Saxonville Sausage Case

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Ouari SEKKOUM

Product and Brand Strategies

Saxonville Sausage Case Study
What is the current situation? Saxonville is a family company from Ohio has existed for seventy years, it produces a range of pork sausage, and they have three types of products: breakfast sausage, bratwurst and Vivio sausage. Products are sold in all the United States, through national and regional distributors. The firm's revenue is estimated at 1.5 billion dollars in 2005. Since 2004, the company is experiencing difficulties: Saxonville has seen two of their three main products face growth problems (people were starting to eat sausages on more special occasions, which damaged the breakfast sausage growth, and were also eating more often inside the house, which damaged the brats growth), an underperformance with a double digit revenue decline for consequences; the company ranked out eight national breakfast sausage brands. The line that is still experiencing fast growth is Vivio Brand (italian sausage), available in only 16% of the nation's large supermarkets. The senior management uses Ann Banks to develop the “Italian Opportunity”, to create a positioning that would not lead to the cannibalization of Saxonville’s products, that enabled the brand to be a national one and, most important, a brand that met customer’s needs. This lack of positioning is due to a non-conducting market research on the Italian sausage custome by the senior management since the business was growing. How was the research methodology determined? Develop a research design and explain what behaviors, demographics, and lifestyle components you deem important and why. Saxonville Sausage didn't know their target consumer and the research methodology will learn it. Method combines qualitative and quantitative ways through four steps. The first three stages establish the qualitative research which bring out ideas and give the foundations to understand the target customers. The first step was to target customers to understand their behaviors and needs. Several characteristics were evaluated such as demographics (type of work, number of children, education), behaviors (what type of brand they purchased; if they bought Saxonville’s products), geographic (where were they from). The second step was a group session where they would test different positioning ideas. With this approach, they found out that all women wanted was to cook a meal that would please both their children and their husbands, and more importantly that made them feel like they were doing a good job. They also found out that there was no cannibalism problem between all their three main brands. Vivio was seen has a “healthier” sausage that could be used more often. Moreover, this Italian sausage was the one that made meals less difficult and time consuming to make (which solved a problem most women had), while it also pleased everyone in the family. In the third step the idea was to come up with actual positioning concepts and have consumers rank them thanks to a brand ladder, to take all of the new information and have consumers prioritize it. The four concepts they came up were: Family Connection, Love, Balance and Creative Cooking. These four concepts all had the same core value, which was to make the women feel they were doing a good job, while pleasing their entire family, but had different emotional benefits. The quantitative research constitutes the fourth and final step which validates the results of the qualitative research across a greater population and choose a positioning for the company in testing the concepts to evaluate what would work best with their consumers (a monadic testing was carried out to look the purchase intent scores). 1

When conducting the new research the team ran four mini pilot groups to see what the current customers had to say about their product. Following the small groups the team tallied up all of their information and found that women felt their lives were hectic and it...
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