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How to define a business problem

These are some notes to help you with the problem definition section of the marketing plan.


What is a business problem? 

A problem is simply a business issue, an opportunity, or a threat that needs to be solved. A business problem is something to be solved in order for the business to achieve their organisational goals and ensure business survival.

So, once Wool+Aid solves the problem, they will maximise their likelihood of success. 

What are some common business problem examples?

· Issues around branding (e.g., lack of brand awareness)

· Issues around positioning (e.g., undesirable position in relation to competitors or too close in position)

· Issues around consumers (e.g., unfavourable consumer behaviour trends, shifting consumer values that are misaligned with the company, unfavourable consumer perceptions)

· Issues around promotion (e.g., not able to generate sufficient demand)

· Issues around the product (e.g., unattractive, undesirable, or irrelevant product attributes)

· And others; this is not an exhaustive list!

How do I find the problem?

You find the problem by evaluating the knowledge gathered from your situation analysis and balancing that with your task at hand (i.e., your task in the Assignment Brief).

You can use a step-by-step approach:

1. Based on your external and internal analysis, and considering the task at hand, list down at least five problems that you believe are relevant for Wool+Aid in New Zealand. 

2. Now, based on the five problems, think about which problem is the “most important one”. Some problems might cause issues later for the business (i.e., long-term), some problems will cause issues for entering the market altogether (i.e., current). You need to critically evaluate which problem should be addressed first and foremost, above everything else, for you to successfully complete the task at hand.

3. Narrow the list down to 1 problem only. Ask yourself, “why is this a problem?”—if your answer to this is another problem, that indicates that it’s not the most important one. Keep doing this until you get to the underlying problem (i.e., the source problem).

4. Develop your problem statement (i.e., a clear and concise articulation of “what is the main business problem?”)

5. Justify why you believe that is the most important problem. Make sure your justification is based on the evidence from your situation analysis.

Group Marketing Plan (30%) – Assignment Brief

This document contains the details for the Group Marketing Plan assignment that you must deliver in BUSMGT.

Learning outcomes addressed in this assignment

LO1 Identify the role that marketing plays in achieving organisational objectives and creating value for the customer.

LO3 Analyse the components of the marketing mix to develop a concrete Marketing Plan. LO5 Apply and integrate theory and practice in various marketing contexts.

Assignment name:

Group Marketing Plan

Assignment weighting:

30% of your final grade

File format:

Word document

Word limit (NO appendices):

3,500 words +/- 10% (reference list not included in word limit)

Reference format:

APA 7th

BCT support:

Students are strongly encouraged to seek input from the BCT. You can submit a draft of your work to the BCT Canvas page, 48 hours prior to the submission date, in order to receive written feedback comments.

Aim of the Group Marketing Plan

The aim of this assignment is for you and your group to develop a strategic Marketing Plan for Wool+Aid by drawing from:

(1) The theory and concepts you have learnt in the plenary lectures

(2) The readings of this course

(3) Your own secondary research

Using the Wool+Aid Case as your starting point (see in Canvas Modules à Marketing Plan Resources à Wool+Aid Case), you are to conduct your own secondary research to help you formulate a strategic Marketing Plan for Wool+Aid. Your specific Task given to you by the CEO of Wool+Aid will be posted on Canvas (see in Canvas Modules à Marketing Plan Resources à Wool+Aid Task).

General guidelines

The tone of the Marketing Plan should be appropriate for a professional/commercial reader and of practical use to Wool+Aid (i.e., with SMART recommendations). However, an academic aspect is still required as you will use theories and frameworks to guide your analyses and structure your research and arguments, as well as use APA format for referencing all the sources of your information and theoretical knowledge.

The Marketing Plan should be structured logically with clear and coherent sections. It should be highly readable, concise and succinct, with little to no errors. It should be free of complicated jargon and highly academic language (i.e., for professional/commercial readers). Furthermore, no obvious formatting issues should be present.

General procedure

1. Read the information provided to you in the Wool+Aid case and task carefully, analysing and evaluating their current market position and strategy.

