4P square

The challenge

Tiense Suiker approached 4P square with the question to help them develop a 3 year strategy for their Belgian B2B bakery channel. The challenge they were facing was very clear: the company experienced increased price competition from international competitors who were dumping sugar on the Belgian market which lead to a situation where price is leading the branch. A very unfavourable situation, knowing that Tiense Suiker is offering premium sugar…

The objective

My job was to develop a clear and acctionable strategy that would increase the loyalty of the bakers in Belgium. A strategy that would make Belgian bakers turn directly to Tiense Suiker in stead of the wholesalers.

How we did it?

Step 1: External analysis:

The Belgian bakery market is a quiet complex market. Therefore it was crucial to get a deep understanding of the environment Tiense Suiker was operating in first. Feeling the breath of international competition in our neck, a competitive analysis was conducted:

  • What sugar types are these competitors offering to the Belgian bakers?
  • What is their position in the market?
  • What are their strengths & weaknesses?

Second, we took a deeper look in the ways the sugar suppliers are going to the market of the Belgian bakers.

  • How do the suppliers bring their sugar to the bakers?
  • What are the implications in terms of the relation a sugar supplier builds up with the bakers?

Once we had an idea of the external environment, we dove into the bakery market to get an overview of all type of bakers that are homogeneous in terms of sugar supply needs.

  • What segments can we define within all Belgian bakers?
  • How big is each segment?
  • How interesting is each segment for Tiense Suiker?

So far so good, but there was still one crucial question to be answered: what are the needs of Belgian bakers when buying sugar? To get this kind of market information in, we conducted an external qualitative research to get a compelling articulation of the motivations, needs & drivers of the bakers.

  • Which aspects are important when buying sugar from your supplier?
  • Which type of information would you like to receive from your sugar producer?
  • What would you think of ‘a particular’ concept?

Step 2: Internal analysis:

Now that we had an idea of the external conditions, it was a matter to apply this knowledge on Tiense Suikers’ own activities. Therefore we conducted internal meetings with all involved stakeholders (marketing as well as sales) to gather all existing documentation and to make good use of the existing knowledge.

  • Which sugar does Tiense Suiker offer to the Belgian bakers?
  • What actions did Tiense Suiker do in the past? What can we learn from it?
  • How does Tiense Suiker differentiate itself?

Step 3: Strategy formulation:

The puzzle came together. It was now time to bring all the pieces together and choose an appropriate direction for RT. We formulated a clear answer on these 4 strategic questions:

  • WHO are we going to target? Which type of bakers?
  • WHAT is our portfolio strategy to bakers?
  • WHY should bakers choose for sugar from Tiense Suiker?
  • HOW are we going into the bakery market? How are we going to persuade bakers into buying from Tiense Suiker?

Determining the right direction does not come falling out of the sky. At 4P square we use clear and proven methodologies. STP-modeling, MaBa-analysis as well as Benefit Laddering were tools and techniques used to define the new strategy.

Return On Investment

A plan can only be put into practice when you know which direction you are heading. Tiense Suiker now knows how it should properly approach the Belgian bakers and what it should do to differentiate itself from the international competition.
I’m definitely curious to see the results in the near future!

Lessons learned

Always look at the bottom line impact: although we were hired to look for solutions within the scope of the project, it is our job as consultants and interim managers to make our clients aware of other opportunities or better solutions with impact, even if they were not part of the original scope.

Are you struggling with the goals of your marketing activities? We can support you in developing a marketing strategy and go as far as implementation. ROI is what we stand for.