The following appeared in an Excelsior Company memorandum.
“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.”
The memorandum of an Excelor Company states that since the company plans to introduce its own brand of coffee is should do what Superior, the leading coffee company, did when it introduced the newest brand of coffee: conduct temporary sales promotion that offers free samples, price reductions , and discount coupons for the new brand. Stated in this the argument manipulates the facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak and has several flaws.
First, the argument assumes without justification that Excelsior’s sales promotion will achieve the same result as that of Superior’s. This statement is a stretch since the argument does not provide sufficient information that this is plausible. For example, the budget for Superior’s campaign could be much bigger than that of Excelsior’s, thus making it impossible for Excelsior to conduct such large scale promotion. Even if the companies had the same promotion budget the argument does not states that the promotion was a success. The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that promotion budgets for both companies were the same and that the Superiors promotion achieved extremely positive results.
Second, the argument states that Excelsior can imitate Superior. This is again very weak and unsupported claim since the argument fails to consider other factor important for the situation. Superior is the leading company in coffee manufacturing and probably has a strong base of loyal customers. Regarding this information, it is fair to say that Superior company has great advantage over Excelsior and that it would be very hard for Excelsior to make the same promotional success as Superior.
In order to assess merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case whether Excelsior can compete with and successfully imitate Superior in its promotional actions. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
I don't know whether the reasoning is right, but I did it in about 30 minutes. So, if noting else the timing is good.
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