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Saxonville Sausage Case Analysis

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1197
  • Category: Brand

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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 sausage with the mantra, Family Connection, which is closest to the target customer’s core values. A second option would be to position the sausage with the phrase, Clever Cooking. It was easier to provide tactical support for Clever Cooking. Because the activity of outdoor grilling of bratwurst is not correlated to the consumers’ use of Italian sausage on the weekends, the company doesn’t need to fear the cannibalization of their other brands with this marketing strategy. Both alternatives have proven viable concepts and fit the criteria necessary of being realizable by the chosen date for the brand’s national launch. Recommendation

To optimize brand identity, the company should pursue the first option of marketing the idea of Family Connection. This idea is more distinctive and durable having resulted in the highest number of purchase intent when compared to the other concept. This positioning idea also received the highest votes in a poll of consumers, asking which positioning concept they liked best. The Family Connection concept is meant to depict family and friends sharing one meal of good food – “It Welcomes You In.” This concept appeals to the emotional and functional benefits of Saxonville’s target consumers’ core values, of wanting to feel intrinsically, that (she) is doing a good job and will satisfy her brand needs. Because “Vivio” ranked seventh when asked which brand names fit best with the consumers’ “ideal” Italian sausage product, I believe it is in the company’s best interest to reconsider the name of their Italian sausage brand.

The most popular name was “Italy’s Best.” Saxonville has established loyalty with their brand identity and should make sure that when renaming their Italian sausage product, they should include their name on the label and marketing campaign. As for the 4P’s, I believe the company should stick with their current product, Italian sausage, but rename the product. The price of the product is adequate yet the company should spend more money on their advertising of this particular product. The company can market Italian sausage to Italian fresh markets which are known for their high quality meats. This would help to create the homey, authentic, Italian heritage image, consumers crave. Recording current consumer information, such as zip code, as they purchase, will help the company track the “place” of target customers and ultimately enter a different market. This will enable the company to see which geographical areas they are missing, while not taking focus away from present customers. Conclusion

In conclusion, Saxonville should continue with their Italian sausage product, but should rename the brand from Vivio, to Italy’s Best. They should also expand the geographic regions in which their sausage product is available to northeastern supermarkets, to generate more revenue. Even though Vivio, has created an established relationship with Saxonville consumers, we have come up with a plan that won’t deflect from this advantage. In advertising, Saxonville should include their family name when referring to Italy’s Best, as well as their traditional moniker, “The Family Company”. Saxonville loyalists will recognize the mantra and brand, and therefore try an additional product by the brand that they may not typically purchase. In the long run, spending a little more to strategically market this brand of the company will create exponential benefits for Saxonville in revenues. This revamped positioning strategy for Saxonville will improve their profit objectives and grow the company’s brand loyalty. It will also improve their stance in the market of breakfast sausage and eventually help them become the national category leader for the market.

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