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22 Mar 2013, 01:33
Read the argument and the instructions that follow it, and then make any notes that will help you plan your response. Begin typing your response in the box at the bottom of the screen.
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."
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 argument claims that the best way to gain customers for a new coffee brand, the Excelsior brand, is to do what Superior, the leading coffee company, did when it introduced the newest brand in its line of coffee: conduct a temporary sales promotion that offers free samples, price reductions, and discount coupons for the new brand because coffee is expensive and there are already many coffee established brands. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies on assumption, for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that because coffee is an expensive food item and there are already many established brands of coffee, The Excelsior needs to do what Superior did when it introduced the newest brand in its line of coffee. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. It is also a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between price, number of established brand of coffee and promotion way. The author fails to clarify why The Excelsior Company needs to choose the strategy of Superior with the reason that coffee is expensive and there are already many established brand of coffee. The argument would have been much clearer if it explicitly gave reasons of why in a expensive item areas, in which there are also many established brand exited, Excelsior needs to do the same action of The Superior.
Second, the argument claims that what The Superior Company did is the best way to The Excelsior Company.There are numerous ways to gain customers in an area, for example, online promotion, price reduction... Each company has its own strategy. Besides, although conducting a temporary sales promotion that offers free samples, price reductions, and discount coupons for the new brand is what Superior did and Superior is the leading coffee company, we have not substantiated that it is the best way. Superior can proceeded many other ways to gain customers that it not mentioned here. In addition, many companies use some other ways to gain customers. For instance, Trung Nguyen cafe, a popular coffee brand in Asia, use internet as a useful tool in its promotion campaign. After its promotion campaign, Trung Nguyen coffee brand became popular in Asia, especially in Viet Nam. It is clearly another successful examples of promotion. Thus, we cannot claim that Superior is the best way.
Finally, the argument concludes that The Excelsior needs to do the same promotion way of Superior base on an assumption that a company do the same strategy with other company could gain the same success. This is a very weak and unsubstantiated assumption. There are several examples that two company proceed the same and get different result. We can say GreenSad and Malware. In 1990s, they are new delivery companies and have plan to focus on online food delivery. They proceeded same promotion campaign at the same time. The result was that GreenSad was market leader and Malware was bankrupt. What happened? We do not mention why this happened today. We just give an example that two company hold the same strategy but get different result. In addition, with the data given, we cannot conclude anything about Excelsior and Superior's situation, whether their situations are the same? Hence, we cannot base on the assumption that if Excelsior do what Superior did, they can gain customer.
In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts, reasons and correlation between them. In order to assess the merits of certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors.