Case Study Preparation Points for Discussion
This case is based on actual experience of a brand manager within a large food company, the Saxonville Sausage. The case aims to introduce the process of determining the optimal positioning strategy for a brand based on research information on consumer motivations, influences, and values. Based on the information provided in the case, address the following questions as part of your preparation for the case and be prepared to discuss these questions in class:
1. What is the current situation? Consider the situation within the market/industry, competition, customers, company status, etc. Identify the task/goal that Banks has to accomplish and the company's long term plan.
The Company and the Portfolio Saxonville Sausage Company is a 70 years old private family owned firm, headquartered in Saxonville, Ohio, with revenues of approximately $1.5 billion in 2005. Their product portfolio stands by pork sausage products, predominantly fresh, not frozen ones. Saxonville's primary product line is their bratwurst product, which preforms 70% of the company's revenues. Other important product line of the portfolio is the breakfast sausage (both links and patties) that consists of 20% of the revenues. Last but not least the portfolio's third element is the small Italian sausage line, named Vivio, which accounted for only 5%. Store-brand products make up the additional 5% of total revenues.
On the one hand the current situation reflects a struggling market nationwide in the US (0% volume increase) with no growth predicted in short term. On the other hand following the nationwide market trend Saxonville's sales in bratwurst category have been flat also. Unfortunately the breakfast sausage line has been steadily underperforming the market causing a double-digit revenue decline. However, the Italian sausage was the only one category showing growth across producers in the retail sausage market, having an annual growth rate of 9% in 2004 and 15% in 2005. The only one area where they have been consistently increasing their sales is the Vivio Italian sausage product line. However, this product has just a small distribution network reaching just 16% of the national supermarkets, primarily concentrated just in one area (NY, Boston, New Jersey). Banks aim should be to expand the product and the brand nationwide developing a repositioned national product with a huge national distribution network under the name Vivio or as a new brand.
2. Following closely the research findings for both qualitative and the quantitative studies, select the top two positioning ideas identified in case Exhibit 6. Trace back through the case, using Exhibit 4 and other information, to justify the development and the choice of these two "finalist" Italian sausage positionings.
a. Describe your positioning choices and create a positioning ladder for each.
b. Provide potential positioning statement for each of them. What could be their tag lines?
c. What potential communication, product, packaging or in-store tactics could accompany each of the positionings?
3. What do you suggest should be the brand positioning that Banks should choose? Why?
I recommend that Saxonville use the "Clever Cooking" positioning concept. The "Clever Cooking" will set Saxonville's Italian sausage apart from existing