choose a product or brand

Choose a Product and Brand
You may select any product category and a brand within it. Since a good amount of detail is expected, you should choose a product category that is widely covered in the media, and on which you can find information through secondary research. Be as specific as possible in your choice. Do not choose a category that is too broad i.e., pick-up trucks or soft drinks, but select a specific class within the category, like medium-size trucks or diet soda, and a specific brand such as Toyota Tacoma or Diet Coke. Where the brand is in more than one market, choose a specific market (no larger than a country) for analysis. So for a product like Coke which is in many countries, you must choose a particular market, not larger than one country, for analysis; or you could choose Texas for medium-sized pickup trucks, etc. Do not attempt to do your analysis for the entire global market for global brands like Coke or Toyota.

Provide a background
Provide a background for the product and the company that owns the brand. In this section, you will give a brief overview of the company, and the position of the chosen brand within the company’s business, a detailed description of the chosen product and data on its market performance (i.e., sales and market share).

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Macro Trend Analysis
Perform a macro trend analysis for your product.
• Assess the impacts of current situations and foreseeable trends arising out of each of the environments for your product.
• You must consider trends that are relevant to your product and assess their impact.
• All assertions must be based on researched data, and not based on personal opinions or perceptions.
• This section should be about the environment i.e., what is happening outside the company. This section should NOT contain descriptions of company actions.
• See Chapter 3 in the text for a description of a PESTLE analysis.
Five Forces Analysis
Perform a five forces analysis for your brand.
• Rivalry among existing competitors: list all possible competitors. Create a competitive profile based on key strengths and weaknesses for your chosen product and its competitors. Present factual and concrete research-based information, not your personal assessment. The rivalry must be at the product level, not at the company level: for example, if Diet Coke is your product, your competitive assessment must be against Diet Pepsi. Comparisons at the company level – between Coca Cola Corp, and Pepsico – will not be acceptable.
• Threat of new entrants: evaluate the threat of new entrants into the market. What, if any, entry barriers exist in the industry? How easy or hard is it for new entrants into the market?
• Bargaining power of suppliers: Identify the key suppliers and assess the bargaining power of suppliers. How dependent is the product’s supply chain on outside forces? What is the possibility of lowering costs and improving quality?
• Bargaining power of buyers: Identify the key suppliers and assess the bargaining power of suppliers. What is the potential for the buyers (both intermediaries and final buyers) to create margin pressure?
• Threat of substitute products: Identify substitute products at various levels. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of these substitutes on key buyer criteria.
• See Chapter 3 in the text for a full understanding of the five forces.

Recommendations
Based on your analysis, what recommendations would you make for the future marketing efforts of the product?
• Recommendations must cover the major marketing program areas – product, price, promotion and distribution—and should be specific and detailed in each of these areas. They must be at the level of specific, implementable actions. Recommendations for further study or something like “they must do more research on their customers” will not be acceptable.
• Recommendations must be based on and flowing from your analysis, and must be implementable.
• Vague, broad and unspecific recommendations are not acceptable. Before making a recommendation, make sure the organization is not doing it already.

Quality of Information
– Information that you use must be from quality sources.
– In order to locate quality sources, you will have to go beyond the obvious step of doing a Google search.
– Make sure you access databases such as Business Source Complete, which are available free to all SHSU students through the library.
– Acceptable sources include well-established business and general media, government, and credible third parties such as research organizations.
– Sources with no identifiable and credible author or publisher will not be acceptable.
– Blog content is considered opinion rather than data, even when the blogs are affiliated to media organizations.
– The information you use in your analysis cannot be solely or significantly from company sources.

Writing
The paper must be a well-written document, 20-25 double-spaced pages for the main body (excluding title page, table of contents, references, exhibits, etc.). Exhibits (figures, tables, charts) may be attached at the end of the paper. Poor writing and document preparation will cause a loss of grade. Please follow the APA style of document preparation, or that of any leading Marketing journal.

Submission
The Individual Paper is due by 10:00 am on Monday, November 2 as an editable MS-Word or RTF file. Submit thru the Blackboard link. Drafts will be accepted for feedback by 10 am on Friday, October 23 (send by e-mail). Feedback will be offered on the content only; the student is solely responsible for the writing, document quality and compliance with originality requirements, which will not evaluated for the draft.

Grading:

The 120 points for the paper will be allocated as follows:

Background​20
Macro Trend Analysis​30
Five Forces Analysis​30
Recommendations​20
Writing and document quality​20

In the first four of the above areas, you will be graded on thoroughness, quality of research, support of arguments, demonstrating understanding of concepts, and application of concepts. In writing and document quality, you will be graded on writing quality (should be free from language, grammatical and typing errors), presentation of material, formatting, and overall document preparation.
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