9-1 Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan

9-1 Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan

9-1 Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan –Overview
More and more firms and organizations have realized that the brand name associated with their products or services is one of the most important assets that
they own. A brand embodies a company’s identity and the quality, ideals, ethics, and customer commitment for which it stands. It is the heart and soul of the
decisions on which products are brought to market and how. It also enables management to strategically and effectively steer the destiny of a product or
company while building value.
For this summative assessment, you will imagine you are an executive in charge of branding and strategic positioning initiatives at the company you have been
working on throughout this course. You will build a comprehensive business plan for the launch of a new product or service idea at the company. Your plan will
evaluate current branding strategies, describe the target market and its unique features, assess existing organizational strengths, weaknesses, and core
competencies with respect to the new idea, determine pricing strategies, and establish continuous improvement processes that span the life cycle of the product
or service being offered, as well as other key variables outlined in the rubric below. You will also consider how consumer trends and ethical business practices
might impact your plan.
The business plan should be the next step in developing the intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial idea that you developed in MBA-515 for a new product, service, or
process. Note that you will continue to build on this business plan throughout your 600-level MBA coursework, culminating in the capstone in which you will tie
things together and either begin to implement your plan (if feasible), or create a plan for implementing it (if implementation is not feasible).
The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final
submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three, Five, and Seven. The final product will be submitted in Module Nine.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
 Evaluate branding strategies by applying appropriate marketing and management analysis
 Defend target market choices by analyzing the unique characteristics of potential markets that impact business success
 Justify pricing decisions based on relevant target market analysis, business goals, and market conditions
 Assess the strengths and weaknesses of organizations in strategically planning new business activities
 Assess consumer trends and business ethics for determining their potential impact on branding image and business success in a global environment
 Design business-wide continuous improvement processes for regularly reviewing branding and business activities and implementing needed changes
2
Prompt
Using your intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial business idea from the previous MBA-515 Business Environment, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship course, or a
new idea, imagine you are an executive at the relevant company. You have decided to take this idea to the next level by producing a comprehensive business plan
to present to senior management and potential investors in order to convince them to back the project. Your plan should focus on key elements of marketing and
strategy, such as branding, customer base, existing resources and capabilities, pricing, and other factors that could affect your project’s success. Your business
plan should highlight the merits of the project based on a detailed internal analysis, showing how the idea fits with the company’s mission and vision. Remember
that a well-constructed business plan provides concise, accurate information that allows busy executives or investors to quickly grasp the essentials of your idea,
the key need or want it addresses, and how you will meet that need or want.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Executive summary. Using the tenets provided in Module Nine Reading and Resources, begin your paper with an executive summary.
II. Context. This section should provide leadership and potential investors with background information on the company’s current brand and how your new
product or service fits with that brand. Be sure to do the following:
A. Describe the key defining features of the company’s brand and how these features drive business decisions. For example, how are these factors
an extension of the company’s mission, vision, and values? What are the non-negotiables for a product or service to carry the company name?
What is the company known for/as/about?
B. Assess how the new idea fits with the company’s existing brand and how that impacts your business plan. Support your response with relevant
research and analysis. For example, will the product or service be part of a new brand or an existing brand? How will that affect the way you
market the product both within the company and to consumers?
C. Evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s existing branding efforts (or branding efforts for similar products or services if yours is a new
company). What does the evaluation suggest for the new product or service? Support your response with relevant analysis.
III. Need. Use this section to define your target market and explain how your product or service fills a critical need or want for that market.
A. Define your target market and its unique characteristics. Be sure to analyze the following: Basic demographics. What are the key demographic
features of the individuals or businesses who are most likely to purchase your product or service? Support your response with relevant market
research. For example, how might age, purchasing power, decision-making authority, or other factors affect your product or service’s appeal to
potential customers?
B. Analyze what other behavioral or psychographic characteristics of your target market might affect their purchasing decisions. Support your
response with relevant research.
C. Analyze how your new product or service meets a specific want or need of the target market that you identified. In other words, what principal
benefits or key features would your target market find appealing? Support your response with relevant market research.
3
D. Based on your analysis above, argue why this target market is the best strategic choice for the success of your product or service.
IV. Strengths and weaknesses. In this section, you should assess the ramifications of your new business idea on branding, operations, and planning within
the organization, based on internal analysis.
A. Assess the company’s tangible and intangible strengths in providing the new product or service, along with any weaknesses or gaps. Your
response should comprehensively address different aspects of the business, establishing clear links between the strengths and weaknesses you