2. Conduct further secondary research where required (e.g., industry research, consumer research, business model research).

3. Conduct a target market analysis in the New Zealand market.

4. Develop a marketing mix strategy according to the task given to you.

5. Provide 3 key SMART recommendations for Wool+Aid according to the task given to you.

Group Marketing Plan Structure

Title page o Includes a creative title that captures the essence of your overall strategy. o Includes the correct course code and title, student names and student ID numbers, date, and word count.

Executive summary o Should stand alone (i.e., reader should gain a full understanding of the Marketing Plan just from reading the executive summary).

· Should summarise the purpose of the Marketing Plan, the main components and key findings, and your recommendations. o Should be written last, after you have written the rest of your report. o You can use bullet points sparingly.

· One page maximum.

Table of contents o List each section and sub-section heading of your Marketing Plan with the relevant page number.

· Ensure all the pages are numbered in your Marketing Plan.

· All headings and sub-headings are self-explanatory so that the table of contents has utility.

Situation analysis (supported by secondary research) o Conduct a brief analysis of the internal and external environment.

· Choose appropriate tools/frameworks to structure the analyses.

· You are advised to use only the elements of the tools/frameworks that are the most relevant for your plan. For example, you may find that only the political, social, and technological aspects of the PESTEL framework are the most relevant for Wool+Aid, so you may choose to only focus on those elements in your external analysis.

· Summarise the key points from your internal and external analyses in a SWOT analysis. Analyse the SWOT information by evaluating how the strengths could be leveraged to overcome weaknesses, capitalise on opportunities, and mitigate the threats. SWOT should NOT be the only framework you use in this section and it should NOT stand alone.

· See Canvas Modules for tips on conducting a VRIO analysis.

Problem definition o Provide a clear problem statement that you have identified from the situation analysis.

· A problem is simply a business issue, opportunity, or threat that needs to be addressed. E.g., a problem could be a lack of awareness in consumers’ minds about the benefits of the new product or intense competition in the market.

· Discuss what the problem is and why you think it’s an important problem to be addressed. o Your justification needs to be based on your understanding of the internal and external environment (i.e., the situation analysis).

· See Canvas Modules for tips on defining the problem.

Important note:

Everything that follows from this point onwards must be specifically focussed on addressing the problem that you have defined.

Target market(s) (supported by secondary research) o Choose your target market(s) based on a segmentation, targeting, and positioning approach.

· Apply the four bases of segmentation (geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioural) to first divide the market (i.e., segmentation).

· Subsequently, choose the most appropriate target market (i.e., targeting) based on data.

· Finally, develop the positioning strategy for Wool+Aid. You are expected to justify why the proposed positioning strategy is desirable for the target market, deliverable by the company, and unique against competitors.

· Can present this in a table or figure/illustration.

· You will likely use the insights gained from your situation analysis to identify your target market and justify your positioning strategy.

Marketing mix strategies (supported by secondary research) o Product and branding strategy

· Apply the product/market growth strategy matrix (i.e., Ansoff’s Growth Matrix) to justify which strategy is the most appropriate for solving the problem and why.

· Develop an appropriate branding strategy.

· Pricing strategy

· Propose pricing approaches and tactics and justify why.

· Distribution strategy

· Propose strategies to deliver the product/service to customers’ hands.

· Specify the types of channels to be used. o Promotion/communication strategy

· Develop a clear communication objective.

· Propose appropriate promotional mix tools to be used.

· Propose a message strategy.

· Identify the media outlets/communication channels.

Recommendations o Develop 3 recommendations for Wool+Aid according to the task given to you. o Recommendations should be SMART (i.e., Specific, Measurable, Achievable/attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

· Should be arranged as a numbered list and clearly justified with supporting evidence.

· Recommendations should align with the whole Marketing Plan and strategic approach.

Reference list o Include full APA format references of all sources of information and knowledge cited in the Marketing Plan.

· Follow the APA 7th conventions and guidelines for both citations and references.

NO appendices – please only include the important and relevant information in your Group Marketing Plan. 3,500 words is not a lot; hence you need to prioritise carefully and craft your written parts.

