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How to define a business problem

How to define a business problem

How to define a business problem

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.

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