As students of marketing we examine products, markets and communication programs to understand the interplay between consumers and stimuli in the process of purchasing goods and services. This assessment aims to further that study by critically analysing consumer buying behaviour. This assignment allows students to demonstrate their ability to apply theoretical knowledge when analysing a ‘real life’ situation. This method aims to bridge the gap between classroom learning, self-study and the ‘real world’.
The purpose of this mini-project is to increase your understanding of the process of market research and its application in understanding consumer loyalty to brands.
This assessment asks you to compare two different types of consumer products including: a banking product (such as insurance, a home or personal loan or a savings account for example) and a convenience product (such as a supermarket item like a box of breakfast cereal; personal toiletry product or other grocery item for example). Find an advertisement for each of these products (examine magazines, catalogues or on the Internet and include copies of the advertisements in your assignment as Appendices). I suggest that you find an ad for the bank you currently use and an ad for a convenience product that you regularly purchase as you will have more personal knowledge of these products.
For the two ads you need to compare your analyses based on the following points:
1.Firstly compare the ads and their brands – based on your assessment, at which demographic market segments are the ads/brands aimed? You can make assumptions by looking at the types of people shown in the ads (for example, male or female, families, young professionals, older/elderly people) or perhaps the ad states that this product is only to be used by those over 18 or those over 55 years old for example. However you develop your conclusions, you need to support your ideas with reference to the ads and also to other sources of information. For example, you could first define the term ‘demographic segmentation’ from a reference source and then use the definition elements to identify elements in your ads. Consider gender, age, income, family structure, perhaps education, etc. in your discussion.
2.Now that you have some background knowledge of the brands/products, your next task is to develop your understanding of consumer loyalty. Develop a definition of consumer loyalty and discuss the issues around loyalty for brands. This will constitute your ‘review of the current literature’ on consumer brand loyalty. Use academic sources (perhaps start with Google Scholar!) to support and reference your discussion. (If you need help with this please discuss with your on-campus lecturer or for distance education students email the moodle discussion board or the course admin email box email@example.com. Your principal research question is:
·Is brand loyalty a function of consumers’ attitude towards a brand or is it simply consumer inertia (that is where consumers will often choose a particular brand of product more for convenience because they are familiar with a brand rather than for any passion about the product or brand)?
3. Design a small research project to conduct a survey with five (5) people. You can use either a qualitative or quantitative approach and develop one of the methods of data collection discussed in your textbook such as: a telephone survey, or a focus group, or a depth interview, or an in-person survey asking them to evaluate your ads/brands. Try and make the people in your sample as different from each other as possible in terms of their demographic characteristics to aid your analysis of this discussion.
·You could ask such questions to answer your research problem as follows: Have they ever purchased either (or both) of the products? If so, ask them how or why they chose the product(s)? Do they believe they are loyal to those brands (ie do they always purchase those brands or do they change their purchase habits?) If they have not previously purchased either of the products ask them why they have not chosen those products? If they always/never purchase those same brands ask them why/why not? Etc. Include the demographics for each of your respondents (but not their names!) in your assignment.
·Look at your survey findings and compare this to your own analysis of the literature. Do you think that the consumers are brand loyal or do they purchase products based on some other reason?
Many of these terms and concepts are examined in your text, but be sure to find other sources of information to help you in your critical analysis and be sure to read ahead – don’t wait for your tutor/lecturer to cover the concepts in class!
You must include and use at least five (5) refereed journal articles to validate your justifications.
Your marketing report must include, as a minimum, the following:
·Be written in the required format for a short business report (See Chapter 3 of the Manual 4 Success located in Moodle under the Assessment item 2 – Marketing Report topic).
·Include a title page, executive summary, table of contents, introduction, headings, subheadings where necessary, conclusion, reference list and appendices where appropriate.
·Include in-text references and a correctly formatted reference list. (NB: it is mandatory that you reference all information you obtain about your ads, companies and supporting sources in accordance to the Harvard Referencing Guide. A link is provided in Moodle under the Assessment item 2 – Marketing Report topic). If you are not sure how to go about referencing please discuss with your local lecturer/tutor or for distance education students email the course admin mail box – firstname.lastname@example.org .
·Include at least five (5) quality references other than the required textbook, sourced from relevant refereed journals.
·ALWAYS use the 3Ds approach to writing:
oDEFINE concepts – provide a definition of concepts such as ‘situational influences’ or ‘cognition’ for example;
oDISCUSS concept meanings – analyse and discuss how such concepts may be applied to marketing situations; and
oDEMONSTRATE– apply the concepts to your specific problem/product/situation.
§Your assignment should demonstrate:
§a wide reading in the topic area (i.e. you have not just referred to the textbook).
§an ability to use the theory and other references to support your analysis.
§use of the Harvard Referencing Guide for referencing purposes. Penalties will apply for poor or incorrect referencing.
§an understanding of the material and concepts in this course.
§an ability to answer the question(s) in a clear, concise and comprehensive manner.
You will be assessed using the Assessment Criteria as presented in this course profile and are urged to review the criteria carefully to assist you in preparing for your assessment.