identify and how those affect planning for the new business activities. The factors you identify will depend on your business and idea, but might
include things such as staff capabilities and turnover, organizational culture, production capacity, location, customer loyalty, supply chain
relations, financial stability, or ability to acquire funding. Assess the opportunities and threats that emerging consumer trends and company
ethics may present to the success of the new idea.
B. Consumer trends. How might emerging trends in consumer preferences (e.g., buying local, support for green technologies, organic foods, etc.)
impact the branding and business success of the new product or service you are launching in the current global marketplace? Justify your
response, identifying the trends that are most relevant to your product or service and how they apply to your target market.
C. Ethics. Analyze how perceived ethics violations affect your branding image and ultimate success of your new product or service in a global
environment. Support your response with specific examples. For example, do different target populations have different perceptions of what
constitutes ethical behavior? How do consumers respond to those violations and what is the impact on business (e.g., product avoidance,
lobbying for new regulations, etc.)?
D. Assess how the factors that you identified above affect branding and operations across different departments in the company. How does your
business plan take this into account? For example, does organizational structure help or hinder branding and launch activities? Do departments
have competing interests? Do they communicate effectively?
V. Core competencies. Assess core competencies of the company or new idea that differentiate you from the competition and provide forward momentum
in the market. How do those competencies affect your business plan? In other words, what things about the company, product, or service provide
significant value to the customer and are very difficult to duplicate? How can you use that strategically?
VI. Pricing. Use this section of your business plan to develop and justify a pricing strategy for your new product or service. Be sure to address the following:
A. Determine the fixed and variable costs to the company for producing, marketing, and selling your new good or service. How do those fit with the
company’s short- and long-term objectives? Support your narrative with a table showing calculations and any assumptions.
B. Judge how much your target market is willing and able to pay for your product or service. Use target market analysis and research on
competitors’ prices to support your answer.
C. Evaluate if targeted consumers are willing and able to pay more for your product or service if it (or the organization, more generally) aligns with
their preferences for corporate social responsibility and ethical behavior. Justify your response with evidence.
D. In light of your analysis, justify the appropriate pricing strategy and price for your product or service and why it is justified. For example, would
skimming, penetration, economy, or premium pricing be most appropriate? What should the initial price be?
4
VII. Refinement. This section should highlight processes for reviewing and refining branding and other activities surrounding your new product or service.
A. Establish processes for how and when you will evaluate the success of your new product or service and its branding. Be sure to suggest
processes that occur at regular intervals and extend across the business, explaining how results will impact decisions on whether to continue or
to initiate exit strategies. What qualitative and quantitative methods will you use?
B. Specify regular, business-wide feedback loops and processes that you will implement to support your new idea, keep it on track, and make midcourse corrections as needed. For example, will you adjust business functions and/or facilitate regular communication across departments?
C. In planning for the future, determine how will you identify and integrate other factors that might affect implementation of your new idea into
your business decisions and planning. In other words, what other things do you need to consider when moving forward both internally and
externally?
VIII. Articulation of response
A. This Final Project should utilize double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and APA formatting and source citation
requirements.
B. Make sure to use headings within the paper that correspond with each portion of the rubric.
C. This paper should be between 30 and 40 pages in length.
Milestones
Milestone One: Context, Need, Pricing
In Module Three, you will submit a short paper covering context, need, and pricing. This milestone establishes your chosen organization’s direction within the
marketplace. This is important because it drives the subsequent activities, milestones, and the final project. Without a strong sense of the organization’s purpose
within the marketplace, knowledge of consumer trends, and how to meet target market needs at the appropriate price, management is less likely to maximize
the efficiency of business activities and more likely to miss fully meeting the needs of its chosen target market. This milestone establishes how the organization
will differentiate itself from its competition through branding with a unique product or service offering designed to meet specific consumer needs or desires that
are shaped by their demographics, psychographics, and want/need. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric.
Milestone Two: Strengths and Weaknesses, Core Competencies
In Module Five, you will submit a short paper covering strengths and weaknesses and core competencies. For the company you have chosen, write a short paper
that identifies and analyzes at least four, but no more than eight, strengths and weaknesses. Continue your paper by identifying and explaining three to five core
competencies for the company you have chosen. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric.
Milestone Three: Refinement
In Module Seven, you will submit a short paper covering refinements. Using the idea that you have chosen, write a short paper covering the following: activities
and items upon which success will be evaluated and how these will be evaluated; timing intervals for information gathering and analyzing feedback; feedback
5
loops that exist or will be created; description of how these loops and the ensuing feedback will affect the overall organization; other considerations as you move
forward with your new product or service. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Three Rubric.
Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan
In Module Nine, you will submit your final project. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final product. It should
reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course and it will include 10% new content. This submission will be graded with the Final Project
Rubric, as shown below. –9-1 Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan

 

