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Introduction

The field of marketing has been of great interest in the recent past owing to the increased exposure of firms’ products and their financial risks, especially those operating globally, which erodes their annual revenues. According to D’Alessandro, Winzar and Lowe (2013), “Product marketing research the process of evaluating or examining the viability of a product or service within a specified target market.” Before the company launches its new product to the market, the organisation has a responsibility to conduct research concerning the market so as to establish and determine the feasibility of the product in the target market. On the other hand, the research aids in defining and identifying the challenges and opportunities available to a service or new product designed by the organisation within a specified target market.

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The research proposal will indicate how the process of launching the new product will be done and what requirements and expectation will be in the target market. While conducting this research, the researcher will find some assumptions necessary, even though they are a contributory factor in research limitations. The process of collecting data is very important when conducting marketing research. The company may acquire the best design of the research, but if the information collected is not based on the correct data collection methods, the project will not be successful. Therefore, the research must consider the best methods of collecting the information. First, it will be assumed that the information obtained from respondents to study questionnaires (New product of the Coca-Cola Company) will be accurate as given. In addition, when making conclusions about the collected data, an assumption of generalisation will be utilised.

Moreover, there is an assumption that the research team will not violate the research ethics of any research participant, especially the respondents to the research questionnaires. On the other hand, since the research will be dependent on individual views and perceptions, primary data collection approach will be utilised. The primary data will be collected using both personal interviews and structured questionnaires, distributed to the respondents via mail, emails and hand delivery. In addition, telephones are proposed to be used when collecting primary data because the method is considered to be efficient and cost-effective in the research (Becker & Fabbro 2006).

Background to the Research Proposal

The Coca-Cola Company was established in the year 1889 with their products branded Coca-Cola. The company initially used kola nuts and coca leaves to produce soft drinks that are also known as beverages and carbonated drinks in the market. Through the determination and innovation of the company, it has managed to attract more customers who appreciate the simple brand used by the Coca-Cola Company (Malthotra, Baalbaki & Bechwati 2010).

Since the Coca-Cola Company has designed a new product that is unique in the U.K. market, it must conduct the research to identify the U.K. people’s attitude and perception of their product. For the new product to perform well in the market, the company has a duty to conduct effective research using the processes that are appropriate so as to obtain proper results. The process of the research entails market recognition, data collection, research formulation and design, data evaluation and presentation of the research. Some of the failures of previous research conducted by the Coca-Cola Company were a result of poor process of condunting the research and the product launching into the market.

When the company did the market research, it narrowly focused on the taste and the product only. However, consideration of customers’ emotions, attitudes, and perceptions of the new product is important because it will determine the performance of that product in the market (Wiid & Diggines 2013). Moreover, when the research process is conducted effectively, the company stands a better chance of getting the right consumer perception and market share.

When anyone mentions the brand Coca-Cola, what comes to the mind of many people is automatic success. However, the Coca-Cola Company did the “classic marketing research blunders” and the biggest in 1985 when they were introducing the product of “New Coke” that was a soft carbonated drink into the market (De Langen 2009).

The key purpose of this marketing research proposal is to enable the Coca-Cola Company to effectively manage the new product Coca-Cola Life in the U.K. market. In addition, the research is aimed at enabling the Coca-Cola Company to explore the market of the U.K. by introducing the new product Coca-Cola Life in their market. The scope of the research proposal will be limited to the management of Coca-Cola Life product in the company. The rationale for the selected research objective is based on the fact that in spite of many previous studies on Coca-Cola products, less research has been devoted to the way the company will handle the new product Coca-Cola Life in the domestic setting of the U.K.

Moreover, evidence reveals that within the context of corporate valuation theory, issues of launching new products into the market are habitually neglected or marginalised despite their significant influence on the company valuation. In some cases, managers tend to refrain from active management of new products in the market due to their insufficient expertise of appropriate mitigation strategies (Malthotra, Baalbaki & Bechwati 2010). Thus, this evidence implies that the objective is crucial in making the Coca-Cola Company realise its full economic potential via proper management of Coca-Cola Life in the U.K. market.

