Analyzing Competing Brands

MKTG 396 Assignment 1

Select two competing brands in one of these product categories: Airlines, telecommunications, cars, athletic shoes, financial institutes, fast food/coffee chains, mobile phones, grocery chains, computers, universities. Do the necessary research on these two brands and answer the following questions.

NOTE: Answers to individual questions should not exceed 800 words. Clear and concise answers are encouraged.

Question 1 (20 marks)

What are the value propositions (see p. 11 of the textbook) of each of the two brands? How do these value propositions compare? Explain your answer by relating the value propositions to the consumer needs that these two brands want to satisfy.

Mark breakdown:

5 marks for each value proposition (2 x 5 = 10 marks)
10 marks for the comparison and explanation

Question 2 (30 marks)

Describe how each of these two brands engages customers online. In your opinion, how successful are these two brands’ customer-engagement marketing efforts (see pp. 19 and 20 of the textbook)?

Mark breakdown:

8 marks for the description of each brand online customer-engagement marketing efforts (2 x 8 = 16 marks)
7 marks for the assessment of the success of each brand online marketing engagement efforts (2 x 7 = 14 marks)

Question 3 (20 marks)

Discuss the impact of the macroenvironment forces on the product category of these two brands, and identify four environmental developments that are, or can become, opportunities and threats for them in the next three years. Use facts to explain your response. How can each of the two brands deal with the opportunities and threats previously identified?

Mark breakdown:

1 mark for each major marcroenvironment force (6 x 1 = 6 marks)
1.5 marks each relevant macroenvironment development well explained
(4 x 1.5 = 6 marks)
2 marks for each relevant dealing with an identified opportunities and threats
(4 x 2 = 8 marks)

Question 4 (15 marks)

Describe an advertisement or provide a copy of an advertisement for each of the two brands, and use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see pp. 209 and 210 of the textbook) to identify the consumer need that this advertisement wants to trigger. Explain your selection with facts.
Mark breakdown:

5 marks for the identification of a relevant need
10 marks for the explanation

Question 5 (15 marks)

The excerpts from the CMA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice in Table 3.2 (pp. 106 and 107 of the textbook) set some guidelines about ethical marketing principles, including the following: truthfulness, campaign limitations, and accuracy of representation.

a. Provide an example of a company that has gone too far in its communications to the extent that one may believe that they do not comply with, at least, one of the above three principles or are just at the acceptable limit. Describe what you see as almost “unethical” in these communications. Note: The company you choose for this question does not need to be either of the two companies used in the previous questions.

b. Explain the potential long run consequences of these communications for the company.

Mark breakdown:

8 marks for a well described example
7 marks for the explanation