why Whole Foods is not attracting and adding younger shoppers to its customer base.

                                                    Marketing 300

 Assessment of Students Grasp of the use of Qualitative Methods to Analyze and Solve Problems using the Whole Foods Market, Inc. Business Profile.

Problem:

You are a marketing manager for Whole Foods and you believe one of the issues the business needs to investigate for its long term health is why Whole Foods is not attracting and adding younger shoppers to its customer base.

Marketing research is the systematic and objective search for, and analysis of, information relevant to the identification and solution of problems in the field of marketing. One of your recommendations for action – to aid Whole Foods’ understanding of the younger demographic issue – is that focus groups be conducted in markets across the country to obtain direct (primary) qualitative data from a cross section of the target population.

To conduct this undertaking will require that you retain a marketing research company and provide them with a briefing document from which they can review and then proceed to design a research methodology.

 

Why a Briefing Document?

Writing a research brief is the essential first step in any market research exercise. It will help the market research agency develop a relevant and appropriate research program. The very act of writing the brief enables the author (you, the Marketing Manager) to prioritize the objectives and the planned learnings you want from the research. Therefore, it’s essential that every effort be taken to prepare the best possible documentation of what is required.

 The Assignment:

Prepare a 3 page (single spaced) directive or brief that clearly:

  1. States the purpose of the market research
  2. Details the qualitative data to be obtained
  3. Explains why the data is needed i.e. why it will help to address the problem.

NOTE: Refer to the section below for guidance in preparing the Market Research Brief.

Process Guidelines: First, go back and re-read the Whole Foods Business Profile, then develop the briefing document for the market research agency so that its consultants can design focus group interviews that will provide Wholefoods with insight into younger consumers’ choices and behavior.

In preparation for the paper and your quality assessment, I have provided a link to Google Drive below for a Focus Group video ( 1 hr. 20min) Its the video of a real focus group conducted by a friend of mine for a seafood company. Listen to it with pad & pencil so you can write down the way the questions are asked and then you can adjust the questions for the assignment. Don’t forget to provide a rationale for why you are asking the question.

https://drive.google.com/a/montclair.edu/file/d/0Bz-a99f3UammanUzbzR0VmFvd3M/view?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

 

                –      More    –

Listed below are the items or topics that must be included in the brief:

  1. Overview – Market & Strategic landscape

The overview or background is about providing context. It’s about setting the scene in terms of the market, what you see happening and why you need to conduct research. For this section of the brief, you should cover or include:

Overview Part 1►What you already know about the marketplace that is of relevance to the

research need

Overview Part 2► Any information that will help the researchers understand the research

problem (e.g. from articles, advertising, etc.*)

Definitions:

Market refers to the market for organic/healthy foods & size of younger shopper component.

Strategic refers to the plan to grow market share of younger shopper component.

*Note:  you may have to do some research on the internet beyond what the case provides.

  1. Problem statement – Restate the problem that you are trying to solve through the research project
  2. Business Goal(s)/Objective(s) –Indicate what are you looking to improve or do differently as a result of satisfying your research objective(s). Should be no more that 2 – 3 key outcomes
  3. Research Needs/Objectives – Specify what do you want to know, and how that information/data relates to solving the problem and meeting the business goal(s)
  4. Rationale for choice of focus group methodology – Explain why focus group research is an appropriate tool for satisfying the research needs and business objective(s )
  5. Target participants – Research audiences may be very broad (e.g. a representative sample of the whole population) or quite specific (e.g. teenagers who have bought your brand or used your service or shopped your store in the last 6 months). It’s important to define your market.

For the brief, describe the demographics and characteristics of your “model” focus group           participants – explain why those characteristics are appropriate for this research project.

  1. Research facilitator’s guide – Develop a set of 10 questions, grouped according to the research needs/objectives identified in # 4 above for use in probing participants regarding the cause of the problem in the focus group discussions. You must provide a rationale for each question.e. why is this question being asked and what insight do you intend to gain from the information

 

In preparation for the paper and your quality assessment, I have provided a link to Google Drive below for a Focus Group video ( 1 hr. 20min) Its the video of a real focus group conducted by a friend of mine for a seafood company. Listen to it with pad & pencil so you can write down the way the questions are asked and then you can adjust the questions for the assignment. Don’t forget to provide a rationale for why you are asking the question.

https://drive.google.com/a/montclair.edu/file/d/0Bz-a99f3UammanUzbzR0VmFvd3M/view?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.)

 

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