demonstrate your understanding of a particular company’s markets and products.

Submit a 3- to 5-page report that demonstrates understanding of a particular company’s markets and products. Reference a variety of sources to construct the report, and identify a product provided by the company that might increase growth potential if the company were to change its marketing strategy.

In this assessment, you will provide an overview of a selected company and develop a SWOT analysis for one of its products. In subsequent assessments, you will build your own global marketing plan for the product you chose.

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Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence. In particular, you will need to complete the first assessment before the other assessments.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 2: Integrate fundamental principles and applications of marketing to address business problems.
    • Analyze strengths and weaknesses of a particular product from an internal perspective.
    • Analyze opportunities and threats facing a product in the external environment.
  • Competency 4: Integrate marketing analyses into general business management planning and decision making.
    • Explain the strategic vision of a company, including its product lines, markets served, and methods of differentiating itself in the marketplace.
    • Describe a product, including the customer needs it meets.
    • Justify a change in marketing strategy for a product.
  • Competency 5: Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business profession.
  • All aspects of a company’s operations should grow directly from its strategic vision, including the operational aspects of marketing and the elements of the marketing mix. Unlike other functions, though, marketing also bears the responsibility of articulating that vision. Carrying out this responsibility can become particularly challenging in an environment in which strategy must be questioned and re-evaluated on a regular basis.

    SHOW LESS

    Understanding a product’s market potential requires analytical views from both the inside and the outside. From the inside, that analysis includes an evaluation of the product’s specific strengths and weaknesses in relation to the company’s strategy, resources, and capabilities. From the outside, the analysis requires an evaluation of the opportunities and threats to that product presented in the current and emerging environment. A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) provides one way to gain this understanding.

    Imagine you are a marketing consultant researching a potential client. You have had a brief, initial conversation with the CEO, and have learned that the top executives are looking for a consultant to help them conduct a product marketing analysis, one result of which is anticipated to be a refocusing of marketing resources. Your report should provide the background and analysis that will enable you and your colleagues to present yourselves as professionals who understand the company’s current position and the growth potential of its current products.

    PREPARATION

    Select a company that you would like to study for this course, and begin gathering information to help you address the areas listed below. One of your sources could be the company’s Web site. You will want to search a variety of publicly available sources of business information in order to understand how others (analysts, competitors, and customers) view the company. Many of these types of resources are provided in the MBA-FP6012 – Integrated and Global Marketing Library Guide, linked in the Resources. In addition, if you are already familiar with, or have access to, other professional business databases through work or through your public library, these would be good sources to search, as well.

    DIRECTIONS

    Introduce the company you have selected to study for this course by creating a 3- to 5-page report in which you provide an overview of the company and a detailed analysis of one of its products. Your report should provide a thorough, thoughtful description of each of the following items, using the headings below:

    Company Overview (maximum one page):

    • Provide the company name, company headquarters location, and type of business.
    • Describe the company’s strategic vision and how the company differentiates itself in the marketplace.
    • Provide a brief overview of the company’s product lines and markets served.

    Product Analysis (2–4 pages):

    • Identify one product offered by this company that has the potential to be marketed in a way that could improve the product’s standing in the global marketplace. This might be a product that you believe has been marketed ineffectively, or has been marketed effectively but is missing an opportunity for greater success. (Note: All of your assessments in this course will focus on the product you choose.)
    • Provide a brief description of that product, including the customer wants and needs it meets.
    • Conduct your own SWOT analysis of the product you selected.
      • Use subheadings for Internal Forces (strengths and weaknesses) and External Forces (opportunities and threats).
        • For Internal Forces, evaluate the resources and capabilities currently supporting the product.
        • For External Forces, include political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological issues.
      • Use your industry sources (analyst and customer information) to provide evidence for your judgments in each category.
      • Special note: Do not include a detailed competitive analysis in this section. A competitive analysis will be the focus of the next assessment.
    • Describe and justify a change in marketing strategy for the product you selected, based on your research and your SWOT Analysis.

    ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

    • Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
    • APA formatting: The analysis report should be formatted according to current APA style and formatting, using the headings provided in the directions. All citations and references should also follow APA formatting. While APA formatting is not normally used in the workplace, standard formatting of assessments ensures that your instructor will easily identify all aspects of your work.
    • Length: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages.
    • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
    • Research: Use a minimum of four credible sources. Three or more should be from the Capella University Library or business databases and one resource may be the Web site of the company you have selected. Refer to the Research Resources in the left navigation menu for help finding credible sources.
    • Explains the strategic vision of a company, including its product lines, markets served, and methods of differentiating itself in the marketplace, supported by multiple credible sources of information.
    • Describes a product, including the customer needs it meets, supported by credible sources of market information.
    • Analyzes strengths and weaknesses of a particular product from an internal perspective, and provides a rationale for the internal viewpoint.
    • Analyzes opportunities and threats facing a product in the external environment, and provides evidence that demonstrates why each is an opportunity or threat.
    • Justifies a change in marketing strategy for a product and provides evidence that the change is likely to improve market results.
    • Communicates in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business profession. Adheres to APA guidelines and work is appropriate for publication.
    Assessment #2
     

    Submit a 3- to 5-page paper in which you carry out a competitive analysis for the product that you have selected. Using the information developed in the analysis, create a perceptual map that displays the position of your chosen product in relation to the competition and two key factors. Explain the implications of this analysis in relation to marketing strategy.

    Note: You are encouraged to complete the assessments in this course in the order in which they are presented.

    SHOW LESS

    By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

    • Competency 1: Apply theories, models, and practices of marketing.
      • Analyze the competition for a particular product.
      • Present an analysis in a visual display that highlights the most significant information.
      • Explain the marketing implications of a competitive analysis.
    • Competency 2: Integrate fundamental principles and applications of marketing to address business problems.
      • Evaluate information sources associated with marketing.
    • Competency 5: Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business profession.
    • In the first assessment, Company Selection and Product Analysis, you selected a company to study, wrote an overview of that company’s approach to its markets, completed a SWOT analysis for one of its products, and justified a change in marketing strategy for that product. This assessment focuses on competitive aspects—including an analysis of competition for the product that you selected and a thorough examination of information sources that can inform that analysis.

      Imagine that you have now been hired by the company you studied, and have been asked to lead a competitive analysis. Focusing on the product you chose, develop a 3- to 5-page report on the current competitive position of that product.

      PREPARATION

      Think about the information that you will need to analyze the competition for the product you have selected:

      • What kinds of information would you want to gather?
      • What types of sources would be most likely to have the kinds of information you are seeking? Consider some of the following:
        • Companies that provide market information, such as the Nielsen Corporation.
        • Trade publications.
        • Surveys.
      • Once you have gathered the information, how could you organize it to make it most useful to the company?
      • If needed, review the examples of perceptual maps in Suggested Resources.

      DIRECTIONS

      This assessment consists of two parts: Gathering information for competitive research and presenting information as a competitive analysis.

      Part 1: Competitive Research (1–2 pages):

      • Identify and describe the key data the company should know about the competition’s key competitive products. Begin with the following categories, and add any others that might be additionally useful for the product you have chosen:
        • Market share.
        • Product appeal.
        • Quality.
        • Growth potential.
        • Unique selling proposition.
      • Explain how the company you are working with could obtain that data on the competition’s key competitive products, which would become what is referred to as “competitive intelligence.”

      Part 2: Competitive Analysis (2–3 pages):

      Conduct a competitive analysis for the product you have chosen based on available and free resources. Complete the following:

      • Preliminary Analysis.
        • Select and describe the two most significant competitive factors for the product you chose.
        • Select and briefly describe the key competitors and competitive products for your chosen company and product.
      • Comparative Ratings.
        • Select a scale and rate your product and the competitive products based on your two chosen factors.
        • Justify your ranking.
      • Perceptual Mapping.
        • Use a software application of your choice, such as PowerPoint or Excel, to create a perceptual map, as follows:
          • Build a two-dimensional matrix, using the competitive factors as the X and Y axes.
          • Locate and plot each product—the one you chose and the competitive products you researched—in the appropriate locations in the matrix.
          • Attach your perceptual map in the appendix to this assessment. It is not included as one of the pages in the 3–5-page body of the paper.
      • Analysis and Conclusions.
        • Explain how your selected product compares with the competition, based on what you discover in this analysis. Be specific about the factors involved.
        • Explain your conclusions about your selected product:
          • Its competitive position.
          • The implications for enhancing its marketing.

      ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

      • Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
      • APA formatting: Your analysis should be formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
      • Length: 3–5 typed and double-spaced pages.
      • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
      • Research: Use a minimum of six credible sources, either from the Capella University Library or marketplace resources.
      • Evaluates information sources associated with marketing and explains the particular strengths of each source.
      • Analyzes the competition for a particular product, and clarifies specific strengths and weaknesses in relation to each competitor.
      • Presents an analysis in a visual display that highlights the most significant information and explains why that information is significant.
      • Explains the marketing implications of a competitive analysis and suggests alternative strategies to enhance competitive position.
      • Communicates in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations for members of the business profession. Adheres to APA guidelines and work is appropriate for publication.
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