Zachry Schiller Stalking The New Consumer

from Valerie Reitman, 'Rubbermaid turns up plenty of profit in the mundane'. Wall (Street Journal (27 March 1992), p. B4; see also Erik Calonius, 'Smart moves by the quality champs', in Tlte New American Century, special issue of Fortune (1991), pp. 24-8; Grisly Marshall, 'Rubbermaid: yes, plastic'. Business Month (December 1988), p. 38; Maria Mallory, 'Profits on everything but the kitchen sink', Business Wfeefe, special issue on innovation (1991), p. 122; William Band, 'Use ISaldridge criteria as guide to improving quality', Marketing News (1 October 1991), pp 2, 18; Zachary Schiller, 'At Rubbermaid, little things mean a lot'. Business Week (11 November 1991); and 'Bjibbermaid: breaking all the molds'. Sales and Marketing Management (August 1992), p. 42. Paul Cheeseright, 'Simpson aims to accelerate Lucas', Financial Times (11 October 1994), p. 21. For more on measuring customer delivered value, and on Value/price ratios', set Irwin P. Levin and Richard D. Johnson. 'Estimating price-quality tradeoffs using comparative judgements', Joun la I of Consumer Research (11 June 1984), pp. 593-600.

For an interesting discussion of value and value strategies, see Michael TVeaey and Fred Wiersema, 'Customer intimacy and other value disciplines', Harvard liusiness Review (January-February 1993), pp. 84-9,1. For more on the measurement and effect of customer satisfaction, see Chow-Hou Wee and Celine Cheong, 'Determinants of consumer sal is fact ion/dissatisfaction towards dispute settlements in Singapore', European Journal of Marketing, 25, 1 (1991), pp. 6-16; Harald Biotig, 'Satisfaction and loyalty to suppliers within the grocery' trade', European Journal of Marketing, 27, 7 (1993), pp. 21-38; Fred Seines. 'An examination ol'theeffect of product performance on brand reputation, satisfaction and loyalty', European Journal of Marketing, 27, 9 (1993), pp. 19-35 Thomas E Caruso, 'Got a marketing topic? Kotlcr has an opinion'. Marketing Netes (S June 1992), p. 21.

7. 'Europe's most respected companies', Financial 'fimcs (27 June 1994), pp. 8-9.

8. Michael E. Porter, Competitive Adiiancage: Creating and sustaining superior performance (New York: Free Press, 1985).

9 For an analysis of the relative contribution of the product, sales service and after-sales sen-ice, see Jose M.M. Illoemer and Jos G.A.M. Lemmink, 'The importance of customer satisfaction in explaining brand and dealer loyalty', Journal t>f Marketing Management, S, 4 (1992). pp. 351-64.

10. See George Stalk, Philip Evans and Laurence E. Bhulman, 'Competing capabilities: the new rules of corporate strategy', Harvard Business Bewiew (March-April 1992), pp. 57-69; lienson P. Shapiro, V. Kasturi lian£an and John J. SvJOkla, 'Staple yourself to an order', Harvard Business Review (July-August 1992), pp. 113-22.

11. For more discussion, see Frederick E. Webster, Jr, The changing role of marketing in the corporation', Journal of Marketing (October 1992), pp. 1-17.

12. Simon Ilolberton, "In pursuit of repeat business'. Financial Times (31 May 1991), p. 14; Adrian Payne and Fran Pennie, 'Relationship marketing: key issues for the utilities sector1, Journal ofMarketing Management, 13, 5 (1997), pp. 46577.

13. Redriek F. Reiclield and W. Earl Sasscr, Jr, 'Zero defections: quality comes to service', Harvard Business Review (September-October 1990), pp. 301-7.

14. Leonard L Uerry and A. Parasuraman, Marketing Services: Competing through quality (New York: Free Press, 1991), pp. 136-42.

IS Aimee L. Stern, 'Courting consumer loyalty with the feelgood bond', Nifis York Times (17 January 1993), p. F10.

16. James II. Donnelly. Jr, Leonard L. Berry and Thomas W

Thompson, Marketing Financial Services: A strategic vision (Homewood, 1L: Dow Jones-Irwin, 1985), p. 113.

17. Richard Lapper, 'J.P. Morgan offers free use of its toolbox', Financial Times (11 October 1994), p. 27.

18. Thomas E. Caruso, 'Kotler: future marketers will focus on customer data base to compote globally", Marketing News (8 June 1992), p. 21.

19. On when and how to use relationship marketing, see Barbara Bund Jackson, Winning and Keefring Industrial Customers: The dynamics of customer relationships (Lexington. MA: Heath, 1985); James C. Anderson and James A. Nanis, 'Value-based segmentation, targeting and relationship-building in business markets', ISBM Report No. 12, Institute for the Study of Business Markets, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (1989); Lawrence A. Crosby. Kenneth R. Evans and Deborah Cowles, 'Relationship quality and services selling- an interpersonal influence perspective', Journal of Marketing (My 1990), pp. 68-81; Barry J. Farber and Joyce Wyooff, 'Relationships: six steps to sueeess', Sales and Marketing Management (April 1992), pp. 50-8.

