces three varieties of pork sausage products; bratwurst, breakfast sausages and Italian sausages. The company needs to assess the growth in the Italian sausage retail market to complement its current robust offerings of bratwursts. They also need to develop a national product in the Italian sausage category under the Vivio name or a potential new name. Their current Vivio brand has grown at an annual rate of 9% in 2004 and 15% in 2005, which is comparable to the competitive marketplace. However, their product was only available in just 16% of the nation’s largest supermarkets. They need to expand the market so the Vivio sausage is available for every customer at every supermarket and increase the customer base through comprehensive brand marketing strategies. They hired Ann Banks as the new product marketing director to tackle this.
B. “Finalists” Strategies
Saxonville Sausage Company conducted focus group sessions with 103 women that were primary purchasers and preparers of Italian sausage. These women concluded that they received great satisfaction if their family was happy after a great dinner, thereby avoiding a “dinner disaster”. They stated that because families were so busy these days, getting the whole family around a table was very difficult, but they knew that a good meal could be the magnet to accomplish this. These women wanted to do a good job as mothers and homemakers, holding themselves to higher standards. The focus group felt that they needed to trade off time and skill to make a dinner for their families. Therefore, Banks knew that she needed to focus on six different initial positioning territories for their Italian Sausage product. Of these six, we have concluded that my two “finalists” will be the Family Connection and Clever Cooking. We felt that the consumer response in favor of these versus the other options was too great to ignore. Family Connection received 53.6% of the first place vote in the group consumer testing and Clever Cooking received 20.2%. We chose these two “finalists” because family seemed to resonate with the focus group who desired to develop different dinner ideas to make their families content. Of the six initial positioning territories, we felt that the other four could be combined into the two that we selected.
C. Positioning Ladders
Exhibit 4 details the types of users that generally consume Italian sausage and how most people consider it to be one of the meals that are enjoyed by the entire family. Therefore, a positioning ladder for the Family Connection finalist may be that Vivio Italian Sausage is a sausage that is pleasing for the whole family because it’s more than just a sausage as it has a unique irresistible taste for the entire family. Exhibit 4 also displays how Italian sausage is considered to be a great “meal-maker.” Therefore, a positioning ladder for the Clever Cooking finalist may be that Vivio Italian Sausage offers a versatile and wholesome cooking experience for everyone while offering a great taste that the whole family will love. See Figure 1 in the appendix for an explanation on the value, emotional and functional benefits and attributes that helped us come up with the positioning ladders. The women respondents felt like if they had Italian sausage in the refrigerator, then they always “had a quick meal in the house” that they could use as an ingredient in a variety of different meals or combine it with some different side dishes to complete an easy and good tasting meal.
We recommend the Clever Cooking alternative because we agreed with a statement Banks made that the quantitative results might be skewed by the fact that consumers associated the family connection concept with existing brands. Clever Cooking incorporates the Family Connection, Quick and Easy and Confidence concepts and gives