A comprehensive, research and analysis project is scheduled for this course. The Marketing Strategy topic is one of your choosing. You will be analyzing your chosen service, product, brand strategy, re-brand strategy, etc. from a variety of marketing-related angles. At a minimum, you will be looking at the 4 Ps and how the current strategy works or does not work. You will be analyzing the internal and external environments, if and how they are changing, and developing a marketing strategy that adapts to the changes. Also included should be a discussion on the current “Positioning”, “Branding”, and “Social Responsibility” framework for the product, service, etc. and its value in light of current competition, changing trends in consumer behavior, market forces, etc. You should include recommendations, a project plan, or action plan for changes or a strategy you think the company should undertake.
For example: In 2018, Dunkin Donuts completed its re-brand. Part of the implementation strategy was in the name of the company, now known simply as “Dunkin’”. The company made other, very subtle changes to ensure it was attractive to younger consumers and current trends in the consumer market without alienating its current customers who are, according to most surveys, extremely loyal. There were other changes as well. The re-brand resulted from several years of research into how its loyal consumer base felt about the company, its products, its service, etc. The company also looked at the current state of the QSR (Quick Serve Restaurant) market to better understand the upcoming generations and what they were looking for in a QSR. When complete, the desire was to ensure Dunkin’ had solidified its place in its market for the future, among other goals.
In choosing Dunkin’, you could look at the last decade to see how the Dunkin’ re-brand came about. What were the factors pushing the company in this direction? Was this successful? How do we know? Did the re-brand meet the company’s MROI and other goals? These are just some of the questions you could answer in your analysis. There are many other angles you could review as well.
The auto makers in the U.S. are another example of a generally sleepy industry that is suddenly waking up to everything from the re-invented Bronco Sport (Check out the ad.) speaking to those who just want to get out and go wild (Timely?) to the re-emerging Hummer EV as well as a host of EV vehicles. Is the timing now right for EV? Do we have the right plan to keep these vehicles on the road without breaking the bank of consumers, taxpayers, etc.? Will the new reservation technique payoff in increased exposure and sales, maybe even changing the dynamic between customer, auto maker, and dealer during the new car purchase? Many strategic business decisions as well as strategic marketing decisions (4 Ps, et al) went into the new and/or improved product launches. Will those decisions and those risks pay off?
Many strategic decisions are implicated in these new designs and re-designs. Many strategic marketing decisions had to be made as far as banking on a strength of the brand, positioning in the minds of consumers, analysis of consumer preferences, and so on.
Your final written analysis should follow the APA style of professional writing. Remember the point of Marketing Research is to analyze and include recommendations, an action plan, project plan, etc. Strategic marketing research is not a history lesson. Your thoughts based on research are also important to the life cycle of the product, service, or both especially in these challenging times. You will present your findings to the class via Zoom as per the schedule I the syllabus which is the week of August 10th. You may record your presentation or provide it live. Either way, taking questions is important. You may consider your classmates to be competitors, consumers, regulators, funding agents, and other constituents. They should ask you questions that you as the knowledge expert can answer. If you have any questions, please send them to me asap and I will respond.
Have fun with your project! Choose a topic that excites you. The world has changed following the pandemic and marketers have risen to the challenge. The question now is whether or not we have the right strategies in place to weather any storm regardless if it is the pandemic, consumer behavioral changes, competitive practices, pricing changes and inflation, or any of the other factors that influence the marketing arena.