Case Study #06: Understanding Alternative Evaluation Behaviors

Case Study #06: Understanding Alternative Evaluation Behaviors

Direction: This case study is prepared to practice how to apply what students have learned in this course to real marketing situations. By using this worksheet, students are able to figure out appropriate solution(s) for resolving one suggested marketing problem. It is suggested that given one specific goal of this case study, students need to read the following steps before composing one final written document. Submit an individual WORD or PDF answer file to the dropbox by due date and time. If they do not submit answer file, they will not achieve any participation scores. (10 points)

Main Goal. Following is regarded as the comparison table with which consumers attempt to construct and use in their mind for the task of evaluating the alternatives. It consists of three types of information which are collected during the stage of information search: 1) a collection of alternatives called the consideration (or evoked) set, 2) a list of evaluation criteria, and 3) the importance rating column which refers to how important each evaluation criterion. After the construction of this comparison table in consumers’ mind, they evaluate all the alternatives before choosing one alternative for the purchase. One example of evaluation scores or ratings are shown in the table below in Table 1. Given the following comparison table, the goal of this case study is to evaluate the alternatives in the consideration (or evoked) set using each of compensatory and non-compensatory decision rules or heuristics in order to figure out which brand is to be chosen. In addition, discuss what kinds of appropriate actions any specific brand needs to take by conducting the sensitivity analysis.

Table 1. One Example of Comparison Table

Evaluation CriteriaImportance RatingBrand Performance Ratings
EpsonCanonCompaqSamsungIBMToshiba
Price30533421
Weight25345434
Processor10555255
Battery Life5131415
After-Sale Support10334353
Display Quality20332533

Note: Use the cutoff as of 3 for EBA and conjunctive decision rules.

Need for Sensitivity Analysis: When a specific brand is not chosen at the stage of alternative evaluation, it is essential for marketers to identify ways to revert the entire evaluation process and persuade target consumers to choose your specific brand. To figure out this way, that is why marketers need to use the sensitivity analysis. As mentioned in online textbook, assume target customers are using each of simple additive, weighted additive, lexicographic, elimination-by-aspects (EBA), and conjunctive decision rules for the alternative evaluation process. Given this final outcome, marketers need to consider how to let target customer to choose your specific brand by simulating the rating scores in the comparison table. Refer to the details in the online textbook.

Steps to Follow. It is recommended that students read the contents of each step and complete the missions for each step.

  • Using both compensatory decision rules (or heuristics) such as simple additive and weighted additive ones and non-compensatory decision rules (or heuristics) such as lexicographic, elimination-by-aspects (EBA), and conjunctive ones, identify which brand is to be chosen. For the tips, refer to the section of Using Piecemeal Evaluation Strategy in online textbook.
  • Suppose that students are marketing manager of Toshiba brand and target customers are using 1) simple additive, 2) lexicographic, and 3) EBA decision rule. Given that, propose what kinds of actions should be taken in order to make the Toshiba brand be chosen by target customers. For the tips, refer to the section of Use of Sensitivity Analysis in online textbook. Putting it all together, compose written summary report for submission.

Rubrics. Students’ written report can be evaluated with the following rubrics.

  • Show the steps of how to calculate which brand to be chosen for all five decision rules. (5 points)
  • Recommend what kinds of appropriate actions to be taken for letting target customers purchase Toshiba brand after conducting the sensitivity analysis. (3 points)
  • Overall Efforts (2 points)
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