OR 

9-1 Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan

9-1 Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan –Overview
More and more firms and organizations have realized that the brand name associated with their products or services is one of the most important assets that
they own. A brand embodies a company’s identity and the quality, ideals, ethics, and customer commitment for which it stands. It is the heart and soul of the
decisions on which products are brought to market and how. It also enables management to strategically and effectively steer the destiny of a product or
company while building value.
For this summative assessment, you will imagine you are an executive in charge of branding and strategic positioning initiatives at the company you have been
working on throughout this course. You will build a comprehensive business plan for the launch of a new product or service idea at the company. Your plan will
evaluate current branding strategies, describe the target market and its unique features, assess existing organizational strengths, weaknesses, and core
competencies with respect to the new idea, determine pricing strategies, and establish continuous improvement processes that span the life cycle of the product
or service being offered, as well as other key variables outlined in the rubric below. You will also consider how consumer trends and ethical business practices
might impact your plan.
The business plan should be the next step in developing the intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial idea that you developed in MBA-515 for a new product, service, or
process. Note that you will continue to build on this business plan throughout your 600-level MBA coursework, culminating in the capstone in which you will tie
things together and either begin to implement your plan (if feasible), or create a plan for implementing it (if implementation is not feasible).
The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final
submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three, Five, and Seven. The final product will be submitted in Module Nine.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
 Evaluate branding strategies by applying appropriate marketing and management analysis
 Defend target market choices by analyzing the unique characteristics of potential markets that impact business success
 Justify pricing decisions based on relevant target market analysis, business goals, and market conditions
 Assess the strengths and weaknesses of organizations in strategically planning new business activities
 Assess consumer trends and business ethics for determining their potential impact on branding image and business success in a global environment
 Design business-wide continuous improvement processes for regularly reviewing branding and business activities and implementing needed changes
2
Prompt
Using your intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial business idea from the previous MBA-515 Business Environment, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship course, or a
new idea, imagine you are an executive at the relevant company. You have decided to take this idea to the next level by producing a comprehensive business plan
to present to senior management and potential investors in order to convince them to back the project. Your plan should focus on key elements of marketing and
strategy, such as branding, customer base, existing resources and capabilities, pricing, and other factors that could affect your project’s success. Your business
plan should highlight the merits of the project based on a detailed internal analysis, showing how the idea fits with the company’s mission and vision. Remember
that a well-constructed business plan provides concise, accurate information that allows busy executives or investors to quickly grasp the essentials of your idea,
the key need or want it addresses, and how you will meet that need or want.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Executive summary. Using the tenets provided in Module Nine Reading and Resources, begin your paper with an executive summary.
II. Context. This section should provide leadership and potential investors with background information on the company’s current brand and how your new
product or service fits with that brand. Be sure to do the following:
A. Describe the key defining features of the company’s brand and how these features drive business decisions. For example, how are these factors
an extension of the company’s mission, vision, and values? What are the non-negotiables for a product or service to carry the company name?
What is the company known for/as/about?
B. Assess how the new idea fits with the company’s existing brand and how that impacts your business plan. Support your response with relevant
research and analysis. For example, will the product or service be part of a new brand or an existing brand? How will that affect the way you
market the product both within the company and to consumers?
C. Evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s existing branding efforts (or branding efforts for similar products or services if yours is a new
company). What does the evaluation suggest for the new product or service? Support your response with relevant analysis.
III. Need. Use this section to define your target market and explain how your product or service fills a critical need or want for that market.
A. Define your target market and its unique characteristics. Be sure to analyze the following: Basic demographics. What are the key demographic
features of the individuals or businesses who are most likely to purchase your product or service? Support your response with relevant market
research. For example, how might age, purchasing power, decision-making authority, or other factors affect your product or service’s appeal to
potential customers?
B. Analyze what other behavioral or psychographic characteristics of your target market might affect their purchasing decisions. Support your
response with relevant research.
C. Analyze how your new product or service meets a specific want or need of the target market that you identified. In other words, what principal
benefits or key features would your target market find appealing? Support your response with relevant market research.
3
D. Based on your analysis above, argue why this target market is the best strategic choice for the success of your product or service.
IV. Strengths and weaknesses. In this section, you should assess the ramifications of your new business idea on branding, operations, and planning within
the organization, based on internal analysis.
A. Assess the company’s tangible and intangible strengths in providing the new product or service, along with any weaknesses or gaps. Your
response should comprehensively address different aspects of the business, establishing clear links between the strengths and weaknesses you
identify and how those affect planning for the new business activities. The factors you identify will depend on your business and idea, but might
