Assignment Brief Academic Year 2020-21
Internal approval: Celosia Mendes 21st Sept 2020.
This assignment assesses your secondary research skills and your ability to follow the rules of academic writing. The topic is the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion), which is also called the “marketing mix”. You need to compare and contrast how effective the application of the 4Ps is for one pair of brands (NOT ALL OF THEM) from the list below:
Brand A Brand B
Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream
Red Bull energy drink
Apple watch series 6
Fitbit Versa 2
Dove (deodorant for women)
Sure (deodorant for women)
Kellogg’s Coco Pops
Bulldog moisturiser (for men )
L’Oréal Expert moisturiser (for men)
Module code and title:
MG412 Principles of Marketing Module leader:
Faiz Amin Subhani Assignment No. and type:
Individual report: The 4Ps/marketing mix.
1500 words. Assessment weighting:
Submission time and date:
Individual assignment submission on by 2pm via Turnitin on Tuesday 27th April 2021 Target feedback time and date:
3 Weeks after submission deadline
This assignment has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your achievement of the following module learning outcomes:
Analyse the effectiveness of the marketing mix for any given company or brand.
Demonstrate knowledge of STP marketing planning process
Task requirements Task requirements
You need to carry out in-depth research into the brand’s target market (who they are, their likes/dislikes, their levels of personal disposable income etc.) using market research databases – e.g. Mintel reports, WARC and TGI. You then need to look at the brands themselves, their brand values and competitive positioning in the market before going on to discuss their application of the 4Ps – product, price, place and promotion. The key to getting a good mark on this is to prepare a comparative analysis. Do not describe the brands in isolation – always look at the two together and explain why they do things differently.
This assignment should be based on secondary and observational research only. You are not required to carry out any form of primary research. You need to research the following:
1. Target Market
You need to develop a detailed target market profile for each brand using data sources such as Mintel, the companies’ own websites and other secondary sources. You need to think about age, gender, personal disposable income, social class, level of education, family life cycle, lifestyles, other brands they like, TV programmes they watch, hobbies etc.
2. Product /Brand
Using Levitt’s model of a brand, try to analyse your two selected brands (their shape, packaging, colour scheme etc.). How different are they at the functional and emotional level? What are the brand values that the companies are trying to portray? In addition, have a look at Aaker’s brand personality framework to see which personality type(s) each brand follows.
You need to carry out some on-line and in-store research to establish a market price for each of the brands and any competing products. Display all this competitive pricing research in a table and draw conclusions about which pricing strategy they are adopting.
4. Place (Distribution)
You need to look at channel management. Which stores stock this product? Is it a mass market product where the company has maximised distribution outlets, or is it a luxury brand where distribution is deliberately limited? Explain your answer. If possible, take photos of the product in-store/on-line. What does this tell you about brand values?
You need to research their past methods of communication (e.g. cinema, TV, outdoor, print, social media, mobile, own website etc.). Which communication methods do they use to build their respective brands? – and how do they do this? How are they positioning themselves in the minds of target audiences? (E.g. affordable, luxury, healthy, socially conscious etc.)
You only have 1500 words for your report so you need to decide what goes in the appendices. It is suggested that you follow this structure for your work.
THIS IS WRITTEN LAST (because it is a summary of your research) BUT IT APPEARS FIRST (before the contents page), in order to catch the attention of the reader and encourage them to read further. It should cover in one page or less:
The aim of the report,
The methods of research,
The results (top-line summary only)
Contents Page (Use the feature in Word to do this automatically)
This should be quite brief – it’s NOT a detailed coverage of a 100 years of corporate history. It should include the aim of the report and some background information on each of the chosen brands – I.E a brief description of the brands with useful data such as market share, market size and trends in sales, which you can find from the most recent Mintel reports as well as in the trade press.
Use sub-headings to make your report easier to follow. We suggest you adopt the following headings:
1. Comparison of Target Markets
2. Product – Evaluation of the Products and their Brand Values
3. Price – Evaluation of the Pricing Strategies Used
4. Place – Distribution of the Brands
5. Promotion – Communication of the Brands
You should try to put relevant raw data in the appendices with only a summary of the data in the body of the report. Every time you state a fact e.g. market size, price data, sales etc. you must provide a referenced source for that fact (both in the text and in the reference list based on the Harvard referencing rules). All graphs, data, diagrams and tables should have the title on the top e.g. Figure 1: XYZ Product Category
Market Share; or if it’s a table, Table 1: XYZ Product Category Market Share with a source written directly underneath and to the right of that table e.g. Source: Mintel (2014).
Conclusion and Recommendations
This is where you provide some element of evaluation of your research findings.
How has each brand applied the 4P’s?
Why have they applied the 4P’s in this way?
Which brand has been most successful in its application of the 4P’s?
How could each of the brands improve their use of the 4P’s?
