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Research methods in Starbucks' case - Dissertation Example

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This research is governed by the following research questions, which will aid in attaining objectives and aim of the research: Can Starbucks make use of causal research in determining whether new gourmet coffee flavors should be introduced? If yes, how?…
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Question 3 A survey is to be conducted to determine the image coffee drinkers have of Starbucks and other coffee chains. Which survey method should be used and why? Survey method based on questionnaire should be selected for determining the image coffee drinkers have of Starbucks and other coffee chains. Questionnaires are intrinsic part of quantitative research methodology that primarily relies on the fact that data can be quantified and therefore can be applicable on large number of people (Babbie, 1992). The generalization theory becomes one of the most critical aspects of validating facts and scientific theories. This helps to identify and evaluate the changing preferences of the people at large vis-a-vis products and services. It would therefore significantly help Starbucks to introduce new products within its stores/ shop across the globe. Questionnaire survey would facilitate Starbucks in evaluating the preferences of the customers. At the same time, it would also help it to improve and improvise new strategies and plans to attract customers and retain them by meeting their changing requirements and expectations from the Starbuck brand. Question 4 Starbucks is thinking of introducing a new gourmet coffee with a strong aroma. Can the observation method be used to determine the consumer reaction to this coffee prior to national introduction? If so, which observation method should be used? Yes, observation method would be highly relevant to determine the reactions of the consumers to the new gourmet coffee with strong aroma, prior to its national launch that Starbucks is thinking of introducing. Malhotra (2010: 214) asserts that Starbucks ‘draws upon customers for ideas… many product and services are direct result of suggestions from patrons’. Starbucks has gained credibility and niche market as major coffee sellers which are distinct in their quality and aroma. Observation research methodology broadly encompasses looking and listening carefully to the consumers so as to decipher particular reaction or discover information about their behavior with regard to a particular product or service. Hence, prior to the introduction of new gourmet coffee with strong aroma, observational research technique would considerably facilitate in evaluating its impact on the consumers. Naturalistic observation method would be most appropriate as it is conducted in the natural environment which encourages participants to act naturally. The researcher is able to observe the behavior without any overt or covert means of interference or intervention. This research technique would enable Starbucks to anticipate the success or failure of its new gourmet coffee that it would like to introduce nationally. The major drawback of this method is that it needs to be carried out for some days across large segment of population so that general behavioral trends could become distinct. External validities through large database ensure that research findings would be true for people across demographic segmentation and region. This question Can Starbucks make use of causal research in determining whether new gourmet coffee flavors should be introduced? If yes, how? Starbuck can definitely make use of causal research in determining whether new gourmet coffee flavor should be introduced or not. Causal research mainly studies the impact of one observable variable on another and helps identify factors that promote bias (Shively, 2010). It tends to explain the change and correlate it with the research hypothesis. Causal relation between two things or variable is based on the fact that change in one would also impact other in a defined manner. Thus, if Starbucks carries out causal research for its new gourmet coffee flavor, it would be able to have prior knowledge as to how the new flavor would influence the behavior of coffee drinkers over wider segment of population. Another important fact is that the empirical observation facilitates objective research which validates the causal relationship between the two variables. In this case, it establishes causal relationship between coffee flavor and behavior of consumer. Change in flavor would either be liked or disliked by the consumer. Thus, causal research provides businesses with strong motivation to improve competitive advantage and therefore, Starbucks must use causal research to determine whether new flavor would be popular or not. (words: 584 excluding question) Reference Babbie, E. (1992). The practice of social research. (6th ed) Chapter 11. California: Wadsworth. Malhotra, N.K. (2010). Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation. (6th ed.) England: Pearson Education Ltd. Shively, Phillips W. (2010). The Craft of Political Research. 8th ed. Prentice Hall. Read More
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