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Situation Analysis Guidelines
Cookie Category

Working in your agency teams in the Virtual Conference Center, develop a situation analysis document for your brand of cookies. This is a critical document, which will lead your team into the creative strategy process and ultimately into advertising executions.

Detailed Directions

Each group must select a leader who is responsible for organizing this phase of the project, making individual assignments, and coordinating the efforts of the entire team. This person should chair the team through the situational analysis section, and can be "retired" after it is completed. As you develop this document, remember that the objective of each section is to identify key facts that will be the basis for your creative strategy.

Your document will have four sections:

Your team will work a specific section of the Situation Analysis throughout Module 2, Elements of Effective Campaigns. Please check the topic page for this module to find out the section of this assignment to work on during each topic. The final due date for the Situation Analysis is February 26, 1998.

You should post the finished assignment in the item of the NAU-VCC set aside for your team's finished Situation Analysis. Grammar, spelling and typos will be noted and reflected in your grade. Be professional!

Please divide your assignment into the four sections outlined above. Be sure to retain a hard copy of your completed assignment for your files.

Situation Analysis Due Date: February 26

  1. Definition: The market that you will compete in needs to be identified in terms of the consumer need which is being fulfilled, the competitive set and possible substitutes. You may be very broad (frozen entrees) or quite narrow (frozen pizza).

  2. Size: Define your market as best you can in absolute size, which can be defined in volume, dollars and market share of meaningful product segments.

  3. Growth Trends: Is the market growing? What are the factors that suggest growth or decline? What rate of growth do you project in the future and how is this supported? Check recent articles in the trade journals and local newspapers.

  4. Pricing: What kind of price range exists? Conduct store checks to determine relative price points. How are the low price brands different than others? Be sure and equalize to price/ounce in order to make you comparisons meaningful.

  5. New Trends: Are consumers demanding new types of benefits/value/ingredients? Look for new competitive entries and changes in existing ones for clues.

  6. Key Factors Influencing Choice: List those factors which you believe are important and justify your conclusions. (Focus group data is a good way to determine this.)

  7. Positioning: How are other competitive brands positioned? Does anyone have an "ideal" positioning which insulates them from a competitive response?

  8. Involvement n Right/Left Brain: How do consumers choose which brand to purchase? Is it right or left brain oriented? Or both? (Again, a good topic to review is your focus group).
Consumer Profile
Situation Analysis Due Date: February 26
  1. Demographic Profile: From your data, define the typical user of your category. Describe this by segment, if possible. Indicate the characteristics which you believe to be most relevant and discriminating. (Simmons is an excellent tool for this data.)

  2. Psychographic Profile: Describe your target in terms of personality, lifestyle, activities, interests, and attitudes. (Also consider substitutes for this product. If they were to buy something other than your brand, what would they choose?)
Your Cookie Brand
Situation Analysis Due Date: February 26

This section deals with your brand specifically, and should be a "piece" of your market section. It is important that the reader understand how your company fits into your defined broader market, and what its relative strengths and weaknesses are.

  1. Historical Perspective: Discuss you brand in terms of its history. When was it introduced? Is it a market leader? Does it have regional or national areas of strength?

  2. Positioning: How does your brand differentiate itself from its evoked set competition? Should this positioning be refined or expanded?

  3. Attitudes: How do consumers view your brand? Traditional? Old-fashioned? Innovative?Íto name a few. Conduct a focus group to determine this information.

  4. Taste Test Results: How does your brand "stack up" to competition among evoked set members? Are there any areas in which you can claim superiority? Are there problems which you need to address from a product performance standpoint?

  5. Implications: Given your review of the category and your brand, what are three areas of opportunity to exploit as you proceed to a campaign? These must be reasonable conclusions, and not based on wholesale changes in the product or packaging.
Executive Summary
Situation Analysis Due Date: February 26

This is the last section of the situation analysis you will work on. In this section you will "top line" key findings from the three other sections of your document. This is written last, and serves as a brief overview for management. It is important that your findings follow a logical, sequential flow and that you prioritize the points in descending order of magnitude. Don't list observations, which have no real impact on your findings. Use this section to list the 15-20 most important facts, which summarize you entire Situation Analysis.

Send E-mail to Prof. Rich Lei.
or call (520) 523-2490

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