This should be listed alphabetically by Surname.
Use the appendices to display any raw research data such as pricing data which the reader could not access anywhere else.
You may not write in first person – using I, me or my.
Your report should be written in a formal business-like manner.
You may include tables and photographs in the body of the report, but they must all include a title (above and to the left) and the source (below and to the right)
Referencing and research requirements
Please reference your work according to the Harvard style as defined in Cite Them Right Online (http://www.citethemrightonline.com). This information is also available in book form: Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential reference guide. 11th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Copies are available via the University library.
More than 10 references are required and from a variety of sources suitable for use in H.E.
How your work will be assessed
Your work will be assessed on the extent to which it demonstrates your achievement of the stated learning outcomes for this assignment (see above) and against other key criteria as defined by your programme team.
If it is appropriate to the format of your assignment and your subject area, a proportion of your marks will also depend upon your use of academic referencing conventions.
This assignment will be marked according to the grading descriptors for Level 4 with specific guidance as detailed below.
Research Skills 25% You need to demonstrate that you have spent at least a month working on this report. To do this, you need to provide evidence in the written text and in your reference list that you have engaged in research in the form of academic texts and secondary sources, such as Mintel, TGI, Trade and National Press and articles on WARC. We will be looking for more than 10 references from a variety of sources in your reference list. If all that is mentioned in the reference list is website links and company websites, you will lose marks.
Marketing Knowledge 30%
You will need to demonstrate full knowledge of a range of marketing concepts including: STP marketing, profiling target audiences, branding (e.g. Aaker’s brand personality and Levitt’s product model), as well as the 4Ps/marketing mix. Importantly you need academic references to demonstrate applied knowledge and understanding of the two brands under discussion.
You will need to demonstrate analytical skills in terms of interpreting the data you find on the market, the target audience and the two brands. Most important is that you provide a comparison i.e. what is the same and what is different about the way the two companies market their brands.
Literacy Skills 10%
Please remember with academic writing that it must be objective, impersonal, concise, accurate and evidence-based
We expect you to apply the rules of Harvard Referencing throughout the report, both in the text and in the Reference List at the end of the report.
You are reminded of the University’s regulations on academic misconduct, which can be viewed on the University website: https://bucks.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/9546/Academic-Misconduct-Policy.pdf. In submitting your assignment, you are acknowledging that you have read and understood these regulations
Please also note that work that is submitted up to 10 working days beyond the submission date will be considered a late submission. Late submissions will be marked and the actual mark recorded, but will be capped at the pass mark (typically 40%), provided that the work is of a passing standard. Work submitted after this period will not be marked and will be treated as a non-submission.
This assignment should be submitted electronically. Please use the relevant Turnitin submission point in the Submit your work area in your VLE module shell.
Please ensure that your work has been saved in an appropriate file format. Turnitin will only accept the following file types: Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs, or plain text. Your file must also contain at least 20 words of text, consist of fewer than 400 pages and be less than 40MB in size.
You can submit your work as many times as you like before the submission date. If you do submit your work more than once, your earlier submission will be replaced by the most recent version.
Once you have submitted your work, you will receive a digital receipt as proof of submission, which will be sent to your forwarded e-mail address (provided you have set this up). Please keep this receipt for future reference, along with the original electronic copy of your assignment.
Before you submit
Please use the provided checklist below to make sure you are ‘fit to submit’ your work
We recommend you use this checklist as soon as you get this assignment brief to help you plan your work
Fit to Submit: Assignment Checklist
This brief assignment checklist is designed to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes students make in their coursework.
HAVE YOU READ THE ASSIGNMENT BRIEF?
IF NOT, DO IT NOW! In it you will find details of the assessment task, word count, the assessment criteria your work is marked against, and the learning outcomes – the basis for the assessment strategy in each module.
Students often lose marks by forgetting some of the more straightforward elements of their assignments. We recommend that you “tick off” each of the points below as you prepare your work for submission. If you need any help, ask your tutor and / or visit https://bucks.ac.uk/students/academicadvice/assessment-and-examination
Have you read and understood the assessment criteria?
Have you met the learning outcomes? You will lose marks and your work may even be failed if you have not.
Have you demonstrated you can think and write critically in the completed work? This means you have supported your arguments/explanations appropriately e.g. using relevant academic sources and you have offered discussion points which extends your own or others’ viewpoints to make reasoned conclusions/judgements.
Have you maintained an academic tone throughout your work? Is your work formal, focused, developed and clear?
Have you checked that the referencing in your assignment is in line with your programme requirements?
Have you proof-read your work and used spellcheck software to check your spelling and grammar?
Have you checked the presentation of your work is as specified by your tutor, for example, are font size, colour, style, line spacing and margins as the tutor specified?
Have you kept to the word count (or equivalent)? If you are not sure, check with your tutor.
Can you confirm that the work submitted is your own and not plagiarised?
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