Marketing Research: Gillette Company

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Executive Summary

The marketing research proposal relates to Gillette Company. An illustration of the company’s background information is given. The project rationale entails the identification of the specific marketing challenge facing the firm in marketing its Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. The specific objectives of the marketing research are illustrated. Qualitative and quantitative research designs are used in conducting the research. Primary and secondary methods used in the process of data collection are illustrated. In addition, the method of data analysis used which includes the Discriminant Function Analysis method used in analyzed is explained. The proposal also illustrates the activities which were conducted in the process of marketing research and the time duration is taken. The reporting method used in communicating the findings is illustrated which entails the use of PowerPoint presentations. The cost of marketing research is outlined in form of a budget.

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Market Research Brief

Gillette Company is pleased to invite you to present a proposal on a study the firm intends to conduct in the course of the year. Enclosed here is a brief which provides clear guidelines in relation to the study. All information considered to be relevant to the study has been included to facilitate your response.

The study is important to the Gillette Company and we expect you to give valuable insight in relation to consumer awareness and product usage in relation to Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15.

Background

Gillette Company was established in 1895 in the United States and operates on a global scale with its headquarters located in Boston, Massachusetts. The firm operates within the consumer goods sector in the personal products industry and deals in the production of diverse household and personal care products. The firm’s operations are divided into a number of segments. For more information about the company, please refer to our company website.

Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 is designed to deliver 5 main signs of healthy-looking skin within a period of 2 weeks. The product has superior characteristics which include non-irritated, smooth, moisturized, clean and clear and even-toned. In addition, the Facial Moisturizer is fortified with vitamins so as to ensure that it dramatically moisturizes the skin giving it extra protection.

Project rationale

In the process of developing, Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, the Gillette Company management team has realized the importance of gaining sufficient information in relation to consumer awareness and product usage. Knowledge explosion has resulted in a shift in consumer behavior in relation to the consumption of products. Consumers have become more health-conscious in their consumption patterns which are affecting the rate of product and services usage. Gillette Company intends to commission marketing research aimed at gaining comprehensive information in relation to consumer awareness and product usage in marketing its Complete skincare product.

Objective

The research should be aimed at gaining a clear understanding of consumer awareness and usage of skincare products. Specifically, the research should focus on how consumer awareness regarding a particular product affects the success of the product in the market. We suspect that the extent of consumer awareness of skincare products will have an effect on marketing these products. After conducting numerous discussions, we have come to an overall objective to examine consumer awareness and usage of Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. This objective has been broken down into a number of sub-objectives as listed below.

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  • To explore the customers’ attitude towards skincare products
  • To examine the extent of market awareness in relation to skincare products.
  • To identify the key factors that the consumer considers when making their purchase decision in relation to skincare products.
  • To examine the degree of brand image that the firm has managed to develop in relation to Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 both in its domestic and foreign market.
  • To identify the reasons that contribute towards consumers changing their consumption of skincare products.
  • To evaluate the effect of pricing on consumer usage of skincare products.
  • To gain information on how Gillette Company can enhance market awareness of Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15.

Possible methodology

The research agency selected to conduct the research must have knowledge of skincare products. We expect the agency to integrate both qualitative and quantitative research designs. The qualitative design will be used in obtaining market information while quantitative research will enable the findings to be enriched for a better understanding of consumer awareness and product usage. Please consider the users of skincare products in conducting the research because they are our target market.

Data collection will be conducted from the market by considering individual consumers as the main respondents. Both primary and secondary methods of data collection should be used. This will enable the firm to obtain information from its natural setting thus increasing its credibility. We expect the agency to keep the data collected confidential so as to protect the respondents. If necessary, will give the agency access to our sales force so as gain a better understanding of consumer awareness in relation to the usage of Gillette Complete skincare products, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15.

Reporting and presentation

From this brief, the agency will be expected to produce a marketing research proposal. We will be pleased to hold a discussion with you on this brief. In case of any issue, please feel free to contact us through our website.

During the process of conducting the research, we expect the research team to update us on the progress by producing interim reports so as to determine whether they are on course or not. The research findings will be formally reported to the firm’s board of directors. The findings will be discussed during the firm’s monthly meeting. The presentation method used should be simplified for easier understanding.

Timing

The project will have a timeframe within which it must be completed. The time set for the project will be sufficient to enable the research team to conduct thorough marketing research. The following are the key dates in executing the project.

