Study Guide for Kingsford Charcoal

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Study Guide for Kingsford Charcoal

By | Feb. 2013
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Kingsford Charcoal Case Brief

Problem Identification and Situation Analysis

Clorox Corporation depends upon Kingsford Charcoal as an important revenue (9% in 2000) and net income contributor in the product portfolio. Since the 1980’s Kingsford had enjoyed steady 1-3% growth, but summer 2000 revenue was expected to fall short of forecast. The Kingsford brand managers took on a challenge to assess and propose solutions to the first-time overall softening of the charcoal category.

The softening of the market could be attributed to various causes. Some causes explored include: Changes in consumer demand:
* Downward trend in charcoal grill purchases and upward trend in gas grill purchases since 1997 Changes in marketplace:
* Further fragmentation of market with introduction of Royal Oaks’ private label brands * Price climbing in private label brands
Product-related challenges:
* Seasonal imbalance, with sales highest in summer months Kingsford-related factors:
Increased sales promotions (and associated increase in volume) do not make up for the decreased media expense, as evidenced by reduced revenue.
Figure 1

Recommended Marketing Objectives for Kingsford Brand
We recommend two primary marketing objectives for the Kingsford brand: 1. Grow the charcoal category
2. Differentiate Kingsford among other charcoal products

In order to achieve the above two objectives, Kingsford should focus on the entire grilling customer need related to grilling—it’s not just about charcoal product specifications!

In order to serve the entire grilling customer need, it’s important to first understand customer attitudes around grilling. The brand managers collected valuable information in this regard. Across all attitude groups, people grill when they want to enjoy the process of cooking, when they want to impress or entertain friends, and when they want to enjoy seasonal weather. Notably, people utilize gas grills for similar...
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