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Pillsbury Cookie Challenge Case Solution
The RBG category of the business was not performing well as a result of Guillen being asked to come up with an effective marketing strategy that would improve the financial and overall performance of the category in Canada. The same strategies that were being applied in the US market were being applied to the Canadian market but while the growth rate achieved in the US market was substantial, in the Canadian market, RBG was not able to reach its volume growth targets at all. Hence, Guillen researched on the difference between the US and the Canadian market using the usage and attitude study to better understand consumer perceptions towards the product. Together with this, he made use of home immersion activities to better understand the Canadian consumer. The consumer insights gained allowed Guillen to understand that scratch baking was dominant in Canada and that the purchase was mostly kid driven unlike the case in the US market. Hence, this gave Guillen a clear focus as to what to leverage when deciding upon the marketing strategy for RBG and in particularly how to increase the sales of refrigerated dough cookies which were the best seller of the RBG category but were facing negligible growth since the past 3 years.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution
What are the challenges that Ivan Gullien faces?
What are consumer insights? What types of business challenges can benefit from consumer insights? How are consumer insights obtained?
Given the key learnings from usage and attitude study, what are the corresponding implications for what actions the team should take?
Why did Guillen and his team conduct the in-home and discovery workshops?
Develop perceptual maps for potential targets (users, lapsed users, and potential users). What are the implications from these maps?
What actions should Guillen and his team takes?
Case Analysis for Pillsbury Cookie Challenge
1. What are the challenges that Ivan Guillen faces?
The major challenge that Ivan Guillen faces is to come up with an effective marketing strategy that would help in improving the performance of RBG category at General Mills Canada. RBG’s performance has been declining over the past two years. Apart from this, the annual volume growth of the product category remained flat since the past three years and the household penetration rate for the category had also declined and reached the lowest point when compared with the data of the past five years. Apart from this, the refrigerated cookie product line was the most profitable segment of the category as it contributed to 62% of the total unit sales and generated more than 75% of the profit for the RBG category. However, the growth rate of the product segment has remained at 1% only since the past three years which is a concerning issue for Guillen as it would have a direct adverse impact on the overall financial performance of the RBG category. Hence, Guillen is faced with the challenge of coming up with a strategy that would boost cookie sales and improve the performance of RBG which is a core category at General Mills Canada. He will have to determine the strategy that would help in increasing the purchase frequency and the market penetration of the cookies as that would directly influence the volume growth of the segment. Also, Guillen will have to redetermine the target audience and decide upon a brand image as the previous kisses cookie ad was not very much successful in the Canadian market. Hence, he is faced with a task to determine a communication plan for the brand message that would help in increasing the cookie sales by motivating the target audience.
2. What are consumer insights? What types of business challenges can benefit from consumer insights? How are consumer insights obtained?
The consumer insights that the team got indicated that scratch baking was the dominant baking practice in Canada unlike in the US where refrigerated cookies were popular. Also, it was found that RBG cookies were rated as a top for convenience and quality in the Canadian market just like in the US market. Another insight gained concerned with the fact that in Canada, the RBG cookies were more likely to be purchased by homes that have kids as kids would drive the purchases.
The most crucial finding was the fact that in Canada, scratch baking was the dominant segment. Hence, if RBG would cater to the customer's needs in the given segment, there was a huge probability for the business to boost the growth of its sales and improve its financial performance.
The insights were obtained by applying usage and attitude studies on cookie consumers. Using this technique, the behavior, strengths, weaknesses, traits, and purchase patterns of the consumers for the product are evaluated. The consumers are asked a number of questions based on which the insights are derived, and a consumer profile is developed for the product which in the case is a refrigerated cookie. Usage studies were therefore conducted to find the difference between the Canadian and US market that would help understand the underlying reasons behind flat volume in Canada despite the targeted growth in the US after applying the same marketing strategy.
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