2discussion responses

Two discussion responses 125 word each.

One: The idea of a coffee shop that not only allows its customers to bring their dogs but also plans on selling drinks and snacks in my opinion is a great idea. In this day and age there are more people who like to take their dogs everywhere they go. They are a part of their family. Therefore, I would encourage my friend to embark on this new business adventure. I would recommend that my friend review the three major functions of marketing research before anything is put in motion. The three major functions of marketing research include:

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  1. “Scanning for opportunities and threats. A good research operation collects and analyzes information about customers, competitors, technology, global economic conditions, and other factors. It provides input to marketing managers that they can use to find new markets for existing products, uncover new market segments (see the marketing strategy diagram in Figure 2.1), and anticipate competitors’ moves. These data are used in the situation analysis of the marketing plan and the development of a marketing strategy.
  2. Risk assessment of future programs. When considering alternative marketing strategies, the marketing manager should test them against different scenarios. For example, if the manager is considering entering an international expansion into India, the variations in government attitudes toward business over time would increase the importance of creating different strategies contingent upon which party is in power.
  3. Monitoring of current programs. Marketing research plays a key role in monitoring the progress of the plan toward its objectives. For example, to raise awareness of your brand from 60 to 70 percent in the target market, you need to develop a plan to measure customer awareness” (Wine & Dhar, 2011).

By reviewing and gathering information in each of the three major areas of marketing research this will help my friend determine if his or her business has chance of being successful. In addition to three major functions of marketing research I would advise my friend to conduct customer market surveys. Customer Market Surveys “are conducted in various ways, including online, one-on-one interviews, “Satisfaction Surveys,” and phone calls. Traditional phone surveys are on the decline due to cost and the low rate of response (most people find them irritating). Many businesses provide a short customer feedback form in a prominent location on the premises (or include the form with invoices), so customers can record their comments” (Ward 2019). I would also encourage my friend to use the survey at a local dog park and make personal contract with pet owners to see how many people are interested in the idea, what they would like to see in the cafe, and get feedback on the ideas for the café he or she already has.

In addition to marketing research I would suggest my friend takes a good look at the competition in the area to see if there are any other dog friendly coffee shops. In order to review the competition he or she can use product form competition or product category competition. Each category is defined as:

Product form competition is defined as “a level of competition in which only products or services of the same product type are considered” (Wine & Dhar, 2011). “This narrow definition might be useful in the short run because these brands are your most serious competitors on a day-to-day basis. It is also a convenient definition of competition because it mimics the way commercial data services (e.g., A.C. Nielsen) often measure market shares” ((Wine & Dhar, 2011).

Product category competition is defined as “a level of competition in which products or services that have similar features and provide the same function are considered” (Wine & Dhar, 2011). Product category competition is “is more inclusive because more brands are considered to be competitors” (Wine & Dhar, 2011).

I would recommend that my friend focuses on product category competition analysis. I would recommend that my friend researches how other successful coffee shops in the area operate, the type of menu they offer and what are their specialties. Even though my friends shop will cater to a different type of customer they still want be known for having good coffee and snacks. I would also target local pet bakery’s or stores in order to see what the top selling snacks are for the dogs so they can either enter a deal to provide the snacks or to at least give an idea to create something similar. In order to conduct this research I would go suggest my friend goes to each point of interest in person and then go online to read the customer reviews in order to see the positive and negative feedback.

I believe for any new business to be successful the owner needs to do their due diligence by conducting research not only for their competition but the market and the overall desire of their customer to include their wants and needs.

References:

Ward, S. (2019). How do Businesses Use Marketing Research.Retrieved from: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/market-research-2948350.

Winer, R. & Dhar, R. (2011). Marketing Management. (4th edition). Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions. https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/wages/minimumwageports-and-expert-views/Documents/Recruiting-Attracting-Talent.pdf.

And

Two: According to the text, customers do not buy products, rather they buy the benefits in which the product or services provide them. A competitive analysis using a product category competition would deliver information on not only products offered, but services that have similar features and functions as well, and are likely the biggest competition for Bark and Brew Café. Further, the analysis can identify aspects of strong competitors, as well as reasons players in the market are unsuccessful and ultimately fail. Together, the mix of attributes will help Bark and Brew Café understand how to balance both sides of that analysis. (Entrepreneur Contributors, 2006). In addition, the results should also help determine the competitor’s value proposition, as well as key differences in Bark and Brew Café that makes us the better choice for the consumer (Winer, 2016).

The first step in completing the competitive analysis is to determine who the competitors are, as well as their strengths and weaknesses / their key assets and skills that make them a competitor within their market (Entrepreneur Contributors, 2006). Identifying competitor targets, core strategies, and marketing mix could assist with understanding the consumer base the competitor targets. Through a competitive analysis, competitor strengths as well as their future strategies are examined. Further, it can assist with identifying competitor product positioning tactics, how they are differentiating themselves, and what their overall value proposition is to their “like” consumers. By reviewing the competitor’s marketing mix, and by understanding their strengths and weaknesses, Bark and Brew Café can assess their business practices and further identify their value proposition. The marketing mix provides internal and external pieces of information. Consumers are not concerned about internal operational strategies for a company, rather the aspects that impact them: pricing, communications, and product or service capabilities. An analysis of strengths and weaknesses can provide insight into the competition’s abilities to design new products, produce a desired service, market, and finance. All of these aspects will assist with completing a product category competition analysis, which will provide a complete view of the competition. (Winer, 2016)

An example I have observed is the difference in World of Beer (WOB) and Brass Tap. First in the market between the two, World of Beer offers approximately 60 craft beers on tap and 500 different bottled beer options, live music and entertainment, and a staff who is required to be subject matter experts on the product offered. Brass Tap came a few years after WOB and consisted of essentially the same product and service. A franchisee of Brass Tap explained he is frequently asked about the differences between that concept and WOB. He acknowledges their similarities, but also clarifies some differences between the two concepts such as WOB is more bottle focused than Brass Tap who focuses more on drafts. Further, they really emphasize American craft beers and even more so support local brewers. (Eaton, 2014). However in my opinion, a key differentiator between the two companies was the value in the product knowledge of the staff. The craft beer culture highly values the art in this market, and appreciates those who share in the knowledge base. As a former WOB employee as both a bartender and a director of operations of 14 locations, I can honestly say it is the product knowledge that separates the two companies. When you go into a WOB a consumer can ask any level of question whether it be origin of the beers offered, styles and what they taste like, why each beer goes in a specific glass, etc. With such an overwhelming amount of selections, the knowledge and guidance from the staff is what brings consumers in to try new things versus going somewhere else and ordering mainstream beer. Brass Tap’s expectations of their staff has always been apparently lacking compared to WOB. It would appear they do not invest in the training and development of the product knowledge and rely solely on their massive selection. All of this is my opinion based on my experience, and with that I think the value proposition is clear. Go to WOB to know only enjoy a craft beer, but experience the craft beer knowledge and culture that will help further your liking, appreciation and understanding of the product. At Brass Tap, select a beer that reads well on the menu.

References

Eaton, D. (2014, August 29). World of Beer competitor Brass Tap coming to Polaris, with 4-6 possible. Retrieved from Columbus Business First: https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2014/08/…

Entrepreneur Contributors. (2006, August 1). Competitive Analysis. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/25756

Winer, R. S. (2016). Marketing Management. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions.

 
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