  • 15th March 2010- 20th March 2010. Development of a survey to be used in research
  • 24th March- Submission of survey for approval by the executive management
  • 16th April 2010 -Preparation of report
  • 19th April 2010 Presentation of the final report.

Budget

The management team has estimated the cost of the research to be $50,000. The budget for executing the research is fixed and cannot be exceeded. We expect the research proposal to identify the respective cost items and the specific cost expected to be incurred.

Introduction

Gillette Company was founded in 1895 in the United States firm operates within the consumer good sector in the personal products industry. In 2005, the firm was acquired by Procter and Gamble Company at a cost of US $55 billion. The acquisition culminated in the company being the largest producer and distributor of household and personal care products. The firm deals with a wide variety of household and personal care products. The firm’s management team has segmented its operations into five groups. These include manufacturing of Duracell, Braun, blades and razor and personal care products.

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The blades and razor section specializes in the manufacture of a variety of male and female shaving systems. The various male shaving systems manufactured are sold under different brand names which include MachTurb, March3Turbo, Mach3, and Trac II. On the other hand, the female shaving systems are sold under the brand names Women Venus, Sensor and Sensor Excel. The firm also specializes in the manufacture of a variety of disposable razors which are distributed under diverse brand names. These brand names include GoodNews, Sensor3 and Cost Plus. The firm’s Duracell segment deals with the production of alkaline batteries while the Oral Care segment manufactures power and manual toothbrush. A variety of electric shaves and hair epilators are manufactured in the firm’s Braun segment. In addition, the firm also deals with the production of a variety of personal care products in its personal care product segment. These products include deodorants, skincare, and aftershave and antiperspirants products (Junyong, Adele, Daniel, Jonathan&Harald, n.d, p.6).

Some of the firms which pose intense competition to the firm include Energizer Holding Incorporation and Colgate Palmolive Company. Jung Yong et al (n.d, p.6) assert that despite the increase in the rate of competition, the firm has managed to attain a high competitive advantage compared to its competitors. This has resulted from the ability of the firm to develop a strong brand image through the incorporation of the culture of innovation (‘The Gillette Company, 2005, Para. 5). To attain this, the firm has incorporated the current technologies enabling it to the firm position itself optimally in the market (‘The Gillette Company’, 2005, Para. 5). According to Porter (1980, p.35), attaining a high market position acts as a defense in the process of the firm dealing with competition.

It is important for firms to integrate marketing research in an effort to attain competitive advantage (‘Marketing research and consulting’, n.d, para. 5). After receiving the marketing research brief, a meeting was held with the Gillette Company market research department to discuss and clarify various issues. From the brief, the following marketing research proposal was developed.

Project rationale

For a firm to succeed in the long term as a going concern entity, it is paramount for the management team to identify the various aspects affecting the operation of the firm. Maholtra (2004, p.33) asserts that this can be achieved by identifying the general problem that the firm is facing and its specific components. According to Wilson (2007, p. 141), the marketing environment for the various organizations is dynamic. As a result, it is paramount for marketing managers to identify and address issues emerging from the market since they can be a source of a challenge or opportunity for the firm. Conducting marketing research can enable the firm’s management team to identify the changes within its business environment (Malhotra, 2004, p.45). Over the past few decades, the personal product industry has witnessed rampant growth. This has resulted from an increment in the number of new establishments due to the lucrative nature of the industry. The total effect has been an increment in competition.

Gillette Company is witnessing intense competition in marketing its personal care products. One of the products that are threatened by intense competition is Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. This product is facing intense competition due to an increment in the number of firms manufacturing skincare products. In addition, there has been a shift in consumer behavior resulting from the consumers becoming more health-conscious (‘The importance of marketing’, n.d, p. 2). Gillette Company’s management team is committed to ensuring that the firm attains a high market position. In an effort to attain this, the firm’s management team has integrated an effective market awareness strategy. However, the increment in the health-conscious nature of the consumers is culminating in a negative shift in their purchasing pattern regarding skincare products. This shift poses a risk to the survival of Gillette Company.

Objective

The core objective of the marketing research proposal will be to examine consumer awareness and usage of Gillette Company’s products prior to their production. The research will focus on the firm’s skincare products specifically Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. This resulted from the realization of the fact that consumer attitude towards a product or service has an influence on its usage. In order to conduct the research effectively, the core objective has been subdivided into a number of specific objectives as outlined below.

