Marketing Research,,-marketing


Executive Summary. 3

Approach and Research Objectives. 5

Research objectives. 5

Overall Design-Descriptive Research. 7

Procedures and Data Collection. 7

Steps. 7

Data collection. 8

Sampling. 9

Analysis and Interpretation. 10

Interpretation. 11

References. 14



Executive Summary

This report is based GAP’s low performance hence the responsibility of the group to identify the factors behind its failure. The results will enable the organization to implement strategies in improving the brand’s performance.

The background offers the description of the situation, aligned with importance of conducting a marketing research. This section identifies the problem associated with management decision making process with regards to factors enhancing the failure. More so, the marketing research problem aligned to poor performance of the brand.

The research involves a descriptive approach to determine the problems associated with consumers towards brand performance. The sample is comprised of 500 respondents selected in five GAP retail outlets. The 500 respondents are categorized as male and female to prevent to biases in data collected. In addition, the proposal has also stipulated the need keep information of the respondents confidential hence the random sampling. Data collected will be analyzed using SPSS and interpreted through cross tabulation. More so, presentation of analyzed data will incorporate charts, tables and statistics on issues identified. The timeframe of four months has been broken down in consideration of tasks complexity against time required for completion.





Background and Management Problem

GAP is an American Company dealing with clothing and accessories, founded in 1969.  The company has strong base in America and also other parts of the world.  As the largest apparel retailer in United States, GAP has major competition from other worldwide apparel retailers. Consequently, in United States GAP has been experiencing overall brand poor performance which has probed the company to seek for research consultants to pin point the main issue(s) behind the failure. Sales of most of its products have lowered in the past five years and have continued to drop.

The management has a decision problem identified as best approach to consider with regards to GAP’s performance. One of the decision problems is consideration of reinvigorating the brand again. Secondly, changing the products and the brand and/phasing it out completely. This means that the management has no direct choice on how to approach the problem. The poor performance of the brand can be attributed to varied aspects such as the consumers who are major determinants (Churchill, 2001). More so, the promotional approaches may create hurdles for the brand to catch the attention of the consumers (Sudman & Blair, 1998).

According to (Malhotra, 2010), Marketing research problem assists management identify problems with the issue at hand. Therefore, in GAP’s case the MRP is focused on assessing the consumers’ attitudes and behaviors regarding GAP brand and its products.  Additionally, identify promotional methods utilized by sales team as well as their efficiency and competency.

Based on that, GAP’s problem is the brand poor performance with the research problem in marketing centered on the preferences, attitudes and behavior purchasing patterns of the consumers on GAP’s apparels. Further, promotional approaches aligned with the provision of products within the market.

Approach and Research Objectives

Sudman and Blair (1998) affirm that marketing research also aims at solving problems in regards to marketing approaches, the general brand and many other aspects, for instance the poor performance associated with Red Bull. Based on that, the initiative taken by the brand management team is to facilitate recovery of the brand through identifying problems to be solved. Further, in marketing research, it is crucial to identify the marketing aspects in promoting products, hence effective investments (Malhotra, 2010). Burns and Bush (2000) highlight the essential approaches to solving brand issues through assessing where the root of the problem. First, it could be the product(s) hence a product research which focuses on new products and also, improvement of existing range of products. Secondly, determining the effectiveness of sales which offer insights on how the brand is being purchased through studying particular retail outlets. Thirdly, the consumers are the prime determinants; hence identify their behavior to the brand.  Another area involves the pricing of the product as well as the promotional methods utilized for the brand.


Research objectives

The general objective is to evaluate the poor performance of the brand. Supporting objectives for thorough analysis are:

  1. To assess the current performance of GAP in the market.

This objective focuses on assessing the performance of GAP, through establishing purchasing patterns of the brands products. On the other hand, examine the consumers’ of the products.

  1. To examine the consumer attitudes to GAP apparels and competitors.

The focus will dwell on the consumers’ attitudes for the brand within the market, to identify possible deficits with the products, hence derive more effective strategies for brand reinvigoration. Consumers’ attitudes and behavior will be assessed and compared with respect to both male and female consumers.

  1. To determine promotional approaches for re-launching the brand against weaknesses and embracing opportunities.

This objective will determine the preference of consumers in respect to the brand. More focus on the consumer opinions as well as the competitors. Further, the brand management approaches required for rejuvenating the brand.

The variables in the study are:            Independent- product and its brand

Promotional aspects

Dependent-     consumers

The approach for this proposal will focus on three stages. First, evaluate the existing brand performance so as to identify useful information regarding the weaknesses. Secondly, derive a quantitative approach to understand the effectiveness of the brand in the market. This involves assessing the perception of consumers in terms of attitudes, usage of the brand, and identifies probable preferences.

Overall Design-Descriptive Research


According to (Global Marketing Research, 2011) marketing research must consider the objectives set for solving a particular problem in selection of a research design. First, who to consider in the research, where in this case, the consumers inside the stores will be considered for the study. This will assist to obtain information from the respondents, regarding attitudes towards GAP and its products. Data collection will be administered to the respondents after shopping as this provides consumer perceptions on what they have purchased. The best place is outside GAP stores. The research design further can be used to determine why the brand is performing poorly. This will be attained through observation of the consumers as well as the surveys.

