The Canadian Pillsbury ready-baked goods cookie line is experiencing disappointing performance, and the marketing manager at General Mills Canada Corporation is under pressure to make strategic decisions that will help turn around the segment. The marketing manager has engaged the help of the consumer insights team to conduct market research studies that will shed light on consumers and their attitudes, behaviors, and preferences towards the product.
The goal is to understand how marketers can make better decisions, based on different types of consumer research, show how the relevant customer insights can help to determine strategies and explore the ways to improve business performance.
It’s that we are going to explain during this study. Firstly, we will see the company overview, then the consumer insights and their implications (the key learning) and to finish, we will do some recommendations for the Pillsbury Cookie Challenge.
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more Han 1 00 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, such as Hypoxia, Pillsbury, Hagen-Dads, Nature Valley, Green Giant, and more.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company operates in three segments: IIS Retail, International and F-DOD service. Representing 69 per cent of total sales, the US Retail segment is the largest of the three.
General Mills Canada Corporation (CM) is a subsidiary of General Mills. With annual sales of IIS$ 566 million, CM is a leader in the Canadian packaged foods market and the second largest division within the International segments. The Canadian division is split into four business units: breakfast, baked goods, meals and snacks.
Part of the General Mills portfolio, the Pillsbury brand is the leader in the refrigerated baked goods category with a full range of products, including cookies, biscuits, breads, pizza and pie crusts, sweet rolls… The Pillsbury refrigerated cookies is available in multiple flavors and two aromas (chub and ready-to-bake), with seasonal cookie special for Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s Day and Christmas. The cookies are sold between $2. 99 and 34. 99, according to the cookie format, the type of retailer and the region.
The RUG products can be buy in all major grocery retailers such as Metro, Lobar, Sobers and club stores in Canada. About the marketing strategy, there is not a strategy specific to the Canadian market. Indeed, it’s the US advertising, which is adapted to the Canadian market, for example. In terms of the market, Pillsbury was the most profitable segment of General Mills Canada, with refrigerated cookie dough owning 62% of ready-baked- goods sales and yielding 75% category profit. Pillsbury held 85% of the market share and Was carried by all major Canadian retailers.
However, volume growth, household penetration, and cookie segment growth were all flat. THE RUB COOKIES SOOT How the RUB cookies category is on the market? How to better take into account its weaknesses and threats? Here, we are going to draw up a SOOT analysis in order to better sharpen our recommendations, and thus, solve the problem raised by this case. In order to find some solutions for the Pillsbury challenge, its interesting to have an overview about the Pillsbury cookies’ weaknesses, strength, opportunities and threat. The goal is to take into account the opportunities and strength of the product and to spread out it.
Contrary’ to that, we will do suggestions, which both resolve the issues and will try to remedy the weaknesses. In a nutshell, we are going to use and exploit the weaknesses and threat through the consumer insights in order to bring strategic and relevant recommendations, with a view to the Pillsbury problem. Pillsbury Doughy is an advertising icon and mascot of the Pillsbury company) THE PROBLEM STATEMENT RUB in Canada branch performance were not satisfied over the past two years whereas refrigerated cookies had always been the most profitable product line of its category.
Indeed, the volume growth between 2004 & 2006 had remained nearly flat at 1 % and the household penetration had fallen to 24% from previous years. The goal is to understand the possible reasons of decline in cookie sales, through the Consumer insights (taste, advertising, Current brand messaging Of the Pills bury). For this purpose, the marketing manager Guile wants to see the difference between consumer markets of Canada and that of United States in order to design a marketing strategy according to it to boost the sales as well as profit of this category.
HOSTED ANALYSIS In order to understand these cultural differences here are the Hefted framework: Power distance Interdependence among its inhabitants Value placed on egalitarianism Canadians value a straightforward exchange of information individual Allis Individualistic culture people look after themselves and their immediate families Employees are expected to be self-reliant and display initiatives Masculinity Moderately “masculine” society Work-life balance and are likely to take time to enjoy personal pursuits, family gatherings and life in general uncertainty avoidance “Uncertainty accepting. Easy acceptance of new ideas, innovative products and a willingness to try something new or different, whether it pertains to technology, business practices, or consumer products Pragmatism Normative society Strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth; they are normative in their thinking Great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to eve for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results Indulgence Indulgent Willingness to realize their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun Higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish. 1 .
