Assignment Overview: (Hints on how to do well in this assignment are given in italics throughout this assignment brief.)

. Assume that they are going to enter a new overseas market with their Footwear range of products. They are interested in Japan and Norway, and have requested you to compare these two countries. They expect you to:
1. evaluate the two alternative markets to determine which of them presents the best opportunity for their company and
2. give some strategic recommendations on market entry, target market and positioning

Assignment Requirements:

Assessing a country’s attractiveness for entry involves not only issues of market potential and growth but also a whole range of other factors including trading-bloc memberships, competitive intensity and entry barriers.

This assessment process involves systematic quantitative screening of candidate countries using comparable data available. It requires identification and objective evaluation of relative attractiveness factors or criteria keeping in mind the company objectives and competitive strengths before arriving at any conclusions and recommendations.

The report needs to demonstrate that you have systematically gone through the following stages of this process before arriving at your recommendations.


The process at this stage involves selecting the appropriate criteria on which to compare these two countries. In your report, you will need to explain the rationale for the screening criteria / indicators that you select and the weightings that you give to each of the criteria that you use as part of the systematic evaluation of the two countries.

• These criteria will include macro level indicators such as political stability, geographic / cultural distance and economic development. The information on macro level indicators is usually based on secondary research and easily available statistics on population, GDP, growth rates, and political and economic developments in the countries that you are looking at.

(Hint: Ensure that the data collected for each country is comparable e.g. use a common currency like USD rather than local currencies when noting the GDP of these countries.)

• It is important that you select indicators which are of importance to the industry / company.

• In addition, you will need to compare these two countries in terms of the industry and market factors. You will need to be able to assess
? the local market size and market potential for your organisation in volume and value
? current products and price levels in these countries
? host country distribution and promotion infrastructure and intermediary issues and
? the similarities and differences in local buyer behaviour
? current international and domestic competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
? the implications of tariff and non-tariff entry barriers
? the impact of international transportation issues

(Hint: It requires considerable research to find data that are specific to the countries’ industries and markets. It is useful to check the kind of market information in the Passport GMID database but this will need to be supplemented by finding other sources of information.)

At this stage, the earlier screening criteria is summarised in table form. The firm’s objectives and constraints determine the importance weights to be assigned to the various criteria. For example, if the objective is high sales and market share, high weighting will be given to market size and growth potential whereas if the objective is profitability, high weighting will also be placed on entry costs.

The table is discussed (ratings and weightings are justified) and a conclusion reached regarding which market is more attractive when matched against the company’s objectives while keeping in mind the company resource constraints (human, production, financial, etc).

(Hint: In order to be able to justify these weightings, you need to have developed a clear understanding of the company’s stage of internationalisation; its previous overseas marketing strategies; its objectives in seeking another overseas market and its current constraints in expanding overseas.)


In this final part of the assignment, make appropriate recommendations on what the firm’s marketing approach to this new market should be. Ensure that you cover the following and also justify your recommendations:

• Market entry mode
• Target market
• Positioning
• Standardisation vs. customisation of product/promotion

(Hint : Your recommendations in each of these areas are likely to be tentative in nature and will probably involve your also suggesting additional research ( e.g. additional consumer research, personal visits etc.) by the firm before acting on your recommendations.

Assignment Structure:

It is expected that your report will have the following:
• Assignment Cover Sheet (with bar code) and Title Page
• Table of Content
• Executive Summary – covering the key points from each section of your report
• Introduction – explaining the company background (eg: size of company, product lines, production capacity, current revenues, current export earnings, previous market entry strategies, international growth objectives, constraints, etc.) leading into why they may have requested this report and how you have structured what is to follow in the report.

• Body of the report – this will have several headings and subheadings which need to be organised so that they are logical and easy to follow from the readers’ point of view and which present the findings and analysis.

(Hint: For effective communication, ensure that each section of the report has some introductory sentences which link it to the report’s overall evaluation process and a concluding paragraph about what has been achieved in that section.)

• References – ALL sources of information cited in the report– published, Internet, or verbal – must be acknowledged in a proper reference format. A useful resource could be Emerson, Lisa (Ed.). (2000). Writing Guidelines for Business Students. Palmerston North, NZ: The Dunmore Press Ltd. There are extensive examples and guidance available through the library. Go to the library home page and you will find referencing under the heading ‘Study Help”.

(Hint: Ensuring this is done well through out the report lends credibility and authority to what you say and is not just an academic formality. For websites, ensure that you give the full URL and the date it was retrieved in the references.

• Appendices – need to be included only if they have been referred to in the body of the report and provide further elaboration of some point made therein but are too bulky or detailed to go into the report itself.

Assignment length:

This proposal should be written as cohesively and concisely as possible. Use tables and graphs to present comparative country data followed by a brief discussion /interpretation of what the comparison indicates.

The word limit of this report is 4,500 words including references and appendices.

(Hint: Concise communication contributes strongly to a more effective report and thus a better grade. Repetition, long complicated sentences and too detailed a coverage of relatively minor points create a perception that the writer lacks clarity and in depth understanding.)
Marking criteria:

The marking schedule in the appendices details the criteria, which will be used to mark the assignment. All of the criteria do not have equal weighting but work with each other to contribute to the overall grade.

Marks will be deducted for any assignment with inadequate referencing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the information for this report?

Company information: company websites, annual reports, NZ publications.

Macro-environment – The Study Guide provides useful references for this assignment. Country websites, statistics published on government websites are useful sources.

Market information – Passport GMID, NZ Trade & Enterprise, country government / industry websites, international and regional trade associations, access host country publications through internet, other NZ companies that have trading experience with that market, competitor websites, immigrants / students in NZ from the overseas country, contact local consumers through social media such as Facebook.

Useful web site to compare between countries and to make tables and graphs to present: find it in week 4 slides


Marking Criteria Schedule -International Market Opportunity Proposal – (Weighting – 40%) Rating

Executive Summary – excellent if clear, comprehensive, concise and convincing.
Introduction – excellent if
• comprehensive background of the company (eg: size of company, product lines, production capacity, current revenues, current export earnings, previous market entry strategies, objectives, constraints)
• indicates clearly and concisely what this report is about,
• the reason for writing this report and
• outlines the structure of what is to follow.
• relevant, and
• uses a variety of sources for company information which are referenced


Country Research – excellent if
• comprehensive and relevant macro environment information
• comprehensive and relevant market information (eg local market size and market potential for your organisation in volume and value, competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, height of tariff and non-tariff entry barriers, international transportation issues, host country marketing infrastructure / 4Ps and local buyer behaviour).
• uses a variety of sources for country information which are referenced
• in depth analysis of data and interpretation logical
Demonstrates a systematic process in the evaluation – excellent