Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 13:38:35 MST
                                        From: Renee Buchanan <>

University of Utah
Marketing 380 "Product Policy"
Fall, 1994
Terry Pavia


This class draws upon a variety of skills. We will use cases, individual projects, groups projects, and computer simulations. Marketing 301 is a prerequisite.

My philosophy on teaching is that benefit of studying a given subject comes not from mastery of the facts. Any benefit is predicated on the presence of a mind that can think and apply all sorts of information to the creative solution of all sorts of problems. If you can think, the mastery of facts in a given discipline gives you yet another set of tools to work with. If you can't think, the mastery of facts gives you the ability to pass tests, which is useful in school but is limited in its general.applicability. Consequently, my emphasis will be to help you develop the skills you need to analyze complex problems, the ability to articulate your concerns and conclusions, and an appreciation of the benefit of individual and group analysis of problems. We will do this within the framework of a particular area of marketing which will also allow you to develop some valuable business skills.


Part of this class is a case class. The purpose of cases is to present the student with a real life vignette and to inquire what actions should be taken. You may feel that there is not enough information in the case for you to make an intelligent decision. Actually, the case probably has more information than you will have when you are making similar decisions when you are in the business world.

We will explore seven cases. You must be able to participate in the discussion for each case. You must also hand in a write up of three of the cases. Case write-ups are limited to 1500 words. Case write-ups should be done in groups of two or three. Spelling, punctuation and writing skills count. Cases will not be accepted late. If you cannot finish by 3:05 the day the case is due in, I will consider that to be a case write-up you skipped. No exceptions.


The quarter project has been designed to allow you to apply the knowledge you have accumulated over the quarter and to demonstrate your skills in analyzing a product. Our definition of product is quite broad. A product can be a physical good (for example, Diet Pepsi), but it can also be a service (for example, the KSL TV), a nonprofit agency (Habitat for Humanity) or a social action program (Baby Your Baby program). You must familiarize yourself with the "product" and analyze how well the product is defined, how well it matches its target market, its competition, its position, etc. (see below).

The quarter project constitutes 25% of your grade. The write-up should be 15 - 20 pages long (typed, double space). Data gathering and analysis for your quarter project should take approximately 40 hours.

For individuals engaged in service projects, 40 hours of service should provide the basis for your project. Given your experience in this service, you should then evaluate the program asyour "product," doing the same sort of analysis that you would for any other product.


Part of this class is designed to sharpen your presentation skills. You will have two opportunities to present to the class. The first will be your product liability presentations. You will work in groups on this project and each of the members will present part of the project. This presentation will be professionally videotaped. You will receive an assessment of your strong and weak presentation points. The tape of your presentation will be valuable (and hopefully not too painful) in designing your plans for improvement. A professionally quality tape must be purchased from the video lab for $5.00, however several presentations can fit on one tape. The second opportunity to present will be your final project. You will be the only speaker on this one. It is your choice whether to have this presentation taped, but it is an excellent learning opportunity offered here at no cost to you. I need to know by 10/1 how many students want to tape their final presentation. There are no makeups on presentations and no exception to this rule.


Another part of this class will involve a computer simulation. The simulation will be available in the computer lab on 10/21 only during our class. The simulation is a pricing competition in which a group of three people play against each other. We will use a round robin format, so everyone in the class will have the opportunity to play against everyone else in the class at least once. The purpose of this simulation is to demonstrate attributes of competition vs. cooperation in developing market strategies.

PARTICIPATION Because much of your grade rests on class participation, attendance is important. Your grade:

         Three Written cases            45% (15 % each)
         Pricing Simulation               10%
         Liability project                  10%
         Class Participation              10%    (1/2 point per class 
         Quarter project                    25%

Following the standards set by the David Eccles Business School, the average for this class will be 3.00, or B. This means that for every person receiving an A, someone else will get a C. For everyone getting a B+, someone else will get a B-. And so on. about the "tough" grading standards for this class. Do not complain to me Every 300 level class in the Business school is being held to this standard at this point.

PRODUCT LIABILITY You may work in self selected groups (group size depends on overall class size - we will aim for a total of 10 to 12 groups). An online search of the word "liability" in the library will pull up a whole lot of articles dealing with a whole lot of cases. Select a product that has had a liability problem (e.g., Rely tampons, Coke Magicans, Exxon Valdez, Ford Pinto, etc.) Prepare a 12-15 minute presentation for the class using the following format.

Part 1

What is the product or service, what is its intended use or how is it supposed to work?

Who is the intended consumer or user?

Part 2

How did the product liability problem arise? Could the firm have anticipated this problem?

What are the laws pertaining to this particular liability situation?

Part 3

How did the firm react? How did the public react? How did the government react?

How was the problem resolved? Was this the best solution?

Part 4

What liability lessons for product management can you learn from this case? (Prepare an overhead for this part. Your overhead will be handed in. It should be in the format of The Product, The Problem, The Resolution, The Lesson)


As described above, you may select the topic for your quarter project to best suit your needs.

Consider the following issues, NOT IN THIS ORDER, and everyone's report need not touch on every one of these issues.

What is the product, what is its market, does the product meet the market needs, does the provider/firm appear to understand its market's needs, if not why not, what role does the product play in the corporate portfolio/array of product offered by the provider, does the product appear to be positioned well, is it priced appropriately, does the firm's promotional material support the product position and price, does the promotion reach the desired target?

What problems does this product have, can these problems be addressed easily, what sorts of solutions could be tried, which seem the most feasible, which seem to be difficult to attain but are still critical problems, how could these be addressed?

What is your overall assessment of the product and its management, what recommendations would you make?

Your quarter project is due on or before 4:30 PM December 9 (the last day of class). You will get 1 extra point (out of a possible 25) if the project is handed in by December 2th at 4:30 PM and 2 extra points if it is handed in before November 23th at 4:30 PM.