The dynamic and ever-changing business environment has warranted the formulation of new marketing strategies for businesses both at the local and international levels. Increased competition among businesses in selling their products and services requires that these businesses come up with new product innovations and service provision models that will ensure they have a competitive advantage over their rival companies’ products. This dynamism has also warranted the change in marketing strategies and marketing communication as it comes with new opportunities for businesses as well as challenges (Smith & Taylor, 2004, pp. 1). Effective marketing requires a combination of different strategies such as communication and promotion of products and services on different platforms. Marketing & promotion creates awareness of the product to the target market giving customers and potential customers specific information about the products, in a bid to persuade them to go for the specific product. Continued marketing is necessary for all products whether or not the products are doing well in the market or otherwise risk brand failure (Kimmel, 2005, p. 20).
Reasons for the Failure of Daddies Favourite Brown Sauce
Daddies is a brown sauce and ketchup brand found in the United Kingdom. Daddies Favourite, the brown sauce, was first introduced in the market in 1904, with the ketchup being introduced later in 1930. The products were previously owned by Groupe Danone, but are currently owned by Heinz Company since the 2005 acquisition. After its establishment, Daddies Favourite did well in the brown sauce market and created a “cult-like” following among consumers. But over the past few years, Daddies Favourite has continued to lose its place in the market and the question in everyone’s mind must be, “how did a brand that did so well in the market before fail in such a major way”? This question can be answered by the following explanation:
Competition: In any product market characterized by huge returns and profit margins, attracting competition is inevitable. Such competition comes from both new entrants into the market as well as the already existing players. This brings about the presence of new products in the market and since all the players are competing for the same consumers, it is imperative that companies adopt strategies to ensure that they retain their consumers and at the same time continue to attract new ones. In such a case, the main focus should be on marketing and product innovation (Varjey, 2002, pp. 1). According to Bokaie, (2008, Para. 5), the introduction of new similar products into the market contributed to Daddies Favourite’s woes. This is because the new products such as Branston by Premier Foods brought increased competition in the market and Daddies Favourite was not able to hold its ground against them. In addition, it faced competition from brands originating from other countries.
Competition in the brown sauce market also stems from the introduction of organic products in the market which have become very popular among people, as well as the introduction of own-label premium products or private label products, which are said to be of better quality and offer value to the consumers as most of them cost lower than other brands. Competition from all these new products did not work in favor of Daddies Favourite as most of its consumers took to using the new brown sauce products making the company lose its market share and in effect record a drop in sales of about sixteen percent in 2007. In order to salvage the brand, Heinz needs to come up with vigorous marketing strategies for Daddies Favourite so as to make it competitive in the highly saturated bottled sauce market, which is characterized by brands that have managed to get a large consumer following and consumer loyalty (Bainebridge, 2006, Para. 3).
Marketing and Advertising: Marketing and advertising are important elements in any company especially if it hopes to keep its product brands in the market. This is in most cases necessitated by increased competition in the market as well as the need to constantly reinforce the product’s presence in the market and in the minds of consumers and potential customers. Advertising takes place on various platforms including audio, print, broadcast, and visual media. The internet has also become a major marketing platform for different companies including Heinz. Heinz which took over the Daddies Favourite brand ignored it in terms of marketing and advertisement and instead concentrated its efforts on its other products such as the HP brown sauce (Bokaie, 2008, Para. 2-4). While Daddies Favourite received zero marketing and advertising support from Heinz after the acquisition in 2005, the company launched vigorous advertising and marketing campaigns worth millions of Euros for the HP sauce resulting in a huge growth in its sales. Should the company have adopted the same approach with Daddies Favourite, it would have probably achieved similar results. According to Kate Waddell, the Consumer Brand Practice Director at Dragon Brands, the neglect of Daddies Favourite may have resulted from the fact that Heinz also had a similar product and it would have proven a bit challenging for the company to justify both their existence in the market.
Health Concerns: In the recent past, health concerns have been raised with regards to bottled sauce products because of their high sugar and salt content (Bokaie, 2008, Para. 6). Excessive consumption of sugar and salt is associated with diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure among others. Most of the bottled sauces including Daddies Favourite contain high salt and sugar levels meaning that people are continuously veering away from their consumption. This has continuously led to reduced sales for the products as people go for what they believe to be healthier products, which are those that have a lower sugar and salt content. As a result of this, bottled sauce companies have resorted to manufacturing and putting out to the market new products that contain lower levels of the two ingredients. This in itself brings about added competition to the market as these products offer a “healthier” substitute.
Recommendations for the Successful Re-launch of Daddies Favourite
All these factors contributed to the problems Daddies Favourite as a brand experienced especially after the takeover by Heinz. For Heinz to improve Daddies Favourite performance in the bottled sauces sector it needs to come up with counter measures to the above-mentioned products as well as other viable measures that will ensure its successful re-launch in the market. Since Daddies Favourite falls under the products category, the promotional mix and marketing campaign should focus on product aspects such as the product function, the product packaging, and product appearance.
Marketing and Advertising: Heinz should engage in vigorous marketing and advertising campaigns for Daddies Favourite. The company should advertise on all the media platforms based on the channel their target market is most likely to use. Communication is a very important aspect of marketing and advertising, and with the growth of the information technology sector; Heinz has a variety of channels it can use to pass its message to its target market. These channels include televisions, mobile phones, computers, and internet technology among others. The channel through which to communicate in this case will be determined by the company’s target audience. For example, if it seeks to reach young people, the internet would prove a better channel as more young people tend to use the internet. Even though more modern ways of communication are important, the company should not completely abandon the more traditional product promotional methods such as sales promotions, public relations, corporate imaging, and direct marketing. These marketing and advertising strategies will ensure that the value of Daddies Favourite goes up in the eyes of customers and the general public.
Competition: To be able to compete on the same level with other major brands like HP, Branston, Heinz Ketchup, and Lea & Perrins, Heinz should come up with ways of re-inventing Daddies Favourite to make it more appealing to consumers. These include coming up with new packaging for the product. The packaging should not only include the brand name, but also the good qualities of the product that will appeal to consumers and make them want to buy it, and not the other brown sauce brands in the market. That is, the writings on the packaging should show consumers what added value they will get from consuming Daddies Favourite. Packaging is important for any brand as it makes the product more identifiable and also makes it stand out even when placed next to competing brands.
Address Health Concerns: Heinz should also make Daddies Favourite healthier by manufacturing it with less sugar and salt levels while at the same time maintaining its original quality. This will still make it more appealing to customers and potential customers as it will help minimize the health concerns they previously held regarding the brand.
Improve Customer services: The Company’s customer services should also be improved especially for those dealing with consumers of Daddies Favourite to ensure timely delivery for those who have ordered the product online and also to ensure that these consumers are aware of all relevant information concerning the brand and all their queries regarding it are well answered. Distribution across different regions should also be enhanced to ensure product availability and easy access for consumers. This should be done especially in all major retail stores as this is where most shoppers go. The presentation in such stores should also be in a way that makes it stand out from the rest, even if they are placed on the same shelf.
Marketing Strategy for Daddies Favourite
For Daddies Favourite to be successful re-launched into the brown sauce market, Heinz should engage in the following activities:
Sales Promotions: Heinz should offer free samples of the brown sauce to potential consumers. This will give them a chance to familiarise themselves with the product since it has been absent in the market for some time. The product should also be sold at discounted prices, to begin with, and once it has been accepted back in the market, Heinz can raise its price to a reasonable level that will enable them to maintain profitability.
Direct Marketing: The best way to get the product out to the people is to sell it to them directly. This can be done over the internet, through giving people flyers, advertising on the street as well as sending the target market catalogs and the like. Direct marketing will enable the company to deal with consumers on a personal level and as such be able to get immediate feedback which the company can use to improve different aspects of the product, in line with the consumer’s preferences.
Public Relations Campaigns: Heinz should engage in vigorous public relations campaigns for the brown sauce through various channels such as the media and other publicity platforms as this will enable the company to communicate the return of Daddies Favourite into the market.
Advertising: Heinz should advertise Daddies Favourite through mass media platforms to ensure that their message reaches a wide audience. The best platform for this should be the television and the internet as most people are most likely to use these two channels of communication daily. The advertisements should appeal to all target markets and communicate the main message effectively to encourage consumers to buy the product thereby increasing the level of sales for the sauce.
In all the above-mentioned strategies, Heinz should ensure there is consistency in the message they pass out to the consumers and potential consumers to avoid confusion on their part and to ensure credibility for the product and the company (Schultz, Tannenbaum & Lauterborn, 1994, pp. xvii). Getting the sauce endorsed by famous public figures will also go a long way in making the sauce marketable to consumers. Heinz should thus engage such people and make them part of their marketing campaigns as well as their advertisements.
For the TV advertisements, Heinz should spend around 2.5million Euros, while on other aspects of advertising such as outdoor campaigns, the company should spend around 1.5million Euros which equates to 4million Euros, an amount similar to that used on advertising the HP sauce to yield similar returns and sales projections (Bokaie, 2008, Para. 4).
Integrating Daddies Sauce Marking Plan
The marketing strategy will be important in helping Daddies Sauce reclaim its market share. In implementing the marketing strategy, it should be considered that it should be focused on customers throughout the process. The current and anticipated customers should be placed in mind to ensure that the plan has positive effects. The needs and wants of customers should be explored exhaustively to be able to address them. All components of marking should be revisited to ensure that there is no black spot. The product, place, price, and market communication should work hand in hand in a complementary way. For example, consumers should be able to see some added-on-advertised products. On the other hand, market communication should be followed by making the products more accessible by maybe adjusting the distribution channel. Formal and informal research should accompany the marketing strategy. Heinz should arrange for frequent marking research to follow the trend of a marketing campaign. The research will be very important in resource allocation and would help in making any readjustment if necessary. Finally, the marketing strategy may lead to some conflicts that need to be resolved. Conflicts may arise in pricing, advertisement, product, and another component in the marketing strategy. The conflicts should be reconciled on time to avoid further problems (Lawn, 2005, Para. 3-6).
Bainebridge, J., 2006. “Sector Insight: Bottled Sauces – Sauces Stifled by Saturation”. Marketing Magazine,Web.
Bokaie, J., 2008. “Brand Health Check: Daddies Favourite”. Brand Republic, Web.
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Schultz, D. E., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Lauterborn, R. F., 1994. The New Marketing Paradigm: Integrated Marketing Communications. New York: McGraw Hill Publishers.
Smith, P.R., & Taylor, J. (2004) Marketing Communications: An Integrated Approach. 4th ed. London: Kogan Page Limited.
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Lawn, J. 2005. “Integrating your Marketing Plan”. Web.