This assignment assesses your secondary research skills and your ability to follow the rules of academic writing. The topic is the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion), which is also called the “marketing mix”. You need to compare and contrast how effective the application of the 4Ps is for one pair of brands (NOT ALL OF THEM) from the list below:
This assignment has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your achievement of the following module learning outcomes:
LO 1 Analyse the effectiveness of the marketing mix for any given company or brand.
LO 2 Demonstrate knowledge of STP marketing planning process
You need to carry out in-depth research into the brand’s target market (who they are, their likes/dislikes, their levels of personal disposable income etc.) using market research databases – e.g. Mintel reports, WARC and TGI. You then need to look at the brands themselves, their brand values and competitive positioning in the market before going on to discuss their application of the 4Ps – product, price, place and promotion. The key to getting a good mark on this is to prepare a comparative analysis. Do not describe the brands in isolation – always look at the two together and explain why they do things differently. This assignment should be based on secondary and observational research only. You are not required to carry out any form of primary research. You need to research the following:
- Target Market
You need to develop a detailed target market profile for each brand using data sources such as Mintel, the companies’ own websites and other secondary sources. You need to think about age, gender, personal disposable income, social class, level of education, family life cycle, lifestyles, other brands they like, TV programmes they watch, hobbies etc.
- Product /Brand
Using Levitt’s model of a brand, try to analyse your two selected brands (their shape, packaging, colour scheme etc.). How different are they at the functional and emotional level? What are the brand values that the companies are trying to portray? In addition, have a look at Aaker’s brand personality framework to see which personality type(s) each brand follows.
You need to carry out some on-line and in-store research to establish a market price for each of the brands and any competing products. Display all this competitive pricing research in a table and draw conclusions about which pricing strategy they are adopting.
- Place (Distribution)
Target Market Research
You need to look at channel management. Which stores stock this product? Is it a mass market product where the company has maximised distribution outlets, or is it a luxury brand where distribution is deliberately limited? Explain your answer. If possible, take photos of the product instore/on-line. What does this tell you about brand values?
You need to research their past methods of communication (e.g. cinema, TV, outdoor, print, social media, mobile, own website etc.). Which communication methods do they use to build their respective brands? – and how do they do this? How are they positioning themselves in the minds of target audiences? (E.g. affordable, luxury, healthy, socially conscious etc.)
The aim of the report,
The methods of research,
The results (top-line summary only)
This should be quite brief – it’s NOT a detailed coverage of a 100 years of corporate history. It should include the aim of the report and some background information on each of the chosen brands – I.E a brief description of the brands with useful data such as market share, market size and trends in sales, which you can find from the most recent Mintel reports as well as in the trade press.
Use sub-headings to make your report easier to follow. We suggest you adopt the following headings:
- Comparison of Target Markets
- Product - Evaluation of the Products and their Brand Values
- Price - Evaluation of the Pricing Strategies Used
- Place - Distribution of the Brands
- Promotion – Communication of the Brands
You should try to put relevant raw data in the appendices with only a summary of the data in the body of the report. Every time you state a fact e.g. market size, price data, sales etc. you must provide a referenced source for that fact (both in the text and in the reference list based on the Harvard referencing rules). All graphs, data, diagrams and tables should have the title on the top e.g. Figure 1: XYZ Product Category Market Share; or if it’s a table, Table 1: XYZ Product Category Market Share with a source written directly underneath and to the right of that table e.g. Source: Mintel (2014).
Conclusion and Recommendations
This is where you provide some element of evaluation of your research findings.
How has each brand applied the 4P’s?
Why have they applied the 4P’s in this way?
Which brand has been most successful in its application of the 4P’s?
How could each of the brands improve their use of the 4P’s?
These criteria have been designed specifically for this assignment and are intended to measure the extent to which you have demonstrated your achievement of its associated learning outcomes (see above). They have been aligned with the institutional grade descriptor appropriate for your level.
The assessment criteria provide a basis for fair and consistent marking and indicate what is expected of you in this assignment. It is strongly recommended that you engage with them while you are working on the assignment and use them in combination with any feedback you receive once your work has been marked to help you plan for future learning and development.
Specific guidance is detailed below.
Research Skills 25%
You need to demonstrate that you have spent at least a month working on this report. To do this, you need to provide evidence in the written text and in your reference list that you have engaged in research in the form of academic texts and secondary sources, such as Mintel, TGI, Trade and National Press and articles on WARC. We will be looking for more than 10 references from a variety of sources in your reference list. If all that is mentioned in the reference list is website links and company websites, you will lose marks.
Marketing Knowledge 30%
You will need to demonstrate full knowledge of a range of marketing concepts including: STP marketing, profiling target audiences, branding (e.g. Aaker’s brand personality and Levitt’s product model), as well as the 4Ps/marketing mix. Importantly you need academic references to demonstrate applied knowledge and understanding of the two brands under discussion.
You will need to demonstrate analytical skills in terms of interpreting the data you find on the market, the target audience and the two brands. Most important is that you provide a comparison i.e. what is the same and what is different about the way the two companies market their brands.
Literacy Skills 10%
Please remember with academic writing that it must be objective, impersonal, concise, accurate and evidence-based