After studying this chapter, you should be able to 1. Understand how research contributes to business success 2. Know how to define business research 3. Understand the difference between basic and applied business research 4. Understand how research activities can be used to address business decisions 5. Know when business research should and should not be conducted 6. Appreciate the way that technology and internationalization are changing business research
Chapter Vignette: “If It Quacks Like a Duck?”
“If you’re hurt and you miss work”: This is the tag line for one of the most popular U.S. advertising campaigns—for AFLAC Insurance. The tag line is accompanied by the familiar Pekin duck constantly reminding people with a loud “AFFLLAACKK!!” Recent polls show that the AFLAC duck has become one of America’s favorite icons, coming in second only to the Mars M&M’s characters. But how has the duck’s favorable fan status affected AFLAC’s business performance? Certainly, AFLAC’s business strategy goes beyond creating the most popular duck since Donald! Throughout its thirty-year history, AFLAC, like other firms, has faced important business decisions about how to create brand awareness, how to build consumer knowledge of the brand, and how to build sales and loyalty. Leading up to these decisions, the firm must first assess its current situation and its brand awareness relative to its competitors. Approximately two dozen AFLAC duck commercials ago, research revealed that most consumers were unaware of AFLAC. The vast majority of consumers would not list AFLAC when prompted to name insurance companies. Instead, names like Allstate, State Farm, and Prudential proved more familiar. Not surprisingly, these companies enjoyed greater market share. Based on this research, AFLAC decided to invest in a national television campaign to build awareness of the brand name—“AFFLLAAACCK!!” The phonic similarity to “QUACK” proved successful.