An IMC for Lay’s STAX

Learning Objectives.  To have students: 

(1) suggest elements of an integrated marketing communications (IMC) program and 

(2) describe how these elements can generate revenues for an innovative consumer packaged goods product—Frito-Lay STAX potato crisps.

Nature of the Activity.  Have students identify integrated marketing communications (IMC) program actions and potential results that Frito-Lay might take to reach prospective buyers of its STAX potato crisps.

Marketing Lesson.  An effective IMC program needs to target both retailers and consumers with very specific (1) IMC actions and

 (2) expectations of what the actions will achieve for each of the five promotional activities—advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotions, and direct marketing

In the past, organizations designed their advertising program without consulting departments or agencies that had responsibility for sales promotion or public relations.  The result was an overall communication effort that was uncoordinated and, in some cases, inconsistent.  Today, savvy marketers like Frito-Lay use an integrated marketing communications (IMC) program to coordinate all promotional activities—advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing—to provide a consistent message across all target audiences.

In August 2003, Frito-Lay launched its Lay’s STAX potato crisps, which are stacked in a portable, resealable, crush-resistant container.  Initially, there were four flavors.  

But by early 2010, there were six flavors sold in the U.S.  At the time of the new-product launch, Lay’s had $800 million in sales within the $2.7 billion U.S. potato chip market.  But, it had no product to compete directly with Proctor & Gambles’ Pringles, which had a 60 percent share of the ‘pre-formed, stacked, potato-chip-in-a-can market segment.

A truly complete IMC program will include communications that are targeted at both distributors (jobbers) and retailers in the channel of distribution as well as those targeted at ultimate consumers.  In fact, Frito-Lay developed a major IMC effort directed at its retailers to encourage and support them in their decision to stock and sell the new line of Frito-Lay’s STAX potato crisps.

Funny Stax commercial:

Deliverables for Assignment

Part I. Identify ‘IMC Actions’—the middle column in the handout—for an IMC program for the Frito-Lay STAX potato crisps using the Frito-Lay’s STAX IMC Program Handout as a guide.  As the handout shows:

  • The target audience is the U.S. young adult premium snack consumer.
  • The promotional objectives are to (1) generate awareness and (2) achieve sales of the Frito-Lay’s STAX potato crisps by reaching both retailers (grocery, mass merchandiser, and convenience stores) and ultimate consumers.

Part II. For each of the five actions of the IMC program you identify, explain ‘How the Action Produces Sales’ for Frito-Lay—the right-hand column in the handout.