(Marking rubric on next page)

Marking rubric (marked holistically)


Total 30 marks

Very good

(Fulfils all aspects of the task to a high standard)


(Fulfils most aspects of the task)


(Addresses some but not all of the aspects of the task)

Not Passable

(Does not adequately fulfil the task)

Title page

1 mark

Title is creative and captures the essence of the overall strategy.

Includes all details.

Title is thoughtful and generally represents the essence of the overall strategy.

Includes most details.

Title is appropriate but not thoughtful and does not fully capture the essence of the overall strategy.

Missing many details.

Title is missing or is not appropriate, nor does it capture the essence of the strategy.

Missing most details or no details provided.

Executive summary

3 marks

Clearly communicates the critical elements of the Marketing Plan so that it reads as a standalone document.

Bullet points are used sparingly.

One-page length.

Communicates the key elements of the

Marketing Plan so that it generally reads as a stand-alone document.

Bullet points are used sparingly but could be fewer.

One-page length.

Communicates most of the key elements of the Marketing Plan but does not read well as a standalone document.

Too many or too few bullet points.

Less than one page or slightly longer than one page.

Does not clearly communicate the key elements of the Marketing Plan and does not read as a stand-alone document.

No bullet points or only bullet points used.

Insufficient length or much longer than one page.

Table of contents

1 mark

Well-organised and easy to read with high utility.

Well-organised and easy to read with few inconsistencies.

Adequately organised and generally easy to read with several inconsistencies.

Not organised and difficult to read with inconsistencies that affect navigation.

Situation analysis

6 marks

Tools/frameworks chosen are appropriate and analyses are insightful.

Strongly supported by research and clearly justified.

Tools/frameworks chosen are generally appropriate and analyses provide some insight.

Supported by research and well-justified.

Tools/frameworks chosen are adequate, but analyses are weak.

Supported by some research and attempts to be justified.

Tools/frameworks chosen are not appropriate and analyses are not insightful.

Not supported by research and not justified.



2 marks

Clear problem statement that directly aligns with the situation analysis.

Clearly outlines what the problem is and why it’s important.

Generally clear problem statement that aligns with the situation analysis.

Outlines what the problem is and why it’s important.

Adequate problem statement that somewhat aligns with the situation analysis.

Somewhat outlines what the problem is and why it’s important.

Weak problem statement that does not align with the situation analysis.

No clarification of what the problem is and why it’s important.

Target market(s)

4 marks

Well-executed and thorough segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

Well-supported by secondary research and well-justified.

Thorough segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

Supported by secondary research and justified.

Adequate segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

Somewhat supported by secondary research and somewhat justified.

Weak segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

Not supported by secondary research and not justified.

Marketing mix strategies

6 marks

Well-aligned strategic decisions and clearly planned implementation.

Very high level of detail and justification.

Aligned strategic decisions and appropriately planned implementation.

High level of detail and justification.

Somewhat aligned strategic decisions and somewhat planned implementation.

Some detail and justification.

Unaligned strategic decisions and unclear plan of implementation.

Low level of detail and justification.


5 marks

Well-aligned and SMART.

Very clearly justified and supported with evidence.

Generally aligned and generally SMART.

Clearly justified and supported with evidence.

Somewhat aligned and somewhat SMART.

Somewhat justified and somewhat supported with evidence.

Unaligned and does not meet the SMART criteria.

Weakly justified and not supported with evidence.

Citations and reference list

1 mark

Excellent range and quality of sources.

Accurate APA formatting of citations and reference list.

Good range and quality of sources.

Generally accurate APA formatting of citations and reference list.

Adequate range and quality of sources.

Adequate APA formatting of citations and reference list.

Poor range and quality of sources.

Mostly inaccurate APA formatting of citations and reference list.


and formatting

1 mark

Structured logically with clear and coherent sections.

Highly readable and concise. Appropriate tone.

Little to no errors in formatting and language.

Mostly structured logically with mostly clear and coherent sections.