include things such as staff capabilities and turnover, organizational culture, production capacity, location, customer loyalty, supply chain
relations, financial stability, or ability to acquire funding. Assess the opportunities and threats that emerging consumer trends and company
ethics may present to the success of the new idea.
B. Consumer trends. How might emerging trends in consumer preferences (e.g., buying local, support for green technologies, organic foods, etc.)
impact the branding and business success of the new product or service you are launching in the current global marketplace? Justify your
response, identifying the trends that are most relevant to your product or service and how they apply to your target market.
C. Ethics. Analyze how perceived ethics violations affect your branding image and ultimate success of your new product or service in a global
environment. Support your response with specific examples. For example, do different target populations have different perceptions of what
constitutes ethical behavior? How do consumers respond to those violations and what is the impact on business (e.g., product avoidance,
lobbying for new regulations, etc.)?
D. Assess how the factors that you identified above affect branding and operations across different departments in the company. How does your
business plan take this into account? For example, does organizational structure help or hinder branding and launch activities? Do departments
have competing interests? Do they communicate effectively?
V. Core competencies. Assess core competencies of the company or new idea that differentiate you from the competition and provide forward momentum
in the market. How do those competencies affect your business plan? In other words, what things about the company, product, or service provide
significant value to the customer and are very difficult to duplicate? How can you use that strategically?
VI. Pricing. Use this section of your business plan to develop and justify a pricing strategy for your new product or service. Be sure to address the following:
A. Determine the fixed and variable costs to the company for producing, marketing, and selling your new good or service. How do those fit with the
company’s short- and long-term objectives? Support your narrative with a table showing calculations and any assumptions.
B. Judge how much your target market is willing and able to pay for your product or service. Use target market analysis and research on
competitors’ prices to support your answer.
C. Evaluate if targeted consumers are willing and able to pay more for your product or service if it (or the organization, more generally) aligns with
their preferences for corporate social responsibility and ethical behavior. Justify your response with evidence.
D. In light of your analysis, justify the appropriate pricing strategy and price for your product or service and why it is justified. For example, would
skimming, penetration, economy, or premium pricing be most appropriate? What should the initial price be?
4
VII. Refinement. This section should highlight processes for reviewing and refining branding and other activities surrounding your new product or service.
A. Establish processes for how and when you will evaluate the success of your new product or service and its branding. Be sure to suggest
processes that occur at regular intervals and extend across the business, explaining how results will impact decisions on whether to continue or
to initiate exit strategies. What qualitative and quantitative methods will you use?
B. Specify regular, business-wide feedback loops and processes that you will implement to support your new idea, keep it on track, and make midcourse corrections as needed. For example, will you adjust business functions and/or facilitate regular communication across departments?
C. In planning for the future, determine how will you identify and integrate other factors that might affect implementation of your new idea into
your business decisions and planning. In other words, what other things do you need to consider when moving forward both internally and
externally?
VIII. Articulation of response
A. This Final Project should utilize double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and APA formatting and source citation
requirements.
B. Make sure to use headings within the paper that correspond with each portion of the rubric.
C. This paper should be between 30 and 40 pages in length.
Milestones
Milestone One: Context, Need, Pricing
In Module Three, you will submit a short paper covering context, need, and pricing. This milestone establishes your chosen organization’s direction within the
marketplace. This is important because it drives the subsequent activities, milestones, and the final project. Without a strong sense of the organization’s purpose
within the marketplace, knowledge of consumer trends, and how to meet target market needs at the appropriate price, management is less likely to maximize
the efficiency of business activities and more likely to miss fully meeting the needs of its chosen target market. This milestone establishes how the organization
will differentiate itself from its competition through branding with a unique product or service offering designed to meet specific consumer needs or desires that
are shaped by their demographics, psychographics, and want/need. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric.
Milestone Two: Strengths and Weaknesses, Core Competencies
In Module Five, you will submit a short paper covering strengths and weaknesses and core competencies. For the company you have chosen, write a short paper
that identifies and analyzes at least four, but no more than eight, strengths and weaknesses. Continue your paper by identifying and explaining three to five core
competencies for the company you have chosen. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric.
Milestone Three: Refinement
In Module Seven, you will submit a short paper covering refinements. Using the idea that you have chosen, write a short paper covering the following: activities
and items upon which success will be evaluated and how these will be evaluated; timing intervals for information gathering and analyzing feedback; feedback
5
loops that exist or will be created; description of how these loops and the ensuing feedback will affect the overall organization; other considerations as you move
forward with your new product or service. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Three Rubric.
Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan
In Module Nine, you will submit your final project. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final product. It should
reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course and it will include 10% new content. This submission will be graded with the Final Project
Rubric, as shown below. –9-1 Final Project Submission: Comprehensive Business Plan

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