Saxonville Sausage

The “Market Segmentation” for the “Italian Sausage” Business: The market segmentation for the Italian Sausage Business is primarily a demographic segmentation based on the gender (women), work status(working and less time to cook pleasing meals) and number of kids (kids love Italian sausages) in the household. This can be thought as segmentation based on observable characteristics of customers.

The “Target Markets” for the “Italian Sausage” Business:

Based on the research conducted by Saxonville, the target group should be the “female head of household”.This is because, Italian sausages are generally eaten during dinner time and female head of household has to be able to make a dinner which pleases everyone in the house, makes sure everyone wants to have the dinner and also wants to make a good job of the recipe. A similar survey for breakfast sausages suggested that it is cooked 75% by women and 25% by men.

The “Positioning” concept options for this Business: The initial positioning concept options for this business were:

  • Family Connection
  • Clever Cooking
  • Confidence
  • Appreciation
  • Quick and Easy
  • Tradition

Out of these 6, additional research made it possible for them to reduce the potential positioning concepts to “Family Connection” and “Clever Cooking”. One “Positioning” concept which should be chosen for the “Italian Sausage” Business by Saxonville Sausage: According to me, they should opt for “Family Connection” as their positioning concept. The idea behind the “Family Connection” concept is a brand which is a “crowd-pleasing favorite that brings the family together”. Rationale behind “Family Connection” as the positioning concept: Positioning is a process that influences potential customers’ overall perception of a brand, product line or organization in general; the place in the mind relative to the competition.

Vivio as a brand: Revenues from Vivio constitute 5% of Saxonville’s total revenues. In 2005, Italian sausage was the one category which was showing growth across all producers in the sausage market having grown at a rate of 15%. The problem however was that Vivio was available in only 16% of the supermarkets. Vivio, when introduced did not have a great marketing plan behind it. However, because of its cost, introductory deals and discounts, ploys such as in-store sampling and the good quality of the sausage made it very popular. This happened without a great brand pull to it.

So, with a good marketing plan, Vivio could become a winner for Saxonville. 1 In the 2000 U. S. Census, Italian Americans constituted the fifth largest group in America with about 15. million people (5. 6% of the total U.S. population). As of 2006, the Italian-American population climbed to 17. 8 million persons constituting 6 percent of the population. The vast majority of Italians in the US would give a boost to the revenue of Italian sausages.

Who are the customers? The target market primarily constitutes women. Since women cook dinner for most of the days, they will always be on the look-out for a product which will make healthy meals and at the same time, are appealing for the family.Their other main need was that since they were themselves working and never had any time to be creative and prepare new meals daily, they needed something which would be easy to make and which the kids like. What is the set of needs that the product fulfils? 1 The “Italian Sausages” have the following values which are held important by the women:

  • Healthy and wholesome food
  • Home-cooked food loved by everyone
  • Food which is loved by kids

People appeasing food – the kind which will pull everyone towards the dinner table

  • Ability to make easy meals – getting everything done soon so as to spend more time with her kids •Ability to be an ingredient in combination with soups, sauces, vegetables, pasta or rice which made the women provide some ingenuity in their cooking.
  • The concept of “Italian” itself appealed to people
  • Exceptionally high quality with good color, great taste, texture and an above-average ratio of solids to fats.

All the above features in the Saxonville’s Italian Sausage are exactly what the target market, the women want so as to make their life easier and happy. The above features answers the third question of positioning about why the product is the best option to satisfy those needs.

From the perpetual map of Italian sausage use, it is clear that a meal made with Italian sausage is rated high on both “easy to do” scale and “family-pleasing” scale.

Differentiation: Positioning is a battle for the customer’s mind. Positioning is not what you do to a product.Positioning is what you do to the minds of the prospect.

That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect. Differentiator should be chosen based on what the target customers value the most. In this case, the target market is women and according to the final concept assessment, out of 250 women, 81% said they will be motivated to buy the sausages if “Family Connection” was used. Only 72% out of 250 said they were motivated by the “Clever Cooking” concept.

From a previous voting from 4 concepts, “Family Connection” got 54% of first place votes. 1It is evident that “Family Connection” was more motivating. When people think of “Italian”, they think of “family” & they could identify themselves with the product. Since no other brand had taken the next step towards communicating that, Saxonville will be able to exploit this positioning concept. Being first is a good differentiation factor. It has an edge over others because when Saxonville comes out with this concept first, it would be difficult for its competitors to emulate.

So, the differentiation factor in marketing for Saxonville should be the concept of family. 4 Why Not “Clever Cooking”: “Family Connection” is what would attract a woman better than the “Clever Cooking” concept. True that a woman would associate more with being appreciated for “creative cooking”, but the woman of the house would be happier if the whole family loves the food. “Clever Cooking” concept can also be used in subtle ways. The sales team says (in exhibit 11) that recipe cards can be made available in the merchandising.Innovative ideas such as these will also lead to a perception among woman that the sausages can be used creatively.

We have already seen in the features of the product that the product can be used as an ingredient for soups, sauces, vegetables and a variety of other bases. Cannibalism of other products: The fear that the “Family Cooking” concept would jeopardize the sale of other products is irrational. In fact, the success of this product will also help the other products find a market in other areas where Saxonville has not made a mark yet.Conclusion: The market size of this industry is huge, but there are so many companies competing in this arena. A factor which could make or break the company is how they market the product. If a company uses the same platform as its competitor, then there cannot be much impact in sales.

But a differentiator such as the innovative marketing idea of a family can attract the main target customer’s attention. Their Italian Sausage being of “exceptionally high quality” needs just the impetus to be the revenue grosser for the firm.This will be possible by good marketing ploys including the positioning concept of “family connection”.


  1. Case study of Saxonville Sausage Company by Harvard Business School.
  2. Ries, A. and Trout,J. (1981) Positioning, The battle for your mind, Warner Books – McGraw-Hill Inc. , New York, 1981, ISBN 0-446-34794-9
  3. www29. homepage. villanova. edu/john. kozup/Segmentation%20Ch.%209. ppt 4. http://en.