The major objective of the research proposal will be to explore the customers’ attitudes towards skincare products. This will be attained by reviewing the general the attitude that consumers have developed in relation to skincare products. This exploration will be achieved by identifying a specific focus group. Through this objective, the firm’s management team will gain more insight into the effect of consumers’ perception on the success of the firm and its Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. As a result, it will be possible for the management to determine how it can improve consumer attitude towards its skincare product.

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The second objective will be to examine the extent of market awareness in relation to skincare products. Understanding market awareness will be conducted by evaluating the consumers’ knowledge of skincare products. This would serve in ensuring that the firm’s management team determines whether its market awareness strategy is effective.

The third sub-objective will be to explore the key factors that the consumer considers when making their purchase decision in relation to skincare products. This objective will help in gaining an understanding of consumers’ purchasing patterns. This will enable the management team to determine whether its Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 meets the customer’s product requirements. Understanding the customer’s purchasing behavior will also serve in determining market potential for its products from the potential customers.

The last objective of the proposal will be to identify the level of brand image that the firm has managed to develop in relation to Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. By understanding brand image, it will be possible for the management team to establish whether the brand image developed for Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 is correlated with the firm’s revenue from the sale of the product.

Approach and Methodology

The research proposal will be composed of three distinct stages which include secondary or desk research, qualitative research and quantitative research. Secondary research will be conducted by accessing information that has already been documented through the internet. Qualitative research will be used in evaluating consumer awareness and usage of facial moisturizers. This will aid in the development of a questionnaire to be used in conducting the research.

Before conducting the actual research, a desk or secondary research will be conducted. This will aid in gathering general information regarding consumer awareness and usage of skincare products. The research will be conducted by conducting online surveys to establish the trend in the usage of these products. The data collected through the survey will aid in identifying the market status. The online survey will also be focused on gaining information regarding the consumers’ usage of competing products.

The research will mainly be external by integrating primary methods of data collection. Published reports on the consumption of skincare products that are available online will be evaluated. The reports from the internet will aid in gaining intense information regarding the consumption of skincare products. In addition, we will approach non-governmental organizations which publish market reports specific to a given industry. This will ensure that we obtain past and current information regarding skincare products.

Considering the fact that the information to be obtained from the market is exploratory in nature, a qualitative research design will be integrated. Creswell (2003, p.206) defines qualitative research design as an inquiry method that enables the researcher to gain an in-depth understanding of a given phenomenon. For instance, the design enables the researcher to understand the behavior of a given group of individuals and the reasons contributing to the particular behavior identified.

Qualitative research will be utilized in the process of exploring the consumers’ awareness and attitude towards Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. Through qualitative research, it will be possible for the management team to gain insight into the consumers’ usage of skincare products. Through this design, it will be possible to collect a wide range of market information related to consumer awareness and usage of Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. According to Kent (2007, p.228), qualitative research is conducted in a natural setting. As a result, the information obtained from the market has a high level of validity (Speedback, n.d, para.5).

In the process of collecting the data, the sampling method will be used. This will entail selecting a sample from the market. Sample selection will be conducted through random sampling to ensure that all the parties have the same probability of being selected. The sample population will be categorized into two groups. These include:

  • Gender
  • Product usage.

Open-ended self-administered questionnaires to the respondents identified. The questionnaires will be availed to the respondents through the internet. The use of online questionnaires was settled due to their cost-effective nature.

Quantitative research will be conducted to determine the market performance of the Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15. In addition, quantitative research will be aimed at quantifying the information obtained through qualitative research.

Upon completing the field survey, the data collected should be analyzed (Donald, n.d, p. 1). This will be conducted by using the Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA). This method will enable us to determine the variables which discriminate against 2 or more groups (‘StatSoft Incorporation’, 2006, Para. 1). For instance, it will be possible to determine the effect of consumer perception in relation to Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 on the degree of customer usage.

Focus group

The marketing research will focus on individual users. The focus group will be led by moderators who are members of the company’s marketing department. The focus group will consist of 12 members of different age groups. The focus group will be categorized into four groups.

Group Age Number
A 18-25 2
B 25-35 5
C 35-45 3
D 45-55 2

A sample of 1200 individual consumers will be generated from the entire sample population to whom the questionnaires will be administered. The research will be conducted in 4 US states which include North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Virginia. In addition, gender consideration will consist of both males and females while product usage will consist of heavy and light users.

