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Market research - Levi jeans
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DescriptionMarket research - Levi jeans
Market research provides different information to marketing managers about competitive products, the market and perceptions of their products, etc. Also it provides information about customer satisfaction, sales volumes, customer demographics, distribution channels, sales of competitive products and advertising effectiveness. Market research provides the basis for dealing with the competition (Adams 2006).
Market research is critical to the success of new products and will continue to be of great help in organisations as it helps firms to plan ahead rather than to guess ahead. According to Chadwick organisations that have used market research in the past and seen it as important are the ones who have survived and become successful (Chadwick 1998).
Focus groups are popular qualitative form of marketing research which is used as a research technique for gathering market research data. These are conducted with a group of people and its questions are unstructured. Focus group method is used as this will gather and explore perception, thoughts and opinions and feelings about Levi’s. With focus group methods there is a possibility of obtaining deeper results concerning subject of interest. (Saunders 2009).
With the use of focus groups you will get honest answers which will be provided by respondents being interviewed. It takes much less time to generate output from focus groups (Bianco 1997). This might be that respondents tend to understand and answer quickly when discussion raised is not known to them. Levis Straus will find focus group useful for staying close to consumers and their ever changing attitudes and feelings (Zikmund 2003).
Their drawbacks are that it can be costly and difficult to control (see appendix 1).
“This is the collection of data directly from individuals. People can either be interviewed individually or in a group and this can be direct or face to face personal interview. People can be interviewed in different places such as arranged places, office and in their own home” Brassington & Pettit 2000:229. These are usually extensive and unstructured. During the interview process the researcher looks for in-depth answers as the name suggests (Kvale 2009). The area of discussion is in depth so are answers being given: therefore questions will be answered deeply and freely resulting in obtaining the required facts. Moreover the in-depth interview is recorded not written down on a questionnaire.
Respondents targeted are carefully chosen. They are usually chosen using the segmentation process that includes their age, income, social class, gender and whether they are regular buyers of that particular product. The main element of depth interviewing is to be able to listen as this encourages the respondent to open up and build a trustworthy relationship (Hague 2002:278). (See appendix 2).
The third of the qualitative research tool is observations. This is whereby a trained observation person observes different types of individuals or groups. Those individuals can either be children, members of the public, high or lower class figures, potential customers to mention the few. The purpose of this observation by a trained staff is to understand some aspects of selected individual’s behaviour so as to see the problem that has been identified by market research plan. Another form of observational research is a mystery shopper. This allows a researcher to go through the same experience as a normal customer. As far as the staffs are concerned they are dealing with a normal customer. The shopper is trained to ask questions and measure performance on certain things as service, handling and question answering. Saunders states that in observations actions speak louder than words (Saunders 2009).
Another form of qualitative observation method to be used will be accompanied shopping. This is whereby an interviewer observes the shoppers, ask them such question on their attitudes and opinions then records everything henceforth helps the researcher to match ones opinion to behaviours.
This type of research can be costly because of its training and supervision needs of observers which are of great importance and since it’s more subjective the likelihood of misinterpretation is higher. Observations are more reliable because they predict behaviour than verbal assertions or intentions (see appendix 3).
LIMITATIONS OF PROPOSED METHODS
Selected methods have limitations. In interviews, ethic problems might arise due to the fact that some candidates might think that questioning is too deep for them and moreover there is also need for mutual trust on interviews. Focus groups can be difficult to control and where the subject is highly sensitive people might not open up. Observations are difficult to analyse and also difficult to organise. Therefore it can be said that chosen methods of Levis Strauss might cause some difficulties in obtaining the required results. And according to Jobber induced bias can be difficult to detect and prevent by researchers. Henceforth there are boundaries on approaches of comprehensive data gathering of in-depth interviews (Jobber 2000).
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