Readable and concise. Mostly appropriate tone.

Very few errors in formatting and language.

Structured logically in some places with generally coherent sections.

Readable with appropriate tone but not concise in some places.

Few errors in formatting and language.

Not structured logically with unclear and incoherent sections.

Mostly unreadable with inappropriate tone.

Many errors in formatting and language.




Wool+Aid Task (read AFTER reading the Wool+Aid Case)

Read the 
Wool+Aid Case


Your Group Marketing Plan challenge

Your group is to craft a strategic marketing plan for Wool+Aid that provides a launch marketing strategy in New Zealand that builds mass awareness quickly and cost-effectively. The launch needs to be for Kiwis who take part in active/outdoor activities. This launch marketing strategy will potentially be used as a ‘template’ for future country roll-outs. 


A message from Louise Cunningham, CEO of Wool+Aid

HAVE FUN! We are re-writing the history books with adhesive plasters and we’re happy to re-write the books on our marketing strategy approach. I am looking forward to reading the Top 3 Group Marketing Plans and meeting the Top Group (possibly with the founder, Lucas Smith). 

Situation analysis:

Internal (VRIO)

Goal/positioning: Special materials (Merino wool) for optimum wound healing and comfort, sustainable materials to protect the planet. 20 to 50 year-olds who participate in outdoor activities and sports.


Market share/Financial statues: Lucas Smith’s brainchild, Wool+Aid, making biodegradable woollen plasters and bandages, has attracted the big guns of the local investment world like Sir Stephen Tindall and marketing guru Geoff Ross. / Pathfinder Kiwisaver had invested $200,000 in the product that was a potential game changer in its category. Pathfinder CEO John Berry says wool bandages are unique and have the potential to disrupt the global market for plastic plasters and bandages.


Mr Smith (26), who divides his time between Tekapo and Christchurch, is the founder of Wool+Aid, an innovative merino wool sticking plaster and bandage company which has attracted the interest of some serious investors.

That included VMG Ventures which has invested in a substantial portfolio of angel investments in an equity partnership with businessman and angel investor Sir Stephen Tindall. https://www.odt.co.nz/business/15-million-get-merino-plasters-going


Service quality: Being in the mountains also led him to thinking about how there was an opportunity for merino wool to have a use in a medical platform. Wool+Aid bandages and plasters were naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, quick drying, comfortable, moisture wicking and flexible, as well as being sustainable. https://www.odt.co.nz/business/15-million-get-merino-plasters-going


Operations: We have a website where customers can buy online, however, we are not looking to be an online store. We are looking to launch firstly in New Zealand, followed closely by the US. Stores that align with our company and product (who are also likely to have E-tail) are: Torpedo 7, Kathmandu, Patagonia, Rebel Sport, Nike retail stores.



Competitive analysis: Elastoplast, Band-Aid and 3M lead the wound care industry with high company shares of wound care in New Zealand. There are cheaper alternatives (competitors).—show competitors through research


Market analysis:

Elastoplast (Beiersdorf), Band-Aid (Johnson & Johnson) and Nexcare (3M) are set to lead the wound care industry in 2021. Many New Zealanders prefer using wound care brands that are well established and have been in the market for years. Consumers trust these leading brands to help heal their injuries and wounds.

Although sticking plasters is expected to remain by far the largest segment in 2021, accounting for a half of value sales, it is highly mature, with limited room for innovation. Products already available include blister protection, cushioned, assorted shapes, sensitive, heavy duty, waterproof and advanced healing. As a result, with very little innovation sparking consumer interest over recent years, competitive pricing is one the main drivers of value sales and this puts wound care apart from other consumer health products in New Zealand, where superior quality is one the main drivers of value sales (passport).


Environmental analysis:

Eco: Merino wool is an expensive material(T), Consumer return to pre-pandemic activities increases growth of wound care(O)– While stockpiling drove value growth in 2020, normal life resumes for the most part in 2021 and consumers resume the physical activities they love and enjoy such as team sports, mountain biking and gym visits – all of which lead to a greater incidence of minor injuries(passport).

