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# A recent survey of brand preferences showed that

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A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 22 Sep 2017, 07:10
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45% (medium)

Question Stats:

65% (01:52) correct 35% (01:53) wrong based on 405 sessions

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A recent survey of brand preferences showed that R-Bar Beans are considered the best of all brands among all age groups, leading both Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans by a wide margin. However, the national sales figures show that Texas T and Aunt Sally’s each sold many more cans of beans last year than did R-Bar.

Each of the following would, by itself, help to resolve the apparent paradox described in the passage EXCEPT:

(A) Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans are each much less expensive than R-Bar Beans.

(B) Some of the surveyed age groups showed more of a preference for R-Bar Beans than did others.

(C) The survey was carried out only in the small geographic area where R-Bar distributes its beans, not nationwide.

(D) Most food stores refuse to carry R-Bar Beans because the manufacturer demands that R-Bar Beans be carried exclusively.

(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the market three months prior to the calculation of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years.

Source: LSAT

Originally posted by nahid007 on 30 Jan 2017, 05:45.
Last edited by broall on 22 Sep 2017, 07:10, edited 1 time in total.
Reformatted question
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A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2018, 18:37
2
Scroll down to text in green to direct analysis of the question and to bypass most of an earlier discussion.
generis
Quote:
A recent survey of brand preferences showed that R-Bar Beans are considered the best of all brands among all age groups, leading both Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans by a wide margin. However, the national sales figures show that Texas T and Aunt Sally’s each sold many more cans of beans last year than did R-Bar.

Situation 1 : R is best among all ; It leads T and AS by good margin
Situation 2: T and AS sell more volume of cans than R.

paradox: If people prefer R, why are sales figures down for R?
CROSS out that resolves the paradox
Quote:
(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the market three months prior to the calculation of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years.

How is the entry of a particular brand say RB here relevant to resolving the paradox?
We already know that in the spite of late entry, RB is much liked than others.

EDIT: I misunderstood one of your questions. I have corrected my response.

adkikani - I think you may have gotten turned around between understanding what you correctly described as the paradox:
Quote:
If people prefer R, why are sales figures down for R?

and the logic contained in answer E
Quote:
(E) R-Bar Beans were ONLY introduced to the market THREE MONTHS PRIOR to the calculation of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years. (My emphasis.)

Regarding Option E you wrote:
Quote:
How is the entry of a particular brand say RB here relevant to resolving the paradox?
We already know that in the spite of late entry, RB is much liked than others.

The timing of the entry of brand R is relevant because the timing explains the low sales.

Brand R was too new to get credit for a full year's worth of sales and was at a disadvantage when the data were gathered because new products take time to become known (and purchased).

Brand R has the lowest sales figures because:
1) it could report only three months' of sales data. Brands S and T reported twelve months' of sales data; and

2) in contrast to S and T that "had been available for years," R is a new product.
New products do not usually enter the market with explosive sales (unless they are a one-off -- thank you Bob Woodward).

Armed with this information, now we should not be surprised that R's sales are much lower than those of S and T for the only year reported as of now.

You mentioned that:
Quote:
We already know that in the spite of late entry, RB is much liked than others.

I think the apparent deepening of the paradox hijacked you.

This option says that DESPITE late entry, R's ratings are still the highest.
The paradox seemingly just got worse. Not really. R's newness had a negative effect on sales.
R's sales are the lowest because R is new. Sales are separate from preferences.

Your mind took a natural but erroneous turn.
It seems as if you imagined preference to be a causative force,
i.e., you thought that the "most preferred" status would cause R's sales figures to be the highest.

"Preference" does not have that much power. "Preference" can't produce sales.
And it can't fix the misleading method that compares three months' of sales reporting to twelve months'.
Preference is merely a consumer's report of what, ideally, she or he would most prefer to have.
"Preference for" does not inevitably equal "purchase of."

R has the lowest sales because it is new. If you disagree, I'd like to understand why.

This question

We have a confounding situation. R's ratings are the highest but R's sales figures are the lowest. R seems like a market aberration.

Four answers will explain why this weird situation has occurred or will illustrate that the inconsistency is not as it appears to be.
We must choose the answer that neither explains nor clarifies the oddity.
Quote:

Preferences and sales are UNlinked in the prompt, and we leave them unlinked.

