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Positioning

A Planning Exercise - Beans

Dorothy Boodle is a 53-year-old cookery teacher and mother of three. She's spent the last 20 years working on a recipe for beans to rival Heinz beans, assisted by her children and the kids at the school where she teaches. She's now perfected that recipe. Independent taste tests rate her beans the same as Heinz, and for some people a little better. Hers have a slightly tangier taste; they have a bit less sugar and are generally slightly healthier. They're also a little browner they're not that vibrant orange Heinz color. And they can be manufactured for the same cost.

She raised enough money through friends and family to get the beans off the ground and now they've also got backing from an eccentric millionaire - they want to launch the beans into national distribution. The major supermarkets are ready to stock her beans if they see her come to market in a serious way. (They're quite keen to challenge Heinz's complete dominance of the baked beans market. They're not making many inroads with their own-label products and think Dorothy might destabilize Heinz in a good way.)

The Boodles have come to you for advice on how to launch and support their beans. They're asking questions like: How should they position themselves versus Heinz? How should they spend their $7.5 million marketing budget for the first year? What should the product be called?

So what should you tell them?

Solution Preview

First of all, it is essential for Boodles to realize that Heinz, being an established company with a strong brand awareness and market share, has a strong footing in the segment and it will be very difficult to challenge Heinz purely on the basis of marketing spending, as Heinz has both the resources as well as brand presence to outshine a new product like this one.

In order to take the product off the ground and catch the eyes of the consumers who have been used to eating Heinz beans, it is essential to position Dorothy's beans differently. In other words, it will be a blunder to position it in a similar manner to Heinz's beans at the same price, because people will obviously chose Heinz in first place, given its strong brand reputation and goodwill in the market. Therefore, the key to catching the eyes of customers in the first place will be to position it in a ...

Solution Summary

First of all, it is essential for Boodles to realize that Heinz, being an established company with a strong brand awareness and market share, has a strong footing in the segment and it will be very difficult to challenge Heinz.

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