CW1 Report Project

CW1 Report Project, group brief (2000-2500 words) 

(choose a company of your choice that is of medium to big size) (also keep all references because ill need them later on) (harvard style referencing) Background: Word-of-mouth is a powerful thing. It can affect a company’s reputation, boosting sales, or causing consumers to stay away. Before the internet existed ‘word-of-mouth’ happened through face-to-face interaction. Nowadays, consumers can post online reviews about goods and services they buy at the click of a mouse: on Facebook, Twitter, on dedicated review sites, or even on the company’s own website. These online reviews are known collectively as ‘consumer-generated media’, while ‘Word-of-mouth’ has now become known as ‘E-word of mouth’ (E-WOM). Online reviews are, without doubt, valuable and democratic tools, guiding consumers in their everyday purchasing decisions. However, they must guard against ‘fake reviews’, employed by companies to boost sales themselves, or damage the reputation of rivals. This also raises a number of questions around review ‘trustworthiness’: • How trustworthy is the information contained in the reviews? • To what extent are consumers able to recognize fake reviews? Are they gullible or suspicious? What features help them decide if a review is fake or not? • How can companies and dedicated review sites verify reviews posted? Many reputable companies have an Online Review Management Strategy (ORMS) in place. This is a strategy to monitor and manage reviews which appear online (on whichever platform), whether positive or negative. ORMS come in a variety of forms but often include the following actions: • Formulate some kind of response to the consumer review (a word of thanks, promise to act, questioning the veracity of the review) • Use the information in negative reviews to change what the company produces (goods) or the way it behaves (services) • Somehow ‘bury’ or demote negative reviews Task Objective: Your group is acting as a team of consultants. You are required to produce a report with the purpose of recommending a suitable Online Review Management Strategy (ORMS) for a client company. Your ‘client’ can be any existing company which provides a service, or produces goods, and which is likely to receive online reviews. Your report should: a) persuade the client of the need for an ORMS by citing research (around E-WOM, reputation, trustworthiness or online consumer behaviour) b) identify and analyse the online reviews which the company receives (through primary research) c) make recommendations for a suitable ORMS for the client, based on the findings in a) and b), but also citing secondary research on ORMS in general. Guidance Notes CW1: • the company – your ‘client’ – must be real • the company you choose should not include companies based on the ‘sharing economy’ (e.g. Uber, Airbnb). If in doubt, check with your tutor. • in a) above, if the company already has an ORMS, then you are persuading the company how they can improve. If the company is known to you personally (e.g. restaurant or bar where you work, or family business) and you can arrange access, you may use an interview to discover what kind of ORMS is currently being used. • In a) above, sources of secondary research: RULDiscovery (business articles and academic papers) • In a) above, ‘persuade’ should not be interpreted as using ‘emphatic sales language’, rather your approach should be to make the case using research-based data. • in a) and b) above, sources of primary research: interviews, observation of online reviews • in b) above, ‘identify’ should be interpreted as ‘discover on which platforms the reviews appear’, including: o social networking sites (Twitter/Facebook etc) o dedicated review site (Trustpilot/Tripadvisor/Reevoo etc) o company’s own website (e.g. Dell allows customers to post reviews on the Dell website) • in b) above ‘analyse’ should be interpreted as any or all of the following: o discover what review criteria are used (e.g. ‘cleanliness’ ‘value for money’). These may be explicit or implicit. o categorise recurring themes and patterns in the reviews e.g. ‘satisfaction’/’dissatisfaction’ or indicators of ‘trustworthiness’ in the language o compile and present these in an attractive, transparent form