Choose and answer five of the following questions below. Be sure to include full and complete answers. Your completed final exam should be a minimum 8-10 pages not including cover pages and reference page. You should have a minimum of five references and corresponding citations.
1. Visit a company’s website and analyze whether or not you believe that the company is responding to the changes in marketing today, namely, customer-oriented marketing. Comment on what you find there of particular interest.
2. Select a current “fad” or “trend” exhibited by students on campus or at your work or among your friends. What opportunities does this fad present? Would a firm be successful in capitalizing on this “fad”? If so, why? Should companies capitalize on this “trend”-What are the “upsides” for producing products that are currently “trendy”? What are the “downsides”? What generation do these fads and trends appeal to? How large is the potential market for the fad and/or trend? Prepare a report with as much detail into the specific characteristics of these markets as is available.
3. Key manufacturers and others must be concerned with how customers view products (customer satisfaction perceptions) being disseminated throughout the “electronic world” via the Internet. No longer can one discount the “power of the mouse” for affecting potential customers. Select a particular firm or product and research what is being said on the Internet regarding this company/product. What affects/effects does this type of dissemination of consumer opinions via the Internet have on the company’s marketing strategies? What can the company do to stem the tide of such comments? How does a company defend itself against blatantly untrue consumer opinions?
4. We all belong to some sort of reference group. Analyze (within your own reference group) who the opinion leaders are, how these opinion leaders affect the overall dynamics of the group, and most importantly, how these opinion leaders affect consumption decisions. Answers should be specific in their definitions of how these opinion leaders influence specific consumption/ purchase decisions.
5. Visit GE’s Medical Systems Web site (www.gehealthcare.com/). In context to the major points of Chapter 7, define how GE is addressing the needs of their hospital customers by the design of this Web site. Where and what is GE doing right, what is GE doing wrong, and where can GE improve?
6. The upcoming demographic changes for the US population calls for Hispanic to be the largest demographic segment in the US by 2050. Assuming that this is true, comment on how this demographic shift will change the segmentation in: a) the grocery industry, b) the fast -food industry, and c) the casual dinning industry.
7. Points-of-differences and points-of-parity are two important concepts of brand development and are driven by two differing strategies-inclusion and differentiation. Devise a list of at least five other products/services that they believe demonstrate points-of-differences and points-of-parity in their brand positioning. Include your reasoning behind the inclusion of these products/services into a category.
8. Identify the major competitors in the blue jeans market. Who has the leading market share, whose shares have declined? What segmentation is(has) occurring/occurred in the blue jeans market and why? Did demographic changes affect the market (from baby boomers to Gen X or Gen Y)? What competitive signs, symbols, events, or occurrences did Levi-Strauss miss? What current shifts in competition and channel power is occurring and what can Levi-Strauss do to minimize the impact from these changes?
9. Marketers recognize that consumers often actively process price information, interpreting prices in terms of their knowledge from prior purchasing experience, formal communications, informal communications, point-of-purchase, or online resources. Purchase decisions are based on how consumers perceive prices and what they consider to be the current actual price-not the marketer’s stated price. Choose a service good , such as education, legal advice, tax advice, or other such services, and map out your perception of prices and what they consider to be the current actual price. Finally, compare and contrast your perceptions with the stated or published prices for these services.
10. New retail forms and combinations is one of the trends in retailing today. Examples include supermarkets with banks and bookstores featuring coffee shops. After reading the material in Chapter 16, “speculate” on potential new retail forms or retail combinations yet undeveloped. In your selection of a “new” form of retailing or combination of retailers, defend your choices using the ideas and concepts presented in Chapter 16.
11. It has been suggested that over 70 percent of all buying decisions are made in the store and as a result, point-of-purchase advertising has grown in its appeal. Give three examples of point-of-purchase advertising that you have recently come across (ads in-store, personal selling by a cosmetic counter salesperson, etc.) and comment on the effectiveness to them of this type of advertising. Did you buy the product? Did the advertising annoy you? Moreover, in the role of a marketing executive, would you recommend spending part of their advertising budget on this form of media?
12. Infomercials can be found selling almost everything possible! Videotape three different infomercials and critically evaluate the effectiveness of these commercials in light of the five elements of the direct market offering. Which ones (one) do you believe is the most (least) effective and why?
13. Apple’s iPod and iPhone has been a successful new product introduction for the company. It has been suggested that the introduction of iPhone and iPod was targeted at the “innovators”-technology enthusiasts and “early adopters.” Question: Can the iPhone iPod continue its rate of diffusion throughout the adoption curve and reach the early majorities and late major users? Or will it become stuck appealing to just those two first segments? In your answer, carefully review the sales, pricing, and products recently introduced by competitors to Apple.
14. Some companies like the Newman’s Own Brand, have built a business model on social responsibility. Review the Newman’s Own website and comment on whether or not you see “social responsibility” as a need component for marketing in the future. Specifically, knowing what we now know about consumer-buying behavior, is “socially responsible” a determinant for future success-is it a mega-trend? Or just a “trend”?
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