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Data Collection

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Background: JavaJoy, Inc. was founded by Hank Sanchez in 1980. His vision was to elevate coffee to the epicurean level of fine wine. Hank's family had been in the coffee bean brokerage business for generations but he knew that even the finest and most carefully roasted coffee beans required an excellent brewing system to achieve a beverage with optimal flavor and aroma. He started JavaJoy to develop, manufacture and distribute high-end coffee brewing systems that would meet his exacting requirements.
JavaJoy has two primary sales channels. They market directly to the medium and large restaurant chains that maintain technical staffs who specify equipment like brewers. Sales to smaller chains, independent restaurants and institutions are generally made through a network of kitchen equipment suppliers (KES) that tend to be regional in focus. The JavaJoy product line is very well known and highly respected in the industry but, due to its high price, Hank had only enjoyed limited success until the market for gourmet coffee drinks exploded in the 1990's. With this new market growth, Hank wants to recast his 5-year strategy to take advantage of the expanding market.
You have been hired as JavaJoy's first Marketing Manager. You have questions about current market size, growth potential, buying habits, distribution channels, and competition, just to name a few. But you quickly realize that much of the existing market knowledge within JavaJoy is based on management experience and perception, which does not necessarily reflect the current reality of the booming market. You need to quickly sort out fact from opinion, determine how to clearly define the market(s) for beverage brewing equipment, and determine where these markets are heading so you can supply Hank with the information he needs to generate his revised strategy.
It's clear that Hank wants the company to grow, but how can this be accomplished? What are the possible alternative approaches, and which is best? What growth can be anticipated? What are the threats to growth? Remember that the ultimate decisions concerning how to grow constitute strategic planning. Your job at this point is to provide accurate and timely information to support that strategic planning process. To provide the answers you have to begin asking questions, gathering data, and developing information.

Situation: While Hank is wildly optimistic about JavaJoy's future prospects, you perceive that the booming high quality coffee market is both an opportunity and a threat. The growing market for high-end brewing equipment is bound to attract the interest of competitors. Is the shift in the coffee market an opportunity for accelerated growth, or a problem of retaining? Or is it both? What information must you gather to analyze this marketing question?

Problem: Consider what you know so far, and generate a list of questions for data collection and analysis. The analysis will be used so JavaJoy management can make a good strategic marketing decision. Consider this a "brainstorming" type of exercise where no idea is wrong and the intent is to uncover as many relevant issues as possible.

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Solution Preview

How any people people buy coffee outside of the home?
How many people brew coffee at home?
What are the typical home brewers buying to brew coffee at home?
What other companies supply home brewing methods?
How long has the coffee market been in the growth, maturity stages?
Which are more likely to buy the coffee brewing systems sold by JavaJoy? Small business, chain restaurants, coffee houses, specialty shops like ...

Solution Summary

Questions that help formulate the data collection needs and methods for making business decisions.

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