Information Literacy Assignment (Short Report)

 

 

Assuming that you were an entrepreneur who would like to start a new business, you will select a general product category and analyze competition among brands in that category. You will use library databases like Mintel and Mergent Online; and additional resources like news articles, company websites and social media pages with proper citations (both in-text citation and bibliography). You will identify a gap in the market; suggest a new brand or a product (or a modification of a current product) that you would launch in this market to satisfy unmet customer needs; describe the positioning as well as the types of products that the brand (if a new brand is launched) would offer to customers.

These projects are to be novel and creative. I do not expect you to come up with technical inventions or scientific procedures. Instead, this report is designed so that you can utilize data resources to answer a research question. By doing so, you will also learn more about some of the more important branding and marketing concepts and how marketers/brand managers implement those concepts.  At the same time, they are supposed to be fun. So be a bit creative. The report is due November 6th as clearly marked on the syllabus. If you would like to discuss your ideas with me, please join one of my virtual office hours.

Due Date:

  • The report is due on Friday, November 5th at 11:59 p.m. on the Black Board (there is a SafeAssign submission page). No late submissions are accepted.

 

Guidelines for write-up:

  • The write-up should be 2-3 page excluding any figures, exhibits, reference list, and the front page. Use the following structure to guide the reader through the report, by answering the questions
  • Use 12 points Times New Roman with one inch margins, single spaced.
  • Please use APA citation or similar – that includes references in text (parentheses) and a reference list at the end of the paper.
  • Use of library data bases, such as Mintel and Mergent Online, in addition to other resources such as academic articles (by using library data bases), newspaper articles, company websites etc. is a very important component of this paper. Please refer to https://guides.lib.umassd.edu/c.php?g=207291&p=1367584 for additional information on how to utilize library databases.
  • The goal is to use data and information gathered by appropriate resources to answer a research question
  • All reports should include a front page with title of the paper and the name of the student
  • You can use as many figures and tables as you wish but make sure they add something to the analysis. Copying figures and tables from external sources is not acceptable. I encourage you to use data but please make your own exhibits. Note that figures and tables are not included in the 1-page limit (so adding a table just to fill up space is not encouraged). Tables and figures should be presented at the end of the paper and have numbers and titles. Make sure to always refer to the tables/figures in the text (example: “see Table 2”).
  • This is an individual project. You cannot discuss your project with other students or with outsiders. All projects will be submitted on the Black Board. You can quote directly but it should be evident through quotation marks and specific citations in text.

 

Content:

 

In general, all projects should include the following parts, and answer the following questions:

 

  1. Front page
  2. Background:
    1. What is the product category? What does the marketing environment look like in this industry? (10 pts.)
    2. What is the research question of your paper? (What do you hope to introduce to this market?) Why is it interesting? (10 pts)
  3. Your analysis and findings.
    1. What did you find in your data analysis? What do you suggest? (30 pts.)
    2. Data should include market based secondary data that can be reached at http://www.lib.umassd.edu/find/articles-databases, such as databases like Mintel and Mergent Online. If you have any problems using these databases, please contact library HELP by clicking on the “Need Help, Ask Us” link on the top of the page.  You can also rely on more qualitative data such as brand community data (consumers are talking to each other on the website), analysis of reviews or comment sections, or your own analysis of marketing materials (advertisements etc.). Online materials such as webpages, Facebook, Twitter etc. can also be useful. Try to use a variety of data sources to showcase the problem. (Use of library databases 10 pts.)
    3. Use figures or tables to help you showcase your analysis. Refer to the tables/figures in text but include them at the end of the paper. (Use of figures and/or tables 10 pts.)
  4. Conclusions from data analysis and Recommendations
    1. Defend your suggestion. Is your suggestion of new product/brand doable, and sustainable? Will it be profitable for investors? Should investors invest?.(20 pts.)
  5. Reference list (Use of bibliography page and in-text citations 10 pts.)
  6. Tables/Figures (Make sure that you have at least one exhibit)

 

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