Rather than trying to link preferences to sales, we need to find options that explain WHY preferences and sales are not linked.

Quote:
Do not we link sales with either revenue, profit or no of units sold?

No. We don't care about measuring, predicting, or defining sales. Neither the question nor the options point in that direction.

I can't tell why you got attached to the specific idea of connecting preferences to sales, or connecting sales to something else.

My experience with paradox and disparity questions indicates that we should avoid highly specific lines of thought.
There are too many ways to explain an oddity. Let the options do the work for you.

We care about what does and does not explain the odd relationship between high ratings and low sales.

If the option HELPS to explain, eliminate that option. If the option does NOT help to explain, you have found the correct answer.

(A) Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans are each much less expensive than R-Bar Beans.
[a.k.a. Wal-Mart takes over the world ]

-- Helps to explain.
Comparatively, R is too expensive. People may like R the most, but they either cannot or will not pay THAT much more for R than
they will pay for S or T. High price => low demand => low sales. Mystery explained.

(B) Some of the surveyed age groups showed more of a preference for R-Bar Beans than did others.

-- Neither helps nor hinders resolution of paradox. (Nor does B do anything except evoke a "WTH?" from me.)
This one is a gift. (B) is not relevant to anything
never mind that (B) fails to explain why R has the highest ratings and the lowest sales.
If this option is not the answer then I will return my law degree and demand a refund.

(C) The survey was carried out only in the small geographic area where R-Bar distributes its beans, not nationwide.
-- Helps to explain. Misrepresentative survey. The small survey did not reflect national preferences.
Sales figures are nationwide. The survey was not. The data are skewed and do not match. Mystery solved.

(D) Most food stores refuse to carry R-Bar Beans because the manufacturer demands that R-Bar Beans be carried exclusively.
-- Helps to resolve. If most stores don't carry brand R, low sales are now explained. People cannot buy what grocers do not sell.

(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the market only three months prior to the calculation of sales figures,
while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years.
-- Helps to explain. Sales data either are not representative or are just a dumb yardstick by which
to measure R against S and T. R is too new and has had too few months to report sales data.

So we have
(A) R is comparatively too expensive (high price drives sales down)
(C) survey of preferences is from a small region - not representative of national preferences
(D) R is not even offered for sale in most stores
(E) R has three months' of sales data. S and T had 12 months' of data. Comparatively low sales of R now make sense.

Those 4 answers do not try to uncouple R's high ratings from R's low sales figures. They give a reason for the gap's existence or show that the gap is only an appearance.

We needed one answer that did not help to explain why R brand seemed to be a market misfit.

Hope that helps.
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##### General Discussion
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Re: A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2017, 23:21
nahid007 wrote:
A recent survey of brand preferences showed that R-Bar Beans are considered the best of all brands among all age groups, leading both Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans by a wide margin. However,the national sales figures show that Texas T and Aunt Sally’s each sold many more cans of beans last year than did R-Bar.

Each of the following would, by itself, help to resolve the apparent paradox described in the passage EXCEPT:

(A) Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans are each much less expensive than R-Bar Beans.

(B) Some of the surveyed age groups showed more of a preference for R-Bar Beans than did others.

(C) The survey was carried out only in the small geographic area where R-Bar distributes its beans, not nationwide.

(D) Most food stores refuse to carry R-Bar Beans because the manufacturer demands that RBar Beans be carried exclusively.

(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the market three months prior to the calculation of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years.

My take is B. This option doesn't provide additional information to help solve the discrepancy.
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Re: A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2017, 08:15
nahid007 wrote:
A recent survey of brand preferences showed that
R-Bar Beans are considered the best of all brands
among all age groups, leading both Texas T Beans
and Aunt Sally’s Beans by a wide margin. However,
the national sales figures show that Texas T and Aunt
Sally’s each sold many more cans of beans last year
than did R-Bar.
Each of the following would, by itself, help to resolve
the apparent paradox described in the passage
EXCEPT:
(A) Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans are each
much less expensive than R-Bar Beans.
(B) Some of the surveyed age groups showed more
of a preference for R-Bar Beans than did
others.
(C) The survey was carried out only in the small
geographic area where R-Bar distributes its
beans, not nationwide.
(D) Most food stores refuse to carry R-Bar Beans
because the manufacturer demands that RBar Beans be carried exclusively.
(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the
market three months prior to the calculation
of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt
Sally’s Beans had been available for years.