In conducting this research, the researcher will find some assumptions necessary, even though they contribute to research limitations. First, it will be assumed that the information obtained from respondents to study questionnaires will be accurate as given. In addition, when making conclusions about the collected data, an assumption of generalisation will be utilised. Moreover, there is an assumption that the research team will not violate the research ethics of any research participant, especially the respondents to the research questionnaires (Gravetter & Forzano 2011).

Research Objective

The objective of the market research will be learning the U.K. public’s attitude and perceptions of products consumption that have lower sugar content, which are sweetened naturally by the extracts of stevia leaf.

Research Questions

  1. What are the key drivers of Coca-Cola Life in an economy?
  2. What common strategies will the firm apply in hedging challenges and how effective are these strategies?
  3. What are the key motivators behind the launch and management of the new product in the Coca-Cola Company?
  4. Are there any relationships between a firm’s management strategies and other aspects of the company such as company size?
  5. What perception and attitude the U.K. public shows towards products that have lower sugar content and are naturally sweetened by the extracts of stevia leaf?
  6. Determine the promotional platforms, which will be used in launching the product into the U.K market.
  7. Examine how the products that have lower sugar content and are naturally sweetened are used in the domestic setting of the U.K.

Analysis of the Coca Cola Life Product

Based on the innovation of the Coca-Cola Company, it has identified the opportunity in the market of the U.K. The company intends to provide the alternative to the best soft drinks in the market. Currently, most of the soft drinks in the market of the U.K. have a high level of sugar content, which is artificial in nature (artificial sweeteners) (Kennedy 2011). The company feels that the product Coca-Cola Life is the best soft drink to consumers because it is risk-free and healthy for consumption.

Data Collection

The process of collecting data is very important when conducting marketing research. The company may acquire the best design of the research, but if the information collected is not based on the correct data collection methods, the project will not be successful (DeVault 2012). Therefore, the research must consider the best methods of collecting the information. The initial stages of data collection process require the researcher to choose the required information for the research (Becker & Fabbro 2006). On the other hand, the research team and the company should select the correct tools that will be used to facilitate collection of the required information. Moreover, the research requires the most important methods such as observation and interview to be used to enable collection of reliable and accurate information for the project. Therefore, the Coca-Cola Company will be expected to allocate enough money, which will be used in this important process of market research.

Research Methodology

In this market research proposal, a qualitative research design will be utilised by the researcher. Further, the research will use both the qualitative and quantitative research methods, which will facilitate the achievement of deliverable results and the objectives of the research proposal. On the other hand, four major methods of collecting primary data such as focusing on groups, interview, questionnaires, and market research will be used in the research. Harris and Brown (2010) claim that these methods are reliable in research because they make one able to create healthy relationships during the research with the correspondent, thereby facilitating reliability, validity, and accuracy of the information gathered. In establishing the attitude and perception people in the U.K. have, the research subject will be tested once.

Owing to a number of practical and theoretical reasons, the researcher will adopt a probability sampling method (stratified sampling method). The stratified sampling method is preferred in this research because it is a systematic and simple random sample that indicates full representation by just considering distinct subgroups. The method is most suitable in this research because during the construction of this method, one uses well-known characteristics of the population such as socio-economic status, gender, and age to group the population (Kennedy 2011). In this case, when choosing the study sample, the chosen members of population of the U.K. will be divided into small groups (states). Thereafter, a random sample will be chosen from each state.

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The target population will be composed of only one group of people, namely marketing managers. The research subjects will be selected from 20 states. From each state, 5 samples (5 marketing managers) will be selected. The total sample size will comprise 100 marketing managers. The rationale for adopting 100 subjects is to improve the level of exactitude of study results.

