Saxonville Sausage Case Analysis

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MKTG 4100

Saxonville Sausage Company Case Analysis
Problem Definition
Saxonville Sausage Company, a 70-year-old privately held family business, produces a variety of pork sausage products, thus already having a loyal customer base. Their Italian sausage, presently branded as Vivio, became part of the Italian sausage market in 2002, yet has experienced flat sales. Therefore, the company needs to increase their awareness, customer base, and sales with their Italian Sausage products. They must now determine an ideal name for their line of Italian sausage, and if they should continue nationally with the Vivio brand name, or create different tactics, including a name change, in positioning the product. In order to gain a clear understanding of the product benefits, attributes and ideals, the company needs to understand current behaviors, consumer triggers to purchase, and their unmet needs, through extensive research and consumer analysis. External Situation (See Appendix 1 for full listing)

The number of people eating sausage for breakfast is decreasing, as it is becoming more of a staple for special occasions, such as weekends. Yet, with the right marketing plan, Saxonville has the potential to become a national category leader and make their product popular amongst every major grocery store in the U.S. Since 2004, all sausage producers had seen completely flat growth, 0% volume increase nationwide, for both the bratwurst and breakfast categories. And, in the short-term, little or no growth was expected. Despite this slow progress of the market, Italian sausage showed growth across producers in the retail sausage market. The Saxonville team believes Italian sausage has an untapped potential market with male cooks, who may want to make sausage a grilling staple for weekend barbecues. Attaining more stores in the northeastern markets is another opportunity for the company. Internal Situation (See Appendix 1 for full listing)

Vivio has created an established relationship with consumers under the Saxonville brand name. In 2005, the company was able to produce revenues of approximately $1.5 billion. Even though Vivio is only available in 16% of the nation’s largest supermarkets, the product was able to match the level of category growth in the retail sausage market. With these accomplishments, the company must also analyze their shortcomings. Saxonville’s bratwurst and breakfast sausage is sold across the U.S., but is very limitedly distributed in stores in the northeastern markets. The company underperformed the market in breakfast sausage, resulting in a double-digit decline in revenue. Saxonville doesn’t spend enough money in the breakfast category to compete with big players. The Bratwurst division fired their ad agency halfway through the year, thus were unable to develop a new campaign. They also did not do enough in positioning Vivio or creating a distinctive identity. As far as marketing goes, Saxonville only supported the Vivio brand with base trade spending. They also have not spent the time to conduct market research on the Italian customer. Strategic Alternatives (See Appendix 2 for pros and cons of each alternative) After much research and examination, there are a few options the company can consider to improve their place in the market. To succeed, the brand should link its product to the core values of their target consumers, so customers will feel good about using that brand. In order to determine the best positioning strategy, Banks conducted qualitative and quantitative research from target consumers to understand their behaviors and needs. The best source for insight on how the company should position itself is females, since they are the primary purchasers and prepares of Italian sausage. Research showed that the company has two viable alternatives to choose from in approaching a positioning concept to pursue. The first alternative would be to position the company’s Italian...
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