+1 for B..
A-may be people buy more number of cans of Texas T beans as it is not much expensive....
B-correct
C-Survey is flawed.
D-May be most food store does not contain R bar beans, and people ends up buying non preferred one most of the times.
E-Sales figure of R bar bean--consider only 3 months sale...other consider annual sale.

My take is B....
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Location: India
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Re: A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2017, 01:43
1
Top Contributor
1
let us simplify the argument first -

Survey -
R-bar beans are considered best brand, leading both T-beans and Aunt Sally's beans

However,
T-beans and Aunt Sally's beans have higher sales than R-bar beans.

The correct answer should explain why R-bar beans are the best brand even though they have lower sales.

Option A - Incorrect.
this can explain the paradox, i.e. can explain why the sales of T-beans and Sally's beans are higher.

Option B - Correct.
If they showed more preference for R-beans, then this does not explain why R-beans have lower sales. Worsens the paradox.

Option C - Incorrect
Explains the paradox. Suggests that the survey was biased and hence it indicated that the R-bar beans is the best brand.

Option D - Incorrect
Explains why the sales of R-bar beans might be low compared to those of other brands.

Option E - Incorrect.
Suggests that consumers might not be aware of R-bar beans. Hence, the lower sales.
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A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2018, 17:30

Do not we link sales with either revenue, profit or no of units sold?

Quote:
A recent survey of brand preferences showed that R-Bar Beans are considered the best of all brands among all age groups, leading both Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans by a wide margin. However, the national sales figures show that Texas T and Aunt Sally’s each sold many more cans of beans last year than did R-Bar.

Situation 1 : R is best among all ; It leads T and AS by good margin
Situation 2: T and AS sell more volume of cans than R.

paradox: If people prefer R, why are sales figures down for R?
CROSS out that resolves the paradox

Quote:
(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the market three months prior to the calculation of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years.

How is the entry of a particular brand say RB here relevant to resolving the paradox?
We already know that in the spite of late entry, RB is much liked than others.
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A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2018, 03:33
1
generis wrote:
Quote:
A recent survey of brand preferences showed that R-Bar Beans are considered the best of all brands among all age groups, leading both Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans by a wide margin. However, the national sales figures show that Texas T and Aunt Sally’s each sold many more cans of beans last year than did R-Bar.

Situation 1 : R is best among all ; It leads T and AS by good margin
Situation 2: T and AS sell more volume of cans than R.

paradox: If people prefer R, why are sales figures down for R?
CROSS out that resolves the paradox
Quote:
(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the market three months prior to the calculation of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years.

How is the entry of a particular brand say RB here relevant to resolving the paradox?
We already know that in the spite of late entry, RB is much liked than others.

EDIT: I misunderstood one of your questions. I have corrected my response.

adkikani - I think you may have gotten turned around between understanding what you correctly described as the paradox:
Quote:
If people prefer R, why are sales figures down for R?

and the logic contained in answer (E).

Option E - you wrote:
Quote:
How is the entry of a particular brand say RB here relevant to resolving the paradox?
We already know that in the spite of late entry, RB is much liked than others.

The timing of the entry of brand R is relevant because timing explains the low sales.

Brand R has the lowest sales figures because:
1) it could report only three months' of data. S and T reported twelve months' of sales data; and

2) in contrast to S and T that "had been available for years," R is a new product. New products do not usually enter the market with explosive sales (unless they are a one-off -- thank you Bob Woodward).

Armed with this information, now we should not be surprised that R's sales are much lower than those of S and T.

You mentioned that:
Quote:
We already know that in the spite of late entry, RB is much liked than others.

I am not sure, but I think the apparent deepening of the paradox hijacked you.

This option says that DESPITE late entry, R's ratings are still the highest. The paradox seemingly just got worse -- until we discover the effect that R's newness had on sales.