20. Michael J. Lamiing and Lynn W. Phillips, 'Strategy shifts up a gear',Marketing (October 1991), p. 9.

21. 'Business and Community Annual Report (1997)', financial Timus (4 December 1997), p. 5.

22. Specifically, Bob Luehs, "Quality as a strategic weapon: measuring relative quality, value, and market differentiation', European Business journal, 2, 4 (1990), pp. .14-47; and generally Robert D. Huzzell and Bradley T. Gale, The TIMS Ili-rmiples: Linking strategy to performance (New York: Free Press, 1987), eh. 6.

23. 'Quality: the US drives to catch up', /Justness Week (November 1982). pp. 66-80: 68. For a recent assessment of progress, see 'Quality programs show shoddy results'. Wall Street Journal (14 May 1992), p. Bl.

24. See 'The gurus of quality; American companies are heading the quality gospel preached by Deming. Juran, Crosby, and Taguehi', Traffic Management (July 1990), pp. 35-9.

25. J. Daniel Beckham, 'Expect the unexpected in health care marketing future', The Academy Bulletin (July 1992), p. 3

26. Kenneth Kivenku, Quality Control far Management (Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Prentice Hall, 1984); see also Kate Bertrand, 'Marketing discovers what "quality" really means', Business Marketing (April 1987), pp. 58-72.

Case 11

Fcinschmecker Sauce: Pricey 'n' Spicy

Verena M. Priemer*

UNCLE BEN'S RICE is THE market leader in the Austrian market for part boiled riec. According to a survey, 75 per cent of the Austrian households knew the brand, a figure that increased to 95 per cent for the aided recall. Seventy-eight per eent of all households had used the brand at least once, 36 per cent bought it most of the time, and 50 per cent of them claimed that Uncle Ben's was their preferred brand.

Consumers saw Uncle Ben's Rice as having superior quality and taste, and being easy to prepare, modern, wholesome and nutritious. It was seen as a relatively expensive brand, but consumers thought the brand's outstanding quality made it worth the high price. Uncle Ben's many brand strengths made its owner, Master Foods Austria (MFA), think it was the ideal vehicle for brand extension. However, care was needed. The brand extension had to meet the high quality of L'ncle Ben's Rice to avoid damaging the reputation of the mother brand.

MFA's first task was to find out from customers the kinds of product that would sell with Uncle Ben's Rice. A survey of consumers' associations was carried out regarding Uncle Ben's, which revealed some potential product fields (see Exhibit 11.1). The general trend towards international eating encouraged MFA to extend Uncle Ren's umbrella to ready-to-serve sauces

University of Vienna, Austria.

with exotic tastes. Both Uncle Ben's rice and sauee would be fast and easy to cook, and so could he used together. To enhance its image of high quality and naturalness, the product would contain whole pieces of vegetables. MFA produced Uncle Ben's sauces in 350 g glass jars rather than in the usual can. Users needed to add about 200 g of their own meat to the sauee to make a meal. The chosen name, Uncle Ben's Feinschmeckcr (gourmet) Sauce, focused on the quality and refinement of the product.


ASSOCIATIONS WITH UNCLE BEN'S Rice - different kinds of rice —»

Rice - cereals, flour, grain Garnishing American Helpful, prepared Quality, cooking


rice plus sauce, rice plus vegetables, rice meals, rice pudding wholesome nutrition different garnishes, noodles fast food, prepared food ready-to-serve meals, mixed spices ready-to-serve meals, frozen food

The 350 g jars fitted the needs of two-person households, which were the main target market. These would be typically women between the ages of 20 and 40 years who were interested in food and variety. Being well educated, the target segment would be open-minded towards new and foreign ideas. The target group also had the necessary high income to match the pricey sauce. A selling price of nearly Sch30 was needed to cover high production costs and import duties.

Feinschmeeker Sauces had varieties to suit the tastes of different market segments. For example, adults, who wanted exotic and spicy dishes, were expected to buy flavours such as 'Karibiseh', while children would prefer the mild 'Chinesisch', a taste that they already know from restaurant food. The latter variety was viewed as a 'gateway sauce' for consumers who are unused to more exotic dishes. Concept tests showed that people were attracted to the more exotic sauces: 55 per eent of the informants said that they were interested in 'Karibiseh', 45 per cent in 'Mexikanisch', 45 per eent in 'Indisch', but only 5 per cent in 'Italienisch'. The range of Feinschmeeker Sauces would satisfy a variety of consumers' needs, thus increasing the buying frequency. The main reasons for purchasing Uncle Ben's Sauces would be quality, comfort, confidence in the product and the attraction of a foreign flavour that would be hard to find elsewhere. Meals would be easy to prepare with the sauces, so that even non-expert cooks could produce exotic food at home. The sauces also gave people the chance to try foreign meals without buying numerous unfamiliar ingredients.

