Timeout Essay, Research Paper
1.What criteria did Cadbury Ireland use in developing TimeOut?
Cadbury’s Ireland in determining criteria for developing TimeOut, looked at it’s strengths and competencies which it felt it had expertise or could gain competitive advantage in. It identified three technologies, which would fall into this category.
2.Flake chocolate manufacture
3.Wafer making and baking
Cadbury’s Ireland combined these three area’s of excellence (i.e. core competencies) to develop a product to fill the bridge-brand position, which would directly compete against it’s competitors of Twix and KitKat in the bar-biscuit market. Cadbury must also consider another factor in developing TimeOut. This is Dairy Milk chocolate. Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate is made from fresh Irish milk and is used in all of Cadbury’s products, as well as being marketed separately under the Cadbury Dairy Milk brand.
But the most important criteria for developing TimeOut was the way in which Cadbury defined market segments. Cadbury defines segments on the basis of how customers buy rather than on how a product is made. This method of defining market segments allowed Cadbury Ireland to identify a significant consumption pattern whereby the take-home segment is increasing its share of the confectionery market. They also noticed an overlap in the marketplace where brands which were traditionally seen as bars, were now spreading out into the biscuit market. This criteria meant that Cadbury Ireland would have to develop a product, which would sit into this bridge-brand position between the bar and biscuit market, i.e. it would be equally satisfying to the confectionery market as a bar in it’s own right, and to the biscuit market as a snack at break time.
2.Which marketing mix variables were most important in positioning TimeOut?
The marketing mix variables also known as the 4 P’s are product, pricing, packaging and promotion. The most important marketing mix variable in the positioning of TimeOut were product, packaging, and promotion. Given the power of retailers Cadbury had little discretion in the determination of the price of TimeOut. Therefore the issue of pricing was not that important in the positioning of TimeOut. In positioning TimeOut as a bridge-brand product between the bar and biscuit market the most important marketing mix variable was essentially the product. Cadbury Ireland needed to create a product which would contain enough biscuit to satisfy the biscuit market, while containing enough chocolate to equally satisfy the bar market. They achieved this through a technological advance which allowed them to layer flake on to wafer. TimeOut consists of a flake centre, sandwiched between two wafers and covered in dairy milk chocolate. In TimeOut, Cadbury Ireland seemed to of found a unique mix of chocolate and biscuit to satisfy both markets. Other considerations under product were the name and the wrapper layout.
It was discovered that using a name indicating the timing and situation in which the bar should be consumed greatly enhanced the customers understanding of what the product was designed for. The name TimeOut effectively portrays the intentions of TimeOut to be a bar taken at snack time. This idea was supported by the picture of a clock and a mug on the wrapper, to again suggest usage at snack time. The colour scheme of the wrapper is also interesting.
The blue/red/yellow colour scheme makes TimeOut stand out in a market which is predominantly uses darker colour schemes such as black/brown or gold. The lighter colour scheme of TimeOut is more easily associated with light biscuity bars, referring to the wafer parts in TimeOut, and also giving the image of TimeOut as a lighter, healthier bar. TimeOuts packaging configuration was very important. If TimeOut only established themselves in standard format first and then proceeded to expand into all the different formats at a later date, they would not have made the required impact on the bridge
brand market. Therefore, they produced in a variety of formats from the outset, i.e. standard, 5-pack, breakpack, and treat-size. This allowed them to meet the needs of the numerous different user groups of the product.
On it’s release TimeOuts positioning was supported by heavy advertising and promotion campaigns. TV and radio advertising emphasised the “TimeOut at any time” theme, while promotions such as giving a free TimeOut bar with every standard box of Lyons tea, the largest selling brand of tea in Ireland, clearly marked TimeOuts desired positioning as a beverage accompaniment. On the other hand, TimeOuts generous distribution of free samples, both at in-store promotions and at street activities, showed it wanted to b taken seriously as a bar in it’s own right. Thus through the marketing mix variables of product, packaging, and promotion TimeOut clearly positioned itself in the bridge-brand position of the bar and biscuit market.
3.How did the positioning and marketing strategies of its main
competitor influence TimeOuts positioning?
The bridge-brand market is a very competitive market, and positioning is a very important factor to success. TimeOuts positioning and the positioning of its main competitors is best illustrated by the following positioning map.
