Page 1: Meeting customer needs
In 2000 Corus identified a new opportunity in the CES market. Previously, the company would laminate material and then sell this material to another company, who then manufacture the end product. The end client would request that the material was treated with an anti-bacterial agent.
This two-stage process was time-consuming and expensive. It had a further disadvantage for Corus. The financial gain from the 'value added process' came not from making the material but from applying the anti-bacterial agent. So, a company other than Corus was gaining much of the advantage when it came to charging a price that reflected the 'value added'.
In response to this, Corus developed a laminate that incorporated an antibacterial additive to the process. By differentiating into a niche market Corus were able to adopt a premium pricing policy.
This example of customer led innovation gave Corus the potential to increase its revenues. The new technology was branded Assure(r) which reflects a key aspect of the brand: it helps to provide a safer environment. The launch of Assure in October 2002 was primarily focused on the UK food processing industry.
Soon after the launch, Corus won a contract with Noon Foods, one of the UK's leading producers of ethnic frozen meals. This was an important breakthrough that Corus was able to announce to the industry at large.