That was the question we were all asking. We couldn’t see how the world and the particularly dramatic Spanish crisis could have done all that, nor could a lack of promotional campaigns be argued. The crisis might account for a 30% decline, at most. Something else was happening, and the sensible thing to do was to start again from scratch and study the competitive environment of the trade, including consumers, distribution and competition. So we needed an in-depth market survey, and quick. The trade was aware of this, and the company Ikerfel undertook the necessary research, which among other things revealed what we all suspected: the “product” was being sold and consumed in the same way as always – there had been no modernisation or attempt at updating anything. It was therefore urgent to improve usability and versatility, and invent new, more economical cuts, emphasising healthiness and ease of cooking. This is why we had to initiate a reactivation of the lamb meat trade by focusing on product innovation.
In this trade, as in many others, a systematic observation of the competitive environment – market intelligence – would have kick-started innovation earlier.
It was a serious and costly mistake to think that any old advertising would do the job. How could it, if the most important element – the product – had never been updated? In the food trade, that was the question. This is why we agreed with the trade to initiate a process of teamwork, together with butchers and cooks, to modernise the product, and this brought about a final proposal of seven new cuts of lamb.
Our positioning proposal:
On the other hand, we had to start up a communication process to establish our differentiated and competitive positioning vis-à-vis other meats, and our proposal was an all-inclusive positioning that would validate and strengthen lamb sales both in traditional and in more “innovative” cuts.
And bearing in mind all the information from the market survey, along with common sense and the experience of practically everyone in Spain having seen sheep in local pastures – which in not the case with pigs or chickens – our recommendation was to position lamb as the tastiest due to its natural origins. A kind of meat that has never lost its flavour, and enables us to enjoy the experience as always.
Meanwhile, new cuts enabled us to position lamb for use during weekdays, and not just for weekends and holidays, as had been the case, and among the youth population as well.
Our communication proposal: