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BRM Week 7 - Course SUMMARY TEXT

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by

Alinda Kokkinou

on 21 March 2016

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Transcript of BRM Week 7 - Course SUMMARY TEXT

Main Research objective
Lieke has designed a new type of solar powered backpack that she would like to commercialize. However, she first needs understand how the backpack will be used, before being able to identify her target market and formulate her marketing strategy.
A new business idea
Lieke's first (main)
research objective
is to understand how
customers will use
her solar backpack.
Exploration
Research Objective
Lieke gathers information about other solar backpacks and discovers that very little is known about how these backpacks are used in daily life. She concludes that she will need to develop her own theory of how customers use solar backpacks.
Methodology
Within her
inductive approach
, Lieke has several choices of
research strategies
, depending on how she will try to answer her research question. She has three
sub-research questions
that each should be addressed using a different research strategy.
Lieke wants to come up with a theory of which factors influence customers' use of their solar backpacks. She therefore uses
Grounded Theory
Lieke also wants to know what the influence of peers on customers' use of their solar backpacks. For this, Lieke
uses
Ethnography
.
Lieke also wants to develop a "typical case" of how an average person uses the solar backpack. She therefore decides to use a
Case Study
.
This is an example of the
inductive approach
.
The most commonly used research method in Grounded Theory is the
in-depth interview
. Lieke interviewed individuals to better understand how they think they use the backpack.
Participant observation
gives an opportunity to experience the constraints of using such a backpack
, so is also be a good
research method
to use in this case
. Lieke observes others using the solar backpack, as a
complete observer
.
Lieke is using both techniques to collect data. She starts participant observation and follows up with focus groups to confirm her findings. This is called
triangulation
and is considered a research best-practice.
Sampling
For her
in-depth interviews
, Lieke is using her judgement in determining who would be most interesting to interview. She is interested in potentially "heavy users" of her solar backpack.
This is an example of usi
ng
purposive sampling
.
Participant observation
gives the researcher to possibility to see how
users affect each other's behavior. By being a
complete participant
,
Lieke can observe how her carrying a solar backpack could make others interested in the product (or find out that it looks too dorky for them to ever consider it).
Lieke also decided to
use
focus groups
in her research. Focus groups will help

her identify the different opinions customers might express one to another about the backpack.
Sampling
Lieke would like to have one focus groups with customers that already have such a backpack. To recruit participants, she posted a message on a forum where solar backpack owners often exchange information, asking for participants to contact her. This
particular

form of
volunteer sampling
is called
self-selection
.
Lieke also organized a second focus group, for individuals that may be interested in such a solar backpack. She asked the participants from the first focus group to refer friends of theirs that expressed interest in the solar backpack to her. This other form of volunteer sampling is called
snowball sampling
.
Lieke gives her friend Joe one of her prototype solar backpacks and asks him to keep notes of his experiences for several weeks

in a diary
. She then examined his
diary
, a form of
primary data
. (If Joe had been already keeping a diary for his own purposes and given it to Lieke, it would be
secondary data
.)
Lieke also decides to conduct a
semi-structured interview
with Joe.
The topics she would like to address include
how he used the backpack,
what the advantages and disadvantages of the solar backpack were,
what practical issues/problems he encountered (for example whether he had enough sun on cloudy days to charge his laptop), and
how others reacted to his backpack.
Sampling
Lieke chose Joe to represent her "average" user for no other particular reason that she knows him, and he was willing to do it.

