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Could you please evaluate my essay. Excelsior Company memorandum.

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Could you please evaluate my essay. Excelsior Company memorandum.  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2015, 22:40
Prompt

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.



Response


The author of the Excelsior Company memorandum claims that in order to gain costumers for Excelsior brand of coffee, Excelsior Company should do what Superior company did when it introduced the newest brand in its line of coffees. Argument stated in that way is unconvincing and weak for several reasons. The follow, the author not only fails to take into account statistical data, but also fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which argument could be evaluated.

Firstly, the author assumes that if Excelsior Company copy Superior Company coffee strategy, than it will gain costumers for its own coffee brand. Moreover, the author assumes that Superior company strategy will work for Excelsior Company. In addition, he/she assumes that Excelsior Company will have same success as Superior company. However, the author overlook the fact that Superior company has well established brand name and brand recognition, while Excelsior Company is new brand at the coffee market. The conclusion of the argument relie on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence.

Secondly, the argument depends on the assumption that Excelsior Company can afford Superior Company coffee strategy. To follow, the author claims that Excelsior Company in order to introduce its coffee brand should follow Superior Company coffee strategy. Thus, Excelsior Company should conduct a temporary sales promotion that offers free samples, price reductions, and discount coupons for the new brand. However, author does not provide any financial statement or statistical data which would show that Excelsior Company has financial resources to implement Superior Company coffee strategy.

To conclude, the argument is flawed for the reasons mentioned. To strengthen the argument author should provide information about similarity between Excelsior Company and Superior Company. Moreover, he/she should provide statical data and financial opportunities that can lead to the conclusion that Excelsior Company can afford Superior Company coffee strategy.

The OG scored my AWA 5/6.

Writing Report
GMAT Analysis of an Argument #1
Description
Score
Total Score 5
Analyzes the issue 5
Supports ideas 5
Organizes a coherent idea 5
Language control 5
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Re: Could you please evaluate my essay. Excelsior Company memorandum.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2015, 18:54
1
Hey - I am probably too late to respond, but I'm guessing more people in future will have this issue - so posting my response to the same essay topic which was rated as 6 across all the criteria:

Total Score 6
Analyzes the issue 6
Supports ideas 6
Organizes a coherent idea 6
Language control 6

* One caveat - I got bored while writing the essay, and knew that in the real exam I would do a thorough job, but you'll see I repeated a sentence at the end + some of my paragraphs are actually not fully thought out. I still got a 6 in all which supports my original assumption that one basically has to 1) Write as well as you can, 2) Use words the GMAT software is looking for like 'flaw', 'strengthen', etc

Lastly, notice I had a spelling error at the end (wrote "never quit", I meant "never quite"). A human examiner would have caught that.

OK here's the essay response:

---

The Excelsior Company (henceforth, "Excelsior") is planning to introduce a new brand of coffee based on the strategy employed by another company, Superior, which entered the market through a temporary sales promotion. Excelsior's plan to enter the coffee market is simplistic at best, and relies upon a number of questionable, unmerited assumptions. As a result of these questionable assumptions, Excelsior's plan appears to be fundamentally flawed. This essay will seek to analyze the areas where the argument appears flawed, and suggest measures to strengthen the overall market entry assessment and plan.

Firstly, we're unsure that this strategy worked for Superior. It is unclear whether this was analyzed as it simply states that these were the actions of Excelsior rather than go into its success or failure. Further, even if it achieved a degree of success, there may be some initiatives that were less fruitful - e.g. perhaps free samples worked, but discount coupons did not and ended up eroding sales while not promoting any sort of brand loyalty.

Secondly, the strategy outlined is too simplistic. It is based upon a successful strategy that has previously worked but it does not take into account areas like market dynamics, the product itself, or the target market. The overall pictures must be considered before setting on a strategy. For instance, the market could not very well be satured with no space for an additional low price player to form a profitable business - the business at best may be a loss-leader with the intention of increasing the Excelsior brand name.

Thirdly, there is no business case discussion. Prior to market entry in any given industry or even product line, companies must ideally undergo a full business case assessment to determine whether this business is ultimately viable and worth entering into. While the initial focus may not be on it, profitability must also play a key role in determining the merits of this decision. It appears, however, that Excelsior has not done any sort of business case analysis and is relying entirely upon the actions of a competitor - actions which, as discussed, have not even been fully reasoned as to whether they led to success for the company.

To bolster and buttress the argument, the author must be fully cognizant of the market size, taste preferences, consumer types, etc. It appears, however, that Excelsior has not done any sort of business case analysis and is relying entirely upon the actions of a competitor - actions which, as discussed, have not even been fully reasoned as to whether they led to success for the company.

In conclusion, the argument is currently too simplistic to ensure success for Excelsior. In fact, it is more likely to lead to a failure as a thorough analysis has as yet not been conducted and the operations are being planned essentially on a 'leap of faith' - never quit the modus operandi of a successful, thriving business.
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Re: Could you please evaluate my essay. Excelsior Company memorandum.  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 00:26
While entering a certain competitive market the company needs to have a clear strategy to reach its potential audience and sustain in the market. Following the market leaders entry strategy could work in a positive manner but certainly cannot guarantee the success and sustainability of the market leader.

The author of the memorandum proposes a plan to copy the strategy of Superior, the leading coffee company to enter the coffee market calling it the best possible method to enter the market. He also assumes that customers who are currently loyal to brands such as Superior would use Excelsiors coffee due to the free samples, price reductions, and discount coupons that they will be offering. The author fails to understand that these promotion strategies are used by every marketer in todays age and he will need to develop a different plan if he wants his brand to be successful.

The author must evaluate other methods of promotion followed by other successful companies across different industries which will help in spreading awareness about the coffee rather than just copying an old competitors strategy. The company could twerk around with the product creating a caffeine free variant or get more flavours to its coffee making it different to its competitors. Sponsor a football team or have its employees create a world record which would help the brand in gaining free publicity.

When Superior was launched in the market, there were only a couple of major players in the coffee space making it easy to penetrate into by throwing freebies and offering a discounted price to the market, but today with over fifty players in the coffee market and twenty of them already providing promotions, Excelsior might need to rethink their entry strategy.

Coffee itself is categorized into three or four different markets depending on the price range. Excelsior need to identify which market they are targeting before coming up with a strategy which the passage gives no clarity about. If Excelsior belongs to the most expensive range of coffee then price promotion and discount coupons might not be the best way to go ahead.

To summarize, the authors argument can be strengthened by considering other possible methods of promotion as well and assuming that Excelsior is a coffee for the price sensitive market who will use the product considering the price is discounted, free samples are provided etc. Sustaining in such a market however will depend on the quality of the product.
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Re: Could you please evaluate my essay. Excelsior Company memorandum.   [#permalink] 26 Dec 2018, 00:26
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