Bridge-Brand Position Bar & Snack Market
Low PriceHigh Price
Among TimeOuts main competitors in the bridge-brand market are Twix, KitKat, Cadbury Snack and Jacobs Club Milk. As shown in the positioning map above Twix is positioned in the bridge-brand market but is not as concentrated in the snack market
as some of the others. Twix is positioned on its good value-for-money, even though it’s price is about that of market par. It’s positioning in the snack market is personified by the slogan “Whenever there’s a snack gap. Twix fits.” Twix’s marketing strategy is backed up by the heavy advertising it continues to receive. Another main competitor would be KitKat. Although KitKat would be considered more of a snack than Twix, it positions itself by a heavy advertising strategy like Twix and also by keeping its price 2-4p below market par. KitKat showed it’s desire to be present in both bar and biscuit market by the use of advertising campaigns such as the innovative advert which debated “it’s a biscuit … it’s a bar”.
KitKat’s positioning strategy would seemed to have worked with it recording sales of around ?1 1 million in 1992, one of the highest sales figures for that market.
Although available in single format, Jacobs Club Milk bars have never made a great impact in the impulse bar market. Their main area of sales would be the family six
pack format. This is so because of the traditional uses of Club Milk. As one of the oldest snack brands on the market Club Milk is traditionally perceived as a snack to be taken at tea time, and a snack that is great to put in a packed lunch for children going to school and so forth. This idea of snack at tea time is reinforced by the catchy slogan “If you’re going to have a cuppa, have a club.”
The positioning of Cadburys Snack was very interesting. Cadbury Snack is now one of the dominant forces in the snack market. This is achieved primarily through grocery sales and sales to the catering market. This link with the catering industry and catering events is very important to Cadbury Snack. Not only does it increase sales but it also firmly places Cadbury Snack in the snack market. People who would go to events and received Cadbury Snack as a beverage accompaniment would be more accustom to it as a snack and easily associate it with break times or tea times. Also Cadbury Snack variety of snack products, i.e. the yellow Snack, the purple Snack and the pink Snack, help to cater for the different tastes and therefore a wider segment of the markets.
TimeOuts positioning relative to these other products was done by building awareness through trial and promotion and substantial initial advertising. But unlike the some of the other products TimeOut build loyalty and therefore could survive and prosper once the initial heavy advertising support was removed. This is evident by the survey which showed that out of the people surveyed that 97% of children (aged 1 1 – 1 4) has used TimeOut and that 43% of these would be regular users while 41% being occasional users. TimeOut positioned itself in the middle of the bridge-brand market hoping to capture both markets, yet did not compete to a great extend on price, their price being about that of market par. TimeOut did not try to compete exactly like or mimic any of it’s competitors, rather it used a strategy of gaining customer loyalty to enable it to reduce the amount of advertising it had to do other brands.
Q4.What are the cultural factors that account for the success of TimeOut? Could TimeOut be successful in other European countries?
The cultural factors that account for TimeOuts success in the Irish and English markets are mainly due to the change in cultural habits concerning eating in these countries. The snack market is a very big and mature market in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is essentially a lifestyle market linked to the destructed approach to food. In Ireland the people base their eating habits around several occasions during the day, rather than two or three main meals. This is somewhat due to the destruction of family mealtimes and less time being devoted to meals. Since this is the culture in Ireland, the practice of the 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. snack breaks are very common. These breaks usually consist of a cup of tea or coffee together with a piece of fruit, a chocolate bar or a cake. The culture in Ireland particular suits the snack bar as Ireland are accomplished “snackers” as illustrated by research which shows the large growth in the Irish confectionery market which seen it reach annual sales of over ?240 million in both 1991 and 1992. This is also evident in a survey, which measured consumption of chocolate confectionery (Kg per capita) in EU countries. Ireland and the United Kingdom both had the highest consumption of chocolate with a figure of 8.3 kg. The success that TimeOut has enjoyed in Ireland and United Kingdom will be hard to match in other European countries. This is illustrated by figures in the previously mentioned EU survey. While Ireland and the United Kingdom both had the highest consumption of chocolate with 8.3 kg other European countries had consumption levels of as low as 0.5 kg, with the EU average being only 4.8 kg. Also other European countries culture differs vastly from Ireland’s. As mentioned before the 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. snack breaks are very common in Ireland, somewhat due to the destruction of family mealtimes and less time being devoted to meals, and also indicates a slow but steady change in cultural habits concerning eating. Even though this is partly what accounts for the increase in the snack market in other European countries, they have not reached the same extent to which Ireland in this grazing phenomenon (habit of snack eating and destruction of meals).