CONSUMER INSIGHTS What are consumer insights? Definition: the collection, deployment and interpretation Of information that allows a business to acquire, develop and retain their customers. Process of collecting and analyzing customer feedbacks toward a product or a brand. Who use it? Internal marketing teams and a 3rd party research firm’s to conduct nonuser research. What types of business challenges can benefit from consumer insights? Gathering Consumer Insights helps to understand the preferences, attitudes and behaviors of consumers for business decisions and for new product development, brand message and promotional actions.
It also helps to localize where a product can be improved or repositioned. How are consumer insights obtained? Quantitative research: based on the measurement and analysis Of relationships between variables. Questionnaire & web survey. Qualitative research: gather a more in depth understanding of behavior. Focus group: owe cost, quick turnaround time. Marketing research tool where a small group of people engage in a moderate roundtable discussion on particular topics of interest D obtain the group’s opinions about, or reactions to, specific products or marketing-oriented issues.
Concept test: image, price, preparations, and benefits to see purchase intent. Used for new product development and to help develop brand messaging. Most concepts include an image of the product, along with pricing information, preparation instructions and a summary of key benefits. Presented to consumers in verbal or visual form ND quantitatively evaluated by consumers by indicating their degree Of purchase intent. Creative testing: evaluating the effectiveness of ads, testing the advertisement.
The goal of both types of tests is to optimize advertising and packaging so that more consumers purchase the product. Usage and attitude study: survey that focuses on the frequency of product purchase and use, desirable attributes in products and product strengths and weaknesses. Quantitative study The Usage and Attitude study What? Ask consumers about their perception of the product: В«The frequency of product purchase and use В» «The desirable attributes of the products В» В«The strengths and weaknesses Of the products В» Why? To find the right profile of the product user.
To obtain insights and ideas about new products or current products Qualitative study The In-Home immersions study: Four two-hour visits at 2 lapsed users and 2 brand champions home. Why? To observe, rather than interview, the world of the consumer when they’re baking. В« To develop a real life and dynamic view of the consumer-brand relationships The discovery workshops study: 26 moms: lapsed and current users categories CLC shared thoughts, feelings and experiences. Why? To understand relationship and behavior regarding the Pillsbury brand 2.
KEY LEARNING This part of the analysis will allow us to understand the difference and the similarities between the Canadian and the US market. First of all, we can make some observations about the Pillsbury Cookie Case: It is clear that the Family structure and consumer demographics are similar in Canada and in US as well as the frequency of RUG cookie baking. However, there is a big difference of preferences between scratch, refrigerated, and mix baking in both countries. Finally, we also can notice that the kid-request has a age impact on parents purchase especially in Canada. N this case, some researches are led: a quantitative one and a qualitative one. The results of theses studies are the following ones: The results of the quantitative study show clearly that Canadian people prefer the scratch baking. Indeed, 56% of Canadians VS.. 22% of Americans bake only from scratch. Another important thing to highlight is that there are similar purchase drivers in both countries but not in the same weight: -Top 1: Convenience -TOP 2: Taste -Top 3: Quality (12% less Canadians than Americans think it is high quality).
Top 4: Kid- request: (10% more В« like to eat cookies В»&13% more В« fun activity with kids В» This study also demonstrates that Purchase is impulsive and that the use of refrigerated cookie dough increases particularly in household with kids. The second research uses qualifications. Here, the results indicate that for mothers, baking experience is very important. With Pillsbury Cookie, this experience is relatively easy, quick, practical, affordable and pleasing to children. The most important thing is that baking is the opportunity to share memories and happy nonentities hillier and to “put a smile “on everyone’s face.
