Consumer Research

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Introduction and Alignment

This exercise will explore various components of consumer marketing research and determine how these attributes can be effective for examining the overall effects of pricing and consumer demand. The content will be useful for applying consumer-based characteristics and how managers influence demand using the knowledge that they develop from primary and secondary sources.

Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

  • Apply quantitative economic analysis tools to management analysis.
  • Apply qualitative economic analysis tools to management analysis.


Background Information

When conducting business decisions, it is important to use research before committing resources. These exercises will incorporate various consumer statistics, and will require decisions that can be applied from a practical perspective. These exercises will incorporate both qualitative and quantitative information that is inherently beneficial for making economic decisions on the managerial level.


Before beginning the exercise, be sure you have read Chapter 4 in Economics for Managers and watched the three videos.

Part 1

  1. In each of the following examples, describe how the information given about consumer demand helped managers develop the appropriate strategies to increase profitability and how this information was obtained:
    1. Auto industry executives have begun to focus attention on their 20-, 30-, and 40-year-old customers, known as Generations X and Y, and away from the Baby Boomer generation. Recognizing that baby boomers are at least 60 years old, managers realize that their future depends on adapting to the tastes of younger generations.
      The auto industry is now offering more smartphone-driven multimedia systems and is considering increased use of autonomous driving capability. Luxury car producers are developing less-expensive models, and companies such as Toyota are redesigning their cars to be more compact, efficient, and sporty.
    2. Companies such as Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever PLC, and Kimberly Clark Corp. are now using retina-tracking cameras to test consumer responses to new products. Kimberly Clark wanted to know which designs on its Viva paper towels were noticed in the first 10 seconds a customer looked at a shelf. This is the period when shoppers typically place items in their carts. Research has shown that what people want to do and what they say they want to do are often quite different. Companies are making increased use of this technology and three-dimensional computer simulations of product designs due to the lower costs of this technology.

Part 2

  1. The following figure plots the average farm prices of potatoes in the United States for the years 1989 to 1998 versus the annual per capita consumption. Each point represents the price and quantity data for a given year.
    econ graph
    1. Explain whether simply drawing the line that approximates the data points would give the accurate demand curve for potatoes.
  2. In multiple regression analysis, explain why the typical hypothesis that analysts want to test is whether a particular regression coefficient (B) is equal to zero (H0: B = 0) versus whether that coefficient is not equal to zero (H1: B ≠ 0). Using the approximate data points from Part A, you may use Microsoft Excel or SPSS to assist with your answer.
  3. Write a 500-word paper addressing all of the questions in Parts 1 and 2. You must incorporate a minimum of three sources in addition to your text with this assignment. Your three sources may include scholarly sources, credible newspapers, trade journals, and/or websites. Be sure to use OCLS to find these sources.
  4. You may also use graphs and charts to support your answer.
  5. Your entire assignment should be APA formatted.
  6. When you’ve completed your assignment, save a copy for yourself and submit a copy to your instructor using the Dropbox by the end of the workshop.

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