Jan Smith had planned on spending six months at home before returning to work after the birth of her first child. However, she and her husband had recently purchased a new home, and the high mortgage payments dictated an early return. Jan worked for Elite Furniture, a manufacturer of quality furniture. She had recently been promoted to Assistant Product Manager for upholstered furniture after serving as sales rep in the Eastern Region for three years. Upon returning to work, Jan discovered that the Purchasing Manager had recently started buying an inferior grade of padding for use in upholstered furniture. The padding would last about half as long as the regular padding, but the lower quality could not be detected by the buyer. When Jan revealed this information to her boss, she was told that the Purchasing Manager was following orders from top management. The company was having financial difficulties and had to cut costs. The change in padding quality was a quick and safe way to do so. Jan argued that selling inferior merchandise as quality product was no way to solve budget problems, but she got nowhere. Elite Furniture products projected an image of quality which Jan had stressed to her retailers when she was selling in the Eastern Region. She could envision that image eroding rapidly as consumers began to experience premature wear in their expensive furniture. Not only would Elite’s reputation be damaged, but the reputations of the retailers carrying Elite’s products would also likely suffer.
What will be your recommendation to Elite Furniture, if you are a consultant to the company?
What will be your action if you are in the position of Jan Smith?
The firm is misrepresenting what they’re selling by not informing customers of the product change within the furtiture
There’s financial problems within the firm Jan works for and they need to make budget cuts Jan just had a baby and needs to keep her job in order to keep up with the cost of her new baby and her mortgage payment Customers will eventually figure out of the product change and they won’t be happy
As an assistant product manager, Jan should have a say in what happens with the product the company is selling If Jan doesn’t take the “right” or “appropriate” approach to this problem, her job may be at risk and with recently having a baby she can’t afford to lose her current job.
By changing and reducing the quality of the product, customers are being deceived and won’t be happy
Jan Smith and her family
The owners of Elite Furniture
Retailers selling Elite Furniture products
Consumers buying Elite Furniture’s compromised furniture
Jan could inform the retailers of her own firm, Elite Furniture
Jan could release the information of Elite Furniture’s quality change and their withold of the change to the public
Jan could quit
Jan could just accept the change in quality of Elite Furnitue’s new product
What Action Should be Taken?
We recommend that Jan should contact top management of Elite Furniture and express her concern with selling this inferior merchandise as a quality product.
While reaching out to top management she could make it clear that if they continue to withold the information about the change in material, she will go to the individual retailers selling Elite Furniture’s product and inform them of the change.
Analyzing the two of specific marketing practices (10 + 10 = 20 Marks)
Last date for submission is 28.05.22
Pick the following scenarios and answer the questions. The more thoughtful the answers to the questions, the higher the grade!. For the following 2 marketing practices, answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.
1. A leading manufacturer of breakfast cereals was interested in learning more about the kinds of processes that consumers go through when deciding to buy a particular brand of cereal. To gather this information, an observational study was conducted in the major food chains of several large cities. The observers were instructed to assume a position well out of the shoppers’ way, because it was thought that the individuals would change their behavior if they were aware of being observed.
Was it ethical to observe another person’s behavior systematically without that person’s knowledge? (2.5 Marks)
Does use of this method of data collection enter an individual’s privacy? (2.5 Marks)
Even if there is no harm done to the individual, is there harm done to society? (2.5 Marks)
Can you suggest alternative methods for gathering the same information? (2.5 Marks)
Last date for submission is 28.05.22
Pick following ethical scenarios and answer the questions. The more thoughtful the answers to the questions, the higher the grade!
Maps, Inc (10 Marks)
Maps, Inc., is the marketing research division of a large credit card company. The division specializes in the preparation of geo-demographic maps. To prepare these maps, it combines information from customers’ credit card transactions with the demographic data it collected when the customers applied for a credit card. Then, with its profiles of who is purchasing what, in combination with Census data on small geographic areas, Maps, Inc., is able to develop maps that display by zip code area the potential market for various types of products and services. The company in turn sells this information to various manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers after customizing the data to the geographic boundaries specified by the client.
Is it ethical to use credit card transaction information in this way? (5 Marks)
Why or why not? (3 Marks)
Do the credit card users have a right to know this research is being conducted? (2 Marks)