Reporting and presentation

Emails and telephone will be used by the agency in making any clarifications. In addition, interim reports will be provided to the firm’s board of directors. Upon completing the research, the refined information will be presented through designing PowerPoint Presentations. The presentation will be made during the firm’s monthly marketing department meeting scheduled on 20th March 2010. Before the presentation, the report will be availed to the marketing manager both in soft and hard copy forms.

Timing

Planning the implementation plays a significant role in attaining the set objectives (Milne, 2008, para. 9). The research project is expected to take one month starting March 15th, 2010 and ending on 19th March 2010. The agency will adjust possible deviations to ensure that the set deadlines are adhered to.

Timetable for the research project

The table below illustrates the various activities which will be involved in the marketing research process and the duration taken. It will be ensured that the duration set for the research is respected.

Activity Dates
Development of a survey to be used in research. 15thMarch 2010- 20thMarch 2010
Submission of survey for approval by the executive management 24thMarch
Conducting a market survey to collect data 28thMarch 2010- 5thApril 2010
Preparation and coding of data 7thApril 2010- 8th April 2010
Analysis of data 10thApril 2010- 14thApril 2010
Preparation of report 16thApril 2010
Preparation of PowerPoint presentation 17thApril 2010
Presentation of the final report 19th April 2010

Questionnaire design

The following is the questionnaire to be used in collecting the market data. The content of the questionnaire will be as follows.

  1. Age
  2. Area of residence-North Carolina/South Carolina/ Georgia/ Alabama/ Virginia
  3. Present occupation
  4. Do you use Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15?. Please tick appropriately. Yes  No 
  5. Are you planning to use Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 in the future? Yes  No 
  6. What bottle size do you mainly purchase? 250 gm  500 gm  1000 gm 
  7. How often do you purchase skincare products? Weekly  Fortnightly  Monthly 
  8. Where do you search for information regarding Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15?____________________________________________________________________________________________
  9. How often do you check for content (ingredients) used in manufacturing Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 in an effort to identify any changes? _______________________________________________________________________
  10. What qualities do you check in purchasing Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15?__________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________
  11. How has been your experience with Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15? Bad fair good excellent ______________________________________________________________________________________
  12. What rating would you assign to the pricing of Gillette Complete skincare, Facial Moisturizer SPF 15? Please tick appropriately.        Very affordable  Fair expensive  Too Expensive 

Budget

The table below illustrates an estimate of the marketing research expenses expected to be incurred. The estimates are estimates and hence subject to adjustments.

  • Cost of data analysis $10,000
  • Cost of data collection $35,000
  • Cost of presenting the information $5,000
  • Grand total 50,000

Personal CVs and related experiences

The study will be conducted by Smart Research Incorporation. The firm is headed by Steve Fund who has substantial experience in market research having worked in a research firm for 10 years. In addition, Steve Fund has accumulated sufficient knowledge on beauty products having worked for 15 years in Proctor & Gamble Company in New York. He has also worked with an internationally renowned research firm before establishing his own firm, Smart Research Incorporation. Smart Research Incorporation has over the past years conducted a series of high profile market research of firms in different economic sectors.

Edward Johns will be the market research project leader. He joined the firm in 2002 from a local market research firm in the US. He has good educational qualifications having attained a doctorate degree in international business. For the few years he has been in the firm, Smart Research Incorporation has experienced rampant growth by undertaking high-profile research projects domestically and internationally.

Reference

Council of American Survey Research Organization. n.d. The importance of marketing research. (On-line). 2010. Web.

Creswell, J. 2003. Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method approaches. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publishers.

Donald, R. n.d. Methods of data analysis in qualitative research. (On-line). 2010. Web.

Junyong, Z., Adele, Daniel, D., Jonathan, D. & Harald, G. n.d. Gillette valuation report: Procter and Gamble acquire Gillette case (Online). 2010. Web.

Malhotra, N. 2004. Marketing Research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Milne, G. 2008. Implementing your marketing plan. (On-line). Web.

Porter, M. 1980. Industry structure and competitive strategy: keys to profitability. (On-line). New York: The Free Press. Web.

Speedback. n.d. Marketing research and consulting. (On-line). 2010. Web.

StatSoft Incorporation. 2006. Discriminant Function Analysis. (On-line). Web.

The Black Collegian. 2005. The Gillette Company. (On-line). Web.

Wilson, A. 2007. Marketing Research an Integrated Approach. London, UK:Butterworth- Heinemann.

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