Marketing and Soft Drinks

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Project Guidelines

The major learning objectives of this project:
(1) Ensure that you understand the Fishbein model (A = (Bi.Ei); see attached note on this model. (2) Learn how to measure the two components of the model in a typical consumer survey: (3) Learn how to use the data for marketing purposes. That is, you should be able to use the concepts you have learned in this course to make recommendations regarding a good marketing strategy for your brand.

TO DO: Select a particular brand of any product category to study. Assume that you are hired as a marketing consultant to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the brand relative to the competition. In order to do so, you decide to utilize the Fishbein compensatory model of attitudes. First, conduct depth interviews with about 5 consumers (separately) to identify 5 attributes/benefits that consumers use to evaluate brands in your selected product category. Note: it is very important that you actually conduct the depth interviews -- that is the best way to get an idea of what attributes are considered salient for the product. Otherwise, if you just pick attributes at random, then you may have trouble in the later stages of the project, particularly in the part relating to the recommendations you need to make to managers.

Second, construct scales to measure (a) beliefs (bi) about the brand under study and one key competitive brand; and (b) consumers’ evaluations of each attribute (ei). Your questionnaire should include 5 specific attributes (e.g., try to avoid broad terms like 'quality'), selected on the basis of your depth interviews (attributes that are frequently mentioned by your respondents). Since there are two brands altogether (e.g., two different brands of soft drinks), you need (a) 10 items to measure bi (these items are brand specific); and (b) 5 items to measure ei (these items are not brand specific).

Important: When choosing the main brand (that is, the brand you are consulting for), do not choose the market leader – it’s hard for you to “improve” the position of a market leader. One good option is to select two brands that are both doing well (e.g., Pepsi vs Coke); and pick one as “your” brand, and the other one as the “competing” brand.

You need a total of about 20 respondents for your questionnaire.

Overall, your questionnaire should look as professional as possible. A copy of your questionnaire and raw data should be included in your report.

Finally, you have to prepare a report to the brand manager. The report should cover these two questions:

1) What are the brand's strengths and weaknesses based on a comparison of the brand with the competitive brand (based on the overall attitude score for the two brands as well as the scores of the two brands on each individual attribute)?

2) Based on your data, what recommendations can you make to the brand manager (of your main brand)? In answering this question, please use the 4P’s framework to devise a marketing strategy for the brand under study. Specifically, use the data regarding the brand ratings to explain: a) what kind of changes need to made regarding beliefs and evaluations in order to improve the brand’s position; and b) how to actually implement these changes using the 4P’s frameworkRemember, however, that you should not concentrate ONLY on advertising-based tactics – try to use those in conjunction with the other “P’s”.

Finally, keep in mind that although the Fishbein model (dealing with beliefs, evaluations and overall attitudes) is a central part of the questionnaire, your questionnaire can also include a few other questions which explore the brand’s position relative to its competitors, if you feel such questions are useful. Such questions can include demographic and personality/lifestyle variables (which can be used to predict the type of media and the type of advertising that should be carried out). Another useful question could ask for consumer recall...
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