Procedures and Data Collection


First, the research will initiate from the company. Therefore, we need confirmation in accessing records on the product and its brand. We maintain confidentiality, such that the information in the records will assist in determining the performance of the products. In promotional aspects, the sales and marketing team inclusion in the project has a significant contribution. Information expected from the company and the sales and marketing department involves the correspondence to the consumers, distribution channels for the products, the consumers purchasing patterns, complaints handling and identification of potential opportunities.

External research will focus on the competitors and the behavior of the consumers in purchasing the products. In reference to the competition, the research will identify the promotional approaches used (Malhotra, 2010), their advertising techniques as well as their products presentations (Sudman & Blair, 1998) in packaging and delivery.

Data collection

The objectives of this report will also probe a descriptive research paradigm. The research will focus on understanding the promotional approaches used by sales and marketing team and the attitudes of the consumers towards the products and its brand.

  • Desk research- will be administered within the company to garner information on last ten years performance. This will facilitate understanding of GAP immediate performance based on the past indicators.
  • Surveys- personal interviews will be applied to the consumers who have already done their shopping. This method is fast against the time frame allocated.
  • Unstructured observation of consumers’ behavior in the retail outlets is also proposed as this as no relative influence on the behavior of the consumers.

European Society for Opinion & Market Research (ESOMAR, 2011) affirms that, in conducting marketing research, it is important to consider the consent issue for the population in the sample. This is further echoed by (Australian Market & social Research, 2011) in maintaining a rapport with the respondents.


  • Nominal scale will be applied to determine the responses from both male and female.
  • Interval scales with application of Likert scale to measure the attitude as well as the opinions of the consumers on GAP.


To reduce bias in this study, the sampling technique in the market will be determined by the nature of the objectives. This means that since the population involves consumers, (Churchill, 2000 notes that there are two approaches to a sample. First, involving a population aware of the assessment, and secondly, approaching a population without prior communication.

The proposed sample will be comprised of:

  • Consumers- to identify attitudes, preferences and opinions
  • Procedure: through random survey interviews, the consumers targeted in retail outlets where the company distributes its products.  The retail owners can also assist in identifying issues related tote products sales decline as well as their perception and observation on consumers’ behavior and attitudes.

The following table identifies the distribution of 500 interview questions to the consumers within five retail outlets. To obtain quantifiable data, the questionnaires in all the retail outlets will be administered to both male and female equally.


Retail outlets Male consumers Female consumers  
1 50 50  
2 50 50  
3 50 50  
4 50 50  
5 50 50  
Total 250 250 500


Analysis and Interpretation

In data analysis, the questions will be inspected and coded according to respondents’ answers to the questions. This is to identify their opinions in terms of involving them to reinvigorate the product and brand.

Once the data has been collected it will be analyzed using the SPSS. The suitable approach to this part is to include the SPSS a prescriptive form of software (Francis, 2007). Francis (2007) also notes that this process assists most businesses in improving on their approaches especially in respect to marketing. This approach further facilitates identification of the past performance, present product and its brand performance and the future prospects with identification of opportunities too.  Also, it will offer the relationship between consumers and the brand, consumer and promotional approaches as well as the brand and promotional factors. More so, it also develops close monitoring strategies on the performance of the products once they are reinvigorated. SPSS assists in data summary, enables the research to identify the trends in collected data and compare varying variables in research (Francis, 2007).

In the research we consider categorical analysis of data in terms of frequencies of answers in the questionnaires; the observation outcomes will be tabulated.

Implementing cross tabulation tables (Newspoll, 2011) to determine the relationship between two variables as well as how the relationships affect each others. For instance, identify the relationship of consumer variable against the brand, and the promotional aspects interrelationship with the products and the consumers. Additionally, determine correlation between the male consumers and the female consumers, behavior and attitudes.


The results of the analysis will be used to offer the management with comprehensive information to facilitate decision making process regarding the fate of the brand. The relationship between brand and consumers should offer approaches to redesign promotional factors such as advertising, discounts and many more. Poor performance of the brand has influenced management decision problem; therefore, the results will facilitate varied objectives after acknowledging issues hence the decision to reinvigorate the overall brand for consistent success.


Timeline and Reporting

In our briefs we have stipulated that we will follow a strict timeframe, to meet the deadlines for the project. In the process of conducting the research we will maintain timely and regular communication of the project’s progress to the corporate. This will be accomplished in a weekly basis in form of reports at each last day of each week; Friday. More so, the weekly communication will garner more cohesiveness with regards to the project bearing in mind the probability of modifications that you might suggest. The timeframe for the project is four months initiating in July 1st, 2011 till the end of October, 2011.

After the analysis for the final presentation, the report will be presented to GAP management in a precise manner with incorporation of line graphs showing consumer and brand relationships, statistics and tables indicating variables relationships. Formally, the presentation will be given to you between October 25th 2011 and October 31th, 2011. A complete and final report will be submitted in electronic form and also in print format.

The following is a breakdown of the project’s activities according to the time frame allocated.

Weeks Activities
Week one  and week two Desk research
Week three and week four Qualitative report formulation
Week five Formulation of questionnaires
Week six Pilot study
Week seven Debriefing on pilot
Week eight, week nine and week ten Survey interviews (n=500)



Week eleven and week twelve Coding and preparation of data
Week thirteen Data analysis
Week fourteen and week fifteen Presentation of data in proposed format
Week sixteen Submission of the final report







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