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Review my first attempt at an AWA? Thanks!

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Review my first attempt at an AWA? Thanks! [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2012, 16:44
This is my first attempt at the AWA, I did not really like the argument/prompt, I think I could do better, but any feedback would be appreciated! I take the GRE in less than a month.

Argument Task
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.
In the article above Excelsior company reasons they should follow the example of the Superior coffee company in order to mirror the success of their new coffee brand. The argument presented above does not present strong evidence for why Excelsior should use the same marketing strategy as the Superior coffee brand.

Superior seems to be a well established coffee manufacturer. It is unclear what the Excelsior company is known for producing. Because of this, it is impossible to conclude that Excelsior would benefit from using Superior’s marketing strategy for their new coffee because the link between the two companies is unclear. More information about the market environment of the two companies is needed before any comparisons can be made about their marketing strategies.
Superior’s marketing strategy could have been successful because they are already a well established coffee company. Since customers already trust their brand, they tried the new line of coffee with confidence and the incentive of a lower price. For Excelsior, they are trying to market a whole new brand of coffee, of which customers know nothing about the quality. Superior probably did fine to offer free samples of the new coffee because it was just one line and if consumers did not like the new line, they probably had an old favorite, so Superior’s consumer base was not threatened. As for Excelsior, allowing free samples of the new coffee brand runs the risk of people hating it before even buying it. If the coffee is terrible, it won’t even leave the shelves. Even if consumers buy the coffee at the discounted price and don’t like it, they definitely won’t buy it at a higher price.

Offering something at a discount right at the beginning of its marketing would cheapen the product. Why would something brand new be discounted? Shouldn’t it just be offered at the discounted price always? If the customer takes the risk of trying the coffee at the lower price, what will they do when it is at a higher price? Is the coffee good enough to leave their current brand loyalty? The interplay between the lowered price and quality is very fragile.

In conclusion, the reasoning for copying Superior’s new coffee marketing strategy is not sound because of the unknown connection between the two companies; the lack of information about Excelsior’s current market position, what they currently produce and the trust in their brand; and finally because offering discounts on a new brand cheapens the brand.
Review my first attempt at an AWA? Thanks!   [#permalink] 28 Aug 2012, 16:44
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