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Mac Case Analysis

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Margarine, "the heart-healthy margarine choice," owned by Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies. Becel was launched in 1978 under the Lipton Food Division at Unilever. Their target market being older, educated and affluent adults, Becel's strategy proved to be a winner when their margarine sales and awareness soared to become the market leader in a short amount of time.

Currently, Becel is not growing at the fast rate it once was and is falling well below the expectations of Senior Management. Competition has been looming over their clever strategies and many of them have taken the same stance as Becel, and at a lower price point. Butter seems to be Becel's biggest competitor, having 50% of the Spreads Market under their belt.

Ross Hugessen, the Brand Manager at Unilever Canada has to come up with a convincing new marketing strategy for Becel. It needs to include a long-term and short-term growth plan, and new branding strategies that tie into Advertising, eventually being emulated by the European divisionof Becel.

The Goals and Objective Include:

 Sales Growth

 Maintain Market Leadership

 Venturing into new market segments

 Educate consumers about eating healthy

Sales and revenue growth are always at the top of the "goals" chart when it comes to the Senior Management yearly review. The question is, what strategies can Becel put into place to gain a higher proportion of their current target market? Their biggest competitor being butter, holds 50% of the Spreads Market share. How will Becel convince these users to switch? Can becel convince other margaine brand users to switch?

The "Young at Heart" campaign had been proven to have increased the market growth back in 1992 through 1997. Becel will keep this in mind while strategizing the best method to once again increase market growth for the future.

Currently, Becel's market segment consists of older, low income, health and heart conscious people. Can Becel successfully venture into new market segments?

Becel prides itself in saying that we care about your health.Through our close relationships with health professionals, and by using our interactive website, consumers will given up-to-date information on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Constraints for Becel include:

 Competition. Butter, other margarines, olive oils, private labels.

 Risk of focusing on a new market segment

 AD dollars can be taken away if the strategy does not increase sales

Ross is under a lot of pressure to make his new marketing plan work. One of his worries include the obvious, competition. Butter, oddly enough, is Becel's biggest competitor and also the most aggressive in their marketing campaigns against margarines. As you will see further down, Becel and Butter users have completely different market segments. This could turn into an opportunity for Becel in penetrating this new market if the strategy was just rightÐ'...

If Ross fails in his new marketing plan, he is at risk of losing his marketing dollars to other competing products under the Unilever umbrella of products in the next year.

What sets Becel apart from the rest?

Becel has the highest consumer brand loyalty in all of the spreads market. They have been able to create an emotional connection with their target market through clever marketing campaigns. This is unusual, especially in a category where brand switching is rated at very high.

Another interesting fact is again, the overall margarine market and butter market segments was quite diverse, Becels target market was shockingly close to that of the butter market.

Mission Statement: Providing all spread users who are conscious about living a healthy lifestyle the ability to do so without sacrificing taste.

Characterizing the spread market in Canada is simple: roughly half and half. 50% are margarine users, the other 50% are butter users. The distinct market segments are broken



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