This is known as
convenience
sampling. (The free solar backpack also seemed to work well as an
incentive
).
Analysis, Findings, Discussion & Conclusions
Sub-Research Question 1 Findings
Based on her in-depth interviews, Lieke found that the backpack is best used to charge small laptops, ipads and phones. The combined weight of a heavy laptop and the bag itself is too much for daily carrying around. She also found that for the bag to be able to generate sufficient energy to charge the appliances, commuters need to walk at least 30 minutes two times a day outside, or take a long lunch break in the park.
A limitation of her study is that she focused on heavy users, who are not necessarily
representative
of the population.
Also, her findings are based on her own interpretation of participant responses, and may therefore be
biased
.
Sub-Research Question 2 Findings
Through the participant observation and focus groups Lieke found out that the solar backpack did attract a lot of positive attention from others. Specifically, others were interested in the design and performance of the solar backpack and curious about whether the product "worked".
A limitation of the study was that the focus group #1 participants were mostly pioneers, and their friends (focus group #2 participants) were mostly similar minded. The study therefore had very little
external validity
.
Sub-Research Question 3 Findings
Lieke found that it took Joe a while to get used to the backpack. In the beginning, he would forget to connect his laptop to the power supply, and miss the charging opportunity that his daily commute offered. His daily commute was also too short.
Joe did however take full advantage when mountain biking in the weekend. He would put his extra clothes (because the bag was waterproof) and plug in his phone and gps to the bag, and spend the day biking with his friends.
Joe also used the bag during his skiing vacation to keep his phone and camera charged. Because of the cold, his phone and camera would lose their charge too fast otherwise.
Based on her three studies, Lieke concluded that her backpack would probably only serve a very particular type of commuter, but would probably be a good product to market to adventure travelers.
Research Objective
Now that Lieke understands how solar backpacks are used in daily life, she can start commercializing her product.
She needs to find out which arguments will most likely get customers to buy her product.
Intention to Purchase the Solar Backpack
Charging Power
Peer Influence
Conceptual Model of Intention to Use the Solar Backpack
Aesthetics of the Solar Backpack
Weight of the Solar Backpack
Color of the Solar Backpack
Exploration
Based on her previous study, and information she found in the marketing literature, Lieke concluded that several factors are likely to influence customers' intention to purchase her solar backpack. This is consistent with a
deductive approach
. She summarized this in a
conceptual model
.
Type of user
Lieke's
dependent variable
is intention to buy the solar backpack
, since that is the outcome she is interested in. She hypothesized that the lighter the solar backpack, the more likely customers are to purchase it. Therefore, solar backpack weight is an
independent variable
in her conceptual model. However, she also thinks that the influence of weight on intention to purchase the solar backpack will depend on the type of user, and therefore introduced type of user as a
moderator
variable.
Methodology
Lieke decides to use a
survey
research strategy in the context of her
deductive approach
. While she could pick
structured observation
as a research method, she
decides to go for a
questionnaire
since it fits her research objective better.
She designs her questionnaire by following best practices. That is, she
adopts
and
adapts

questions
from existing questionnaires (including
open
,
categorical
and
list
questions) , develops
scales
in order to measure intention to purchase, and uses pictures of backpacks in order to measure the influence of aesthetics.
By making good questions, she ensures the
validity
and
reliability
of her survey instrument.
She also makes the
structure
logical and easy, the
layout
clear and professional, and extensively
pre-tests
her questionnaire.
Questionnaire Design
Questionnaire Administration
Lieke decides to administer her survey
online
. She does not have the budget or time to collect her surveys herself. She also wants a wide geographical
sample
.
Sampling
For Lieke's study, it is very important for the findings to be
generalizable
.
She therefore needs to use a
probability sampling technique
. This requires her to create a
sampling frame
first, Since she is interested in two types of users (recreational and commuter), she decides to use
stratified random sampling
. She uses purpose of use to split the sampling frame in two groups (the
strata
), and draws a
random sample
from each group.
Analysis, Findings, Discussion & Conclusions
Lieke found from her study that the most important determinant of customer intention to use her backpack was different between commuters and recreational users. Commuters were more likely to chose the backpack based on aesthetics. Recreational users were more likely to base their decision to purchase the backpack on the weight of the backpack. For both groups, purchase was also strongly influenced by peers.

Lieke made sure in a
research report
, in which she
referenced
others' ideas using APA. The research report was meant to inform the reader on how she achieved her research objectives, and allow him or her to make a judgment as to the validity and reliability of her findings.
However, she also presented her findings in a
consultancy report
and
oral presentation
to the bank that provided her a loan for her business.
SPSS
Measures
Lieke also checks that she has used questions that allow her to collect data at the appropriate level of measurement.
Intention to recommend
Full transcript