Joined: 28 Nov 2012
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First AWA Essay...I'd appreciate any help review [#permalink]
08 Apr 2013, 08:57
Constructive comments please...it's my first so be gentle.
"The Excelsior Company plans to introduce its own brand of coffee. Since coffee is an expensive food item, and since there are already many established brands of coffee, the best way to gain customers for the Excelsior brand is to do what Superior, the leading coffee company, did when it introduced the newest brand in its line of coffees: conduct a temporary sales promotion that offers free samples, price reductions, and discount coupons for the new brand."
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
The above argument states that The Excelsior Company plans to introduce its own brand of coffee and that the best way to gain customers is to mimic the strategy of another competitor, Superior. Although, this might be a time saving strategy the argument has a variety of assumptions that fails to logically provide concrete evidence that this is the best course of action.
First there is no evidence indicating the time frame when Superior introduced their newest coffee brands to the market. If this occurred in the 1900s when there was less competition it may have been easier to gain new customers.
In addition, Superior could have introduced this new brand of coffees after developing a long established brand and reputation over many years. This alone could have made customers more inclined to try the new brand of coffee because they are brand loyal.
Second, the argument fails to recognize the costs associated with gaining new customers in conjunction with their ‘so-called’ strategy. The argument states that coffee is expensive; therefore the free promotion, samples, price reductions, and discounts could potentially drown the company in low profit margins, unless Excelsior could provide concrete evidence that they can create a enough sales to offset the promotional costs. Furthermore, Excelsior did not establish their target market, just to gain customers. This could lead to them becoming a simple substitute based on their price structure for discounting, promotion, etc. As previously stated, coffee is an expensive commodity but some buyers might be just looking for the cheapest coffee. Therefore, the assumption that customers are being gained because they enjoy that coffee could be offset because these buyers simply want to save money.
As a whole, the argument does not take into account many outside factors and places much of its evidence on one case that worked for one company. Clearly, this argument lacks the support, evidence, and concrete plan to enter the market. Introducing a new product line has many complicated variables many of which are glanced over in the argument. It would be important to understand the current pricing models, the competitive landscape of the industry, other past case studies, and the financial stability of Excelsior to truly establish a strong plan for introducing this line of coffee.