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Leeds City Centre Shopping Behaviour Essay

The topic chosen for our group to research was electrical goods. This topic is a very extensive area; therefore we decided to narrow our research to the mobile phone market since this is an area all our group is familiar with. We chose this area of the electrical goods market because ‘the UK has one of the largest and most advanced mobile phone markets in Europe’ (www.budde.com, 2006, United Kingdom – Mobile Market – Overview & Statistics).

This graph shows the growth in mobile phone subscribers in the UK when mobile phones first started to become essential to consumers. Clearly, there is a strong trend within this graph which states that there was a substantial growth within this market in between 1990 – 2000; therefore the evident trend would be for the mobile phone market to carry on growing.

There is also significant growth in this market at the moment because new research indicates that the number of mobile phone subscribers will increase by upwards of 50 percent in the next four years. (Koprowski, 2006, TechNews World)

The mobile phone market is extremely relevant for the 18 – 25 year old market, as young people now value their mobile phone more than television, says a survey, conducted by the London School of Economics and Carphone Warehouse. In addition over a quarter of people aged 18-24 highlighted their mobile phone as more important than the internet, TV, MP3 player and games console and one in 10 under 25s admitted to being “addicted” to their phones to some degree. (www.mbmagazine.co.uk, 2006, News).

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We have also done preliminary research into the mobile phone market due to access within one of the most dominant mobile phones providers in the country, which has given us an insight into the consumer demand in Leeds at this moment in time. Therefore we shall be researching into what the consumers are looking for in a mobile phone and what other functions they would like to have on a mobile phone as technology is constantly improving.

Proposal Resource Management

Each member of the group offers a different team role to create a balanced and efficient working group. All five members completed the, ‘Belbin Self -Perception Team Role Profile’. This test provided each persons level of least preferred role, manageable role and preferred role. Additionally, it produced a character profile based on strengths and possible weaknesses. From this test, we were able to get a detailed insight into the most effective roles for each group member. Further more we were able to integrate each person’s weakness to strengths to comprise a strong well balanced group.

From the Belbin test we can see Charlotte Tasker’s strengths and preferred role within the group. Charlotte is the groups ‘Plant’ – creative, imaginative, unorthodox and solves difficult problems as she scored 98/100 in this area. This is a great benefit to the presentation we will be carrying out on electronics – mobile phones. For example, we plan to create detailed, interesting innovative stylish handouts and presentation. This requires a person with creative and imaginative characteristics which Charlotte accelerates in. Another strength is the ability to solve complex problems. This will help our presentation as the mobile phone industry is technologically advanced and complex. Therefore, problems will be presented which charlotte will take a key role in solving.

Gareth Winnard is the only ‘shaper’ within the group. A shaper offers the following strengths; challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure. Has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles. If the situation occurred where the group was faced with great pressure this could put the presentation into jeopardy. However as Gareth works well under pressure, this situation is unlikely to occur. Other than Gareth, no other group member scores above 40/100 as a co-ordinator at which he scores 83. This is a vital role in the progression of a group, organisation and discussion. For example, if the group lacked equal contribution and participation during ‘group exercises’, Gareth posses skills to bring each member of the group together to create a confident and mature outcome. For our team to work efficiently, solid teamwork is vital. Many discussions will be held as to find ways to communicate to consumers, Gareth will help the team come together to produce effective methods of communicating with the consumers.

Daniel bond scored 90/100 as a ‘resource investigator’. The strengths of this characteristic are; extrovert, enthusiastic, communicative, explores opportunities and develop contacts. Access to ‘buyers’ of mobile phones is vital. Daniel comprises the ability to communicate well and develop good relationships with consumers. Therefore we will be able to find out more from our participants (consumers) and they will be more willing to help provide specific detailed answers and opinions. Additionally, Daniel holds the ability to motivate the group as he is enthusiastic and will ensure the group work experience is interesting leading to a more productive group presentation.

Sean Hopwood is the completer finisher of the group. He is the only member who scored well in this area. A person with this characteristic has the following strengths; painstaking, conscientious, anxious, searches out errors and omissions, deliver on time. It is essential our presentation is delivered on time. Sean will ensure the group meets the deadlines and keeps the group organised and time bound. Additionally, if any area of our work contained errors and omissions Sean will be able to search these out, correct them and ensure our presentation is kept on track.

Barry Nutt is the group’s Team worker. His strengths include; co-operative, mild, perceptive, and diplomatic; listens, builds, averts friction. The team worker plays a key role in ensuring relationships amongst all group members is kept positive. As the presentation success relies heavily on the group dynamics, the team worker will set the standard for the other group members to listen, respect and cooperate with one another.

The Belbin test has provided a reflection on which group members will work well together. For example, Gareth Winnard and Barry Nutt work well together. Gareth does not work as well in a team environment as he sometimes takes the authority role where inappropriate. However Barry is calm, listens and patient and will therefore help Gareth to improve his team working skills. Barry lacks authority and dominant character traits when needed. Gareth will be able to assist Barry in this area to ensure he becomes more dominant, challenging and dynamic when needed within the group.

Through analysing each person’s character traits, we can see how they enhance the strengths of each personality to creative a motivated, effective, efficient well coordinated group. A consistent strength throughout the group is communication which is vital as we will be in direct communication with the consumers frequently.

In order to gain information of our target market we are planning to conduct a filmed focus group. We decided to conduct a focus group because focus groups have an interactive group setting which lets individuals speak more freely to each other, which ultimately gives our group more relevant information. “Focus groups are an important tool for acquiring feedback regarding new products.” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_Groups, 2006)

There are strengths and weaknesses of focus groups. The strengths of conducting focus groups other than any other method is that we will be able to understand the qualitative side behind the consumer’s behaviour and attitudes behind mobile phones, also the members of the focus group will be able to have more of an in depth discussion as it will be a relaxed environment. Our group, when supervising it, will be able to clarify the responses and be able to probe the focus group members for additional information. Therefore our information about consumer behaviour shall be more thorough and relevant. There are also obvious weaknesses for conducting a focus group, such as we shall be only gathering information and the opinions from a small number of people and the results we acquire from the participants may not be representative to the population.

Market Segmentation and Product Rationale

We have segmented the market, concentrating on Electrical goods in the demographic of 18-25 year olds. We have chosen to further segment this into just concentrating on mobile phones and just studying the behaviour of consumers who are specifically students. It is useful to use segmentation as it helps us to understand the information in context with the rest of the market (Principles of Marketing, Brassington and Pettitt 2003) however we must be careful that by segmenting we do not cause inefficiency and fragment effort.

Each decision made evidently has advantages and disadvantages. These have been analysed in order to make sure the pros outweighed the cons. The main advantage is our access to students, as we will easily be able to gain information from students as they should feel more comfortable speaking with similar people and in addition we shall be able to relate to the information. Also students have a great deal of free time, therefore it shall be straightforward to find a time that our student focus group will be able to meet and discuss. A disadvantage of students could be there can be a massive gap between some student’s lifestyles e.g. their financial situations which could affect the mobile phones available to them and we must make sure that our focus group is a fair spread of students that truly reflect information on our segment.

Our decision to choose mobile phones is also justified as within the 18-25 demographic 90% of all students own a mobile phone (www.findarticles.com) this can be explained due to the a lack of landlines in student housing combined with their need to communicate also there is a wide variety of choices that are available to students in this market as they can be in lots of different positions. Mobile Phone technology is changing rapidly that the information we gather now may not be relevant in a year however we thought the advantages outweighed this.

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