For the children eating cookies the most important even if they participate, most of the time, with enthusiasm and involvement. What is enough surprising is the lack of interest of mothers and children toward nutritional values… It does not matter because Contraindications really love Pillsbury. Baking and eating them represent a kind of “magic”, something “special” and it is better than a ready- made product because it is seen as an act of generosity because it asks some efforts to “cook”. And to finish, with Pillsbury, sometimes consumer has the impression of cheating or to keep “a little secret” that make him feel good. . RECOMMENDATIONS Now that we knotted Canadian consumers insight and the key learning from the usage and attitude study, we can develop several recommendations for Pillsbury into the Canadian market in order to increase the products sales: Commercials focus on children CM could use stimulus factors into the advertising in order to let the brand into the Children and mother memory. To do that they can play on several marketing aspects: Size, Intensity, Attractive visuals, Color and movement, Position, Isolation, Format, Contrast and expectations, Information quantity.
Thus we recommend communicating on TV with attractive and colorful commercials. Emergency should place some printed adding front of schools, food retailers and bakery. These decontamination’s on the “convenient, quality and tasty” side of the product. Create a Family bounding experience: In order to build a global relationship with the brand and give some future “flashbulb” memories, CM should focus on the brand experience for consumers. In order to add value for the moms the company could offer a “baking experience” with cooking classes. It would be a great moment to share between moms and children.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are periods that have to be targeted in the calendar as both are about giving and sharing. Create a new product for Canadian consumers: We saw that Canadian moms love cooking. Therefore, CM should launch a “cookie baking kit”. This kit could be a box including all the necessary ingredients to bake cookies at home. It would be convenient for moms who have busy lifestyle and look for convenient solution to share time with their children. This kit could have a value added for children: 1 mould offer In each it, Minnie Mouse shape,Heart shape, Pumpkin shape, ghost shape, Snowman shape…
Focus on Emotion and well being association: In order to influence the attitude of the mother and their children about the brand, they can use testimonies on their website and social networks (Youth, faceable, Mainstream). Monthly newsletters with cookies recipes During special events such as: Halloween, Easter, Birthdays, Christmas, CM should share some customers’ recipes by emailing. Bake-off contest CM should create some “Baking contest” where customers will win Coupons and deals. These contests should be very attractive with music and a any attractions for children and moms.
Make this day a real experience. Presentations and webzines to provide home-styles recipes We have seen that lappers and users are mothers keen on cooking and bringing joy and happiness all over the household. As webzines are web- based presentations, they would fit perfectly with the convenience sought by customers. As in the BIB industry, mothers (and potential fathers) would only have to switch on their computers or smartness to attend the webzines. Moreover, both moms and children would be able to improve their cooking skills from industry experts.
Smartness APS and partnerships with high tech leaders CM could partner with smartness applications specialist in order to reach moms in new way. This would be the opportunity for consumers to connect deeply With the brand. Strategic partnerships with Tim Horton As the Canadian purchase drivers are taste for children and convenience for busy mothers, building a partnership with brand like Tim Horton would reinforce Pillsbury position and desire to connect with kids. Canadian people are in love with the restoration brand Tim Horton because it’s the most famous Canadian one.
Moms always pick up there coffee there in the morning and get some bakeries for their children at the end of the day. For instance, like brands such as Kit or M’s did, Pillsbury could partner with one of children’s Tim Horton favorite dessert: the Tomtits. Sponsored events Shelf allocation and Point-of-sale display Pillsbury product should be situated on the lowest levels of the shelves in supermarkets in order children to kick them up and draw their mother’s attention. This sales form of sales promotion located next to checkout counter would draw customers’ attention, and particularly children’s attention.
It would be an efficient strategy to promote new Pillsbury products, or special offers according to relevant periods of the year e. G. Back To School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Timeline for recommendations In order to implement these recommendations, we believe Pillsbury should build a timeline all over the year. Therefore, the marketing team would focus on specific events or period matching the customers’ expectations. This timeline shall bear witness of the complete understanding of consumer’s insights and behavior.