Tech: New technologies such as plastic-free are an opportunity

Social: The cultural background of each country is different, whether it is necessary to provide different product types outside New Zealand If the socio-culture is the same, then that’s the opportunity.


SWOT analysis as a summary

O1: Wound care is expected to register muted constant value growth over the forecast period, in what is a mature product area. All the same, as people are more mindful of their health, as the result of the pandemic, they will be motivated to be active and this will result in minor injuries and drive values sales. Sporting event such as team sports and triathlons resumed again in 2021, and they sporting invest will also lead to injuries over the forecast period.

O2: Wound care is a mature product area with limited new product launches, which is limiting overall growth. Therefore, an increased focus on product innovation and new product development is crucial to support sustained growth in the future. The development of products that target specific niche users such as waterproof band aids for swimmers, or products that meet other consumers concerns such as environmentally-friendly products are potential avenues for increased growth.

O3: Elderly workforce will continue to drive value sales of wound care–The increasing number of older people among the population represents an opportunity for the expansion of sales. This is because the elderly tend to injure themselves more easily and often bleed more profusely than younger people, and therefore, they often require the use of wound care products, such as adhesive bandages, for a longer period of time.(Passport)





Problem definition:

Many New Zealanders prefer using wound care brands that are well established and have been in the market for years. Consumers trust these leading brands to help heal their injuries and wounds. 新品牌的价格贵且知名度低


Target market: The key purpose is to analyse the chosen target market (mentioned in situational part). “20 to 50 year-olds who participate in outdoor activities and sports. From walking and hiking to doing Red Bull Extreme Sports, we’ve got you covered.”



Marketing mix

Product: describe what type of product this is(belong to: Shopping product),TPC have what benefit(augmented product)—potential product for market segment+ branding strategy in the future

Price: (already have),analyse pricing strategy(demand/cost/competitor/profit)


Place/Distribution: 在网络和运动零售店销售,selective distribution做户外运动的人会去这些零售店,也可以在这些零售店找到这款创口贴




Offer: Demonstrate features and benefits

Create awareness: create demand, and/or educate. Focus on recruiting new customers or remind existing customers.

Brand image: Increase awareness about and goodwill for the company.

Promotional mix tool: ad, personal selling, pr, sale promotion (free sample), direct marketing

Message strategy: Symbolic/experiential orientation — Brand image is like the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to be afraid of minor wounds when you do outdoor sports. This wound care can protect your wounds very well, so that you can immediately live normally and bring a good experience. And this sustainable material is one of our contributions to protecting the planet’s environment.

Communication channels: internet/mail/television



1. 售价高是由于主要成本高:使用混合材料(非塑料),内层用羊毛,外层用便宜的可保温材料以降低成本

2. Education(了解这种材质的好处+环境保护的角度)

3. 登山组织club合作 在过程中 企业提供这种产品 ,签订一年的合同。分享利润,提高企业的声誉。



ES400/Situation800/problem200/target600/marketing mix800/recommandation700

How to do a VRIO analysis

These are some notes to help you with the internal analysis within your situation analysis section of the marketing plan. 


What is the VRIO framework?

The VRIO framework and analysis was first developed by Jay Barney in 1991 and is used to evaluate whether or not a particular company’s resources (‘firm resources’) can be sources of sustained competitive advantage (SCA) that the company can leverage for on-going growth. 

What are firm resources?

‘Firm resources’ include all the assets, capabilities, organisational processes, firm attributes, information, knowledge, and any other resources that are under the control of the company that allow them to generate and implement strategies that improve efficiency, effectiveness, and therefore competitiveness. There are three broad categories of resources that a company can have:

1. Physical capital resources—e.g., physical technology, plant and equipment, geographic location, access to raw materials.

2. Human capital resources—e.g., training, experience and expertise, relationships, employee insight.

3. Organisational capital resources—e.g., formal reporting structure, formal and informal planning, controlling, and coordinating systems, informal networks. 

What is the difference between competitive advantage and sustained competitive advantage?

