In groups of up to 5, students will be asked to write and present an in-depth analysis of a firm’s application of the concepts discussed in class. Students will be responsible for forming their own groups and selecting an appropriate B2C brand to analyze. No two groups will be allowed to analyze the same brand, so you are advised to form a group and select a brand well before the deadlines specified in the course schedule.
As each brand selected will dictate the specific content of the project, I am not imposing strict guidelines as to its content. However, when thinking about what to write and present, you should include the following three components:
1. Overview of the Brand: Who are we? What do we do? What’s our product? Who are our major competitors? Who is our primary target market? How to we segment the market?
2. Communications with our Customers: Analysis of our “touch points” with customers. A “touch point” can be defined as any contact between your brand and the customer and includes everything from personal selling efforts, advertising and promotions, web-based communications, word-of-mouth techniques, direct selling, after sales service, sponsorships, public relations, etc.. Depending on the brand you select, the number and type of touch points will vary. Does your brand project an integrated approach to their communication efforts with customers? That is, is there consistency in the brand’s message across the different media? When analyzing the firm’s communications, you should be able to relate your discussion to both levels of analysis. First, what is the company actually doing (applied), and second, how does it relate to the concepts from class (theory)? Therefore, while doing this analysis, you should focus on how the brand manages the psychology of consumer decision making. Specifically, you should ask some or all of the following questions:
How does the company influence the consumers’ perceptual processes?
How do consumers learn about our brand? Does memory play a role?
What is the brand personality that our company is trying to reflect? How do we attempt to accomplish this?
What lifestyle does our brand represent?
Do our consumers form any symbolic attachments to our brand?
Are they brand loyal (high involvement)?
How do we attempt to change attitudes through our communications?
How do we effect the decision making process?
What reference groups influences apply (e.g., friends, family, co-workers)?
Do cultural factors influence our consumers (e.g., income, social class, age, ethnicity)?
3. Propose a new message: Based on your analysis of your target market, current brand positioning, and existing promotional efforts, you are to propose a new ad concept for your brand. Come up with an original message designed to target your core market with the intended brand personality you want to project. You should also discuss which media outlets the ad should run in.
The written report may not exceed 10 double spaced pages (excluding exhibits and/or appendices) and is due in class on December 3rd. Electronic copies must also be submitted via e-mail on that date. Late papers will incur a 10% penalty for every day it is late. The written report will account for 15/30 of the final project grade, and will be evaluated based on its content, clarity, originality, and grammar. All papers must adhere to APA or other standard formatting. You will be required to reference all materials used in your paper using both an in-text reference consisting of the