Some opposition was expected from some consumers to using the sauees. Certain people disapproved of ready-to-eat meals or disliked exotic flavours, for instance, while the high price would deter others. The danger of spoiling the meat when adding the sauce would be seen by some as a further obstacle.

In September 1992 MFA launched six varieties of Uncle Ben's Feinschmeeker Sauce in Austria and two more varieties were later added (see Exhibit 11.2), Uncle Ben's sauces were launched in other European countries too, but because of the divergent tastes across Europe, the varieties, recipes and brand name varied from country to country. The advertising concentrated on creating awareness and interest, a task simplified by the strength of Uncle Ben's brand reputation. It emphasized the link between Uncle Ben's Fcinschmeeker Sauce and Uncle Ben's Rice, and aimed to transfer the quality image from the rice to the sauce, while at the same time strengthening Uncle Ben's position in the saturated rice market. Point-of-sales promotions gave consumers a chance to try the product.


SOURCES: Thanks co Dr Ingrkl Kauper-Petschnlhar of Master Poods Austria Grabl I and research by the Institut I'iir Motivforsohung. A+U GaJlup-Institut, and Tulubus, INTEGRAL.

The launch of Uncle Ben's Feinsehmecker Sauce was successful. By November 1993, 6 per cent of Austrian households had bought the product once and 7 per cent had bought it more often. The repurchase rate by the GfK panel of households after the first six months of 1993 was 32 per cent. Of the varieties, 8 per cent of purchasers had tried 'Mexikaniseh Chili', 7 per cent 'Chinesisch siifi-saucr', 5 per cent 'Indisuh Curry'. 3 per cent 'Neapolitanisch raffiniert gewiirzt', 2 per cent 'Provenzalisch mit feinen Krautern', and 1 percent 'Karibiseh exotisch fnichtig'.

Purchase frequencies of Uncle Ben's Feinschmecker Sauce varied from group to group. Younger women (up to 34 years old) had bought Feinschmecker Sauce disproportionately often: a survey showed that their share of purchase (33 per cent) was higher than the sample average (20 per cent). Thirty per cent of the buyers came from the highest social class, although they accounted for only ] 4 per cent of the sample. The survey also showed variations in the products consumed. Households with children bought mainly 'Neapolitanisch raffiniert gewiirzt' (50 per eent), but seldom the spicy variety 'Mexikanisch Chili' (16 per cent). Higher-Income consumers bought spicy 'Karibiseh exotisch fruchtig' more often than the more familiar 'Chinesisch siift-sauer' (19 percent).

The popularity of the sauces contrasted sharply with what the concept test had suggested. The mild 'Chinesisch siiiA-sauer' was the most popular variety (40 per cent of purchases), 'Mexikanisch Chili' and 'Provenzalisch mit feinen Krautern' each had only 10 per cent of purchases, while 'Karibiseh' - the most popular flavour during the concept tests - was the least popular of the range!

Consumer research showed that people mainly bought Feinschmecker Sauce in order to prepare meals quickly and easily, particularly when coming home late in the evening or when short of time. In contrast to ready-to-serve meals, consumers still added their own seasoning to create a meal to their liking - they wanted to remove the trouble of preparing a meal, but still wanted the dish served to be essentially their own. Although pre-

variant name


Chinesisch sufi-sauer Provenzalisch mit feinen Krautern Indisch Curry Karibiseh exotisch fruchtig Mexikanisch Chili Neapolitanisch raffiniert gewiirzt Chinesisch Szeclnian Stroganoff

Chinese sweet and sour Provencal with fine herbs Indian curry Caribbean exotic fruity Mexican chilli Neapolitan sophisticated seasoned Chinese Szeehuan Stroganoff

Cast; 11: Feinschmecher Sauce • 501

prepared, Feinschmecker Sauce appeared wholesome, so consumers had no qualms about enjoying it.

The sauce was convenient to transport and store, and was also easy to open and reclosc for later use. Uncle Ben's Feinschinecker Sauce gained the same reputation for high quality, security and modernity as Uncle Ben's Rice. Consumers prepared the sauces in various ways: with or without meat, and with rice or noodles. They perceived the product as special and quite different from other dried and frozen sauces.


1. What internal or external stimuli may start the buyer decision process for Uncle Ben's Feinschmeeker Sauce?

2. Compare the buyer decision process of an initial purchase and a repeat purchase. What is the type of buying decision behaviour in each case and how does the brand name Uncle Ben's influence the decision?

3. What explains the big difference between the concept test results and eventual buyer behaviour? Does the difference in the results matter?

4. Several stores sell the product below the price of Sch30. Why should they do that and could it harm Uncle Ben's reputation?

5. How can MFA influence the level of customer satisfaction achieved and how does MFA's targeting help achieve customer satisfaction?

6. Does this brand extension endanger the standing of Uncle Ben's Rice?

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  • ramsay
    How customer satisfaction influenced by uncle ben's sauce?
    3 years ago

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