Since the research will be dependent on individual views and perceptions, primary data collection approach will be utilised. The primary data will be collected by both structured questionnaires, distributed to the respondents via mail, emails and hand delivery, and use of personal interviews. In addition, telephones are proposed to be used when collecting primary data because the method is considered to be efficient and cost-effective in the research. The online approach of using telephone has been proposed in this research because the team feels that for the desired number of respondents to be contacted within the stipulated time, the approach is the most appropriate. To a particular extent, the researcher will find it necessary to review secondary data sources (IM CETYS 2007).

During data analysis and interpretation, the collected data will undergo codification to assign it arithmetical values for easy statistical analysis. With no hypothesis testing, the researcher will adopt descriptive statistics to deeply describe the characteristics of study variables as opposed to complex data analysis approaches such as VAR model analysis.

Empirical/Expected Results

The expected techniques that will be employed in this research proposal may not be significantly different from what has been used previously when conducting research, especially in the Coca-Cola Company. Ideally, the results will be connected with marketing derivatives such as the money market (buy/sell techniques), product marketing derivatives such as product features and market competition, and customer satisfaction. Moreover, a probability sampling method (stratified sampling method), questionnaires, and other sampling methods that use online approach will be used.

Reporting and Presentation

Due to the qualitative nature of the proposal research, an interim presentation report will be submitted to the Coca-Cola Company management meeting. The report will be analysed keenly by the management so as to choose the next step of the project. During the presentation, PowerPoint presentation will be used in addition to the written report, which will be given to each management member. If the proposal research will be approved by the management members, a formal presentation will be prepared with the drawn conclusion to indicate the findings and the comments of the management members during the first presentation. In addition, there will be three copies of the summarised report indicating the findings of the research in all phases conducted in the research before submitting to the management.

On the other hand, the interviews transcripts will be provided on request to the management members at an extra cost. Based on the recommendations and information from the research, the management of the Coca-Cola Company will select the best way of launching their new product Coca-Cola Life into the market of the U.K.

Summary and Conclusion

Before the company launches its new product into the market, the management has the responsibility to conduct research concerning the market so as to establish and determine the feasibility of the product being successful in the target market. The research proposal has indicated how the process of launching the new product will be done and what will be the requirements and expectation in the target market. For the new product to perform well in the market, the company has a duty of conducting effective research, using the processes that are appropriate so as to obtain proper results.

The process of the research entails market recognition, data collection, research formulation and design, data evaluation and presentation of the research. Some of the failures of previous research conducted by the Coca-Cola Company were a result of poor process of conducting the research and launching the product into the market. Based on the research by the Coca-Cola Company, it has identified the opportunity in the market of the U.K. the company intends to provide the alternative to the best soft drinks in the market. In the present market of the U.K., most of the soft drinks have high level of sugar content, which is artificial in nature. Therefore, the company feels that the product Coca-Cola Life is the best soft drink to consumers because it is risk-free and healthy for consumption.

The aim of the market research will be learning about the U.K. public’s attitude and perceptions of products consumption that have lower sugar content, which are sweetened naturally by the extracts of stevia leaf. Based on the data collected and analysed using descriptive statistics, the researcher will scrutinise the effectiveness of employed techniques. Thereafter, the researcher will give recommendations on the best technique that will be used to conduct the research that the management of the Coca-Cola Company should implement in order to reduce the chances of the product failure in the market.

The best techniques will be those associated with a high degree of good performance when the research proposal report is analysed by the management. Further, the research will use both the qualitative and quantitative research methods, which will facilitate the achievement of deliverable results and the objectives of the research proposal. On the other hand, four major methods of collecting primary data such as focusing on groups, interview, questionnaires, and market research will be used in the research. These methods are utilized in the research because they enable one to create healthy relationships during the research with the correspondent, thereby facilitating reliability, validity, and accuracy of the information gathered.

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