A competitive advantage is a value-creating strategy that is not currently being used by any current or potential competitors. A sustained competitive advantage is a value-creating strategy that is not currently being used by any current or potential competitors and it is unable to be imitated by other companies. The key difference is that a sustained competitive advantage is not prone to an expiry date set according to when a competitor starts to use the same value-creating strategy (i.e., imitation). 

How do I use the VRIO framework?

According to Barney (1991, 1995), a sustained competitive advantage is valuable, rare, inimitable, and the firm must be organised to exploit. When using the VRIO framework to analyse a company’s resources, the questions for each resource/capability that should be asked are:

1. Valuable: Does the company’s resource/capability enable them to respond to environmental threats or opportunities? 

2. Rare: Is the resource/capability currently controlled by only a small number of competitors?

3. Inimitable: Do companies without the resource/capability face a cost disadvantage in obtaining or developing it? 

4. Organised: Are the company’s policies and procedures organised in a way that supports the exploitation of the resource/capability?

Evaluating resources/capabilities using the framework:

· Resources/capabilities that do not meet any of the four criteria are considered to be competitive disadvantages. These should not be exploited.

· Resources/capabilities that are only valuable but do not meet the other three criteria are considered to be competitive parities. These should be exploited to be on par with competitors.

· Resources/capabilities that are valuable and rare but do not meet the other two criteria are considered to be temporary competitive advantages. These should be exploited to gain a first-mover advantage.

· Resources that meet all four criteria are considered to be sustained competitive advantages. These should be exploited and leveraged for creating distinctive competencies. 

You can present your VRIO analysis in table-form, like this (just an example from Google):

Wool+Aid Case

What is Wool+Aid?

Wool+Aid is a hyperfine adhesive bandage/plaster (in NZ, we refer to these as ‘plasters’). ‘Hyperfine’ refers to the microns of the fiber, the fewer microns, the softer and more flexible the fabric. Our microns are very low, so the plaster is super comfortable and flexible.  

What makes Wool+Aid different from traditional plasters?

Merino is a natural fiber. The healing properties required for optimal healing of minor scrapes, scratches, and blisters occur naturally in merino. From a sustainability perspective, Wool+Aid heals you without hurting the earth. Our plasters are also never ‘skin coloured’. There is no such thing. Our colours range from neutrals (e.g., black) to bright colours (e.g., hot pink) to patterns (e.g., denim). We can weave any patterns, logos, words into the fabric as we see fit.

Our mission is to let you get on with life, despite an irritating wound. 

Where is Wool+Aid’s focus in the market?

20 to 50 year-olds who participate in outdoor activities and sports. From walking and hiking to doing Red Bull Extreme Sports, we’ve got you covered. 

Where is Wool+Aid sold?

We have a website where customers can buy online, however, we are not looking to be an online store. We are looking to launch firstly in New Zealand, followed closely by the US. Stores that align with our company and product (who are also likely to have E-tail) are: Torpedo 7, Kathmandu, Patagonia, Rebel Sport, Nike retail stores. 

More information on Wool+Aid

Wool+Aid website: https://www.woolaid.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Innovative woollen plasters company Wool+Aid attracts big guns of Kiwi investors: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/prosper/125893109/innovative-woollen-plasters-company-woolaid-attracts-big-guns-of-kiwi-investors (Links to an external site.)

$1.5 million to get merino plasters going: https://www.odt.co.nz/business/15-million-get-merino-plasters-going (Links to an external site.)

Tekapo man develops biodegradable plasters made from merino: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/tekapo-man-develops-biodegradable-plasters-made-merino-v1 (Links to an external site.)

When life gave Lucas Smith wool, he made Woolaid: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/when-life-gave-lucas-smith-wool-he-made-woolaid/FVRW4VC73OOPEZF42XSI5O6YGU/ (Links to an external site.)

Wool sticking plaster maker raises $1.5m: https://businessdesk.co.nz/article/news-in-brief/wool-sticking-plaster-maker-raises-15m (Links to an external site.)

Wool+Aid Instagram: @wearewoolaid 

Wool+Aid Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WoolAid/