You and your team members are senior partners at Obelisk Consulting Group, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, BC. Obelisk consults in both the public and private sectors, advising organizations in areas including marketing, communications, stakeholder engagement, employee engagement, research, and operational strategy, among others.
Your firm’s area of expertise is in marketing and in product development. Obelisk was recently hired by Overwaitea Food Group (OFG) to put together a strategy for increasing sales, with a focus on reaching the millennial generation and Generation Z (Gen Z). In addition, OFG wants you to provide key recommendations for implementation. In Canada, OFG is experiencing increased competition, with Amazon having acquired Whole Foods Market and T&T Supermarket offering online ordering and home delivery (which a number of other grocery stores also offers these services). In addition, OFG is competing against Costco Wholesale Corporation, who operate a number of membership only warehouse clubs and sell products with minimal markup, and as a result, have a growing number of loyal members.
Overwaitea Food Group President Darrell Jones wants your team to research what approach OFG should use to encourage millennials and Gen Z and others to come to grocery store more often and buy more food. He wants your team to write a research report—based on supporting evidence—that makes recommendations for what specific strategy or strategies OFG should follow. In particular, he wants you to focus on the market area in the Pacific Northwest. Jones is leaving it up to you and your team to decide what area(s) you want to focus your research on.
Will you look at industry best practices?
Will you research how other large and small grocery stores, or even restaurant chains, are focusing on appealing to the younger demographic?
Based on your research, what can OFG do to engage with the millennial generation and Gen Z?
Is there a specific marketing approach they should take to better engage their customers?
In addition to marketing and engagement suggestions, Jones is asking for your input on product development. That is, what should OFG focus on adding to their grocery stores, their prepared foods section, bakery, and so on, that will entice younger buyers?
Is there something they should add as soon as possible, or items they should change or develop over time?
Besides providing recommendations on a marketing and product approach, are there other recommendations that you can make that will help? Your primary focus needs to be on the Pacific Northwest market.
You can use data that references other markets, but you need to remember that your recommendations will need to be feasible—and make sense—for OFG’s supermarkets.
While you can assume that Jones is extremely familiar with many aspects of grocery store operations and marketing, he and other staff who review your report may not have an extensive background or understanding of the millennial generation or Gen Z.
Your report needs to be addressed to Darrell Jones, but you must consider the range of possible primary and secondary audiences in this scenario, and ensure that you provide enough context for the other readers. OFG has outsourced this report to Obelisk to ensure independence and objectivity in the research and subsequent recommendations.
You’ll be assessed on how comprehensively (and effectively) you have assessed the writing context through the use of planning tools we have discussed. We will also give you feedback on your notes in an effort to help guide your planning and subsequently your drafting process.
Describe that specific element in terms of how it satisfies the Three R’s of Research. Explain what you would use it for and note why you think your audience would find it convincing and/or compelling. Be specific about what element from the container you are interested in using. (For instance, don’t generalize about a dozen studies that might be referenced in a container—focus on specific information from one study).