Your mind took a natural but erroneous turn. It seems as if you imagined preference to be a causative force, i.e., thought that the "most preferred" status would cause R's sales figures to be the highest.

"Preference" does not have that much power. It can't produce sales and it can't fix the faulty methodology of comparing three months' of sales reporting to twelve. Preference is merely a consumer's report of what, ideally, she or he would most prefer to have. "Preference for" does not inevitably equal "purchase of."

R has the lowest sales because it is new. If you disagree, I'd like to understand why.

This question

We have a confounding situation. R's ratings are the highest but R's sales figures are the lowest. R seems like a market aberration.

Four answers will explain why this weird situation has occurred or will illustrate that the inconsistency is not as it appears to be. We must choose the answer that neither explains nor clarifies the oddity.
Quote:

Preferences and sales are UNlinked in the prompt, and we leave them unlinked.

Rather than trying to link preferences to sales, we need to find options that explain why preferences and sales are not linked.

Quote:
Do not we link sales with either revenue, profit or no of units sold?

No. We don't care about measuring, predicting, or defining sales. Neither the question nor the options point in that direction.

I can't tell why you got attached to the idea of connecting preferences with sales. My experience with paradox and disparity questions indicates that we should avoid highly specific lines of thought. There are too many ways to explain an oddity. Let the options do the work for you.

We care about what does and does not explain the odd relationship between high ratings and low sales.

(A) Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans are each much less expensive than R-Bar Beans. [a.k.a. Wal-Mart takes over the world ]

--Helps explain. Comparatively, R is too expensive. People may like R the most, but they either cannot or will not pay THAT much more for R than for S and T. High price => low demand => low sales. Mystery explained.

(B) Some of the surveyed age groups showed more of a preference for R-Bar Beans than did others.
-- Neither helps nor hurts (nor does anything except evoke a "WTH?" from me). This one is a gift. (B) is not relevant to anything -- never mind that (B) cannot resolve why R has the highest ratings and the lowest sales. If this option is not the answer I'm returning my law degree and demanding a refund.

(C) The survey was carried out only in the small geographic area where R-Bar distributes its beans, not nationwide.
-- Helps explain. Misrepresentative survey. The small survey did not reflect national preferences AND was tilted toward an area-specific high preference for R. Sales figures are nationwide. The survey was not. The data are skewed and do not match. Mystery solved.

(D) Most food stores refuse to carry R-Bar Beans because the manufacturer demands that R-Bar Beans be carried exclusively.
-- Helps resolve. If most stores don't carry brand R, low sales are now explained. People cannot buy what grocers do not sell.

(E) R-Bar Beans were only introduced to the market three months prior to the calculation of sales figures, while Texas T Beans and Aunt Sally’s Beans had been available for years.
-- Helps explain. Sales data are either not representative or just a dumb yardstick by which to measure R against S and T. R is too new and has had too few months to report sales data.

So we have
(A) R is comparatively too expensive (high price drives sales down);
(C) too-small and biased survey about preferences
(D) R is not even offered for sale in most stores
(E) R has three months' of sales data. S and T had 12 months of data. Comparatively low sales of R now make sense.

Those 4 answers do not try to uncouple R's high ratings from R's low sales figures. They give a reason for the gap's existence or show that the gap is only an appearance.

We needed one answer that did not help to explain R brand as a seeming market misfit.

Hope that helps.

Many thanks for Omnihelpful great analytical explanation !
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Re: A recent survey of brand preferences showed that  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2018, 04:45
This is a flawed argument in which author relates the popularity of a product with it's sales.
In the real world and the GMAT world alike, this may not be the case. A product may be considered the best in business with relatively poor sales.
A classical example that comes to my mind is that of a popular brand of floaters.
That brand say 'x' appeals to the teenagers, but is not bought by most of them because of it's cost. Though popular, it's not purchased because of cost.
A - this is what I discussed above - INCORRECT
C -this indicates that the survey was probably not representative. - INCORRECT
D - this explains the reason behind the low sales of R- beans. - INCORRECT
E - this explains that the comparison between the sales figures was premature. - INCORRECT
B - CORRECT

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Re: A recent survey of brand preferences showed that   [#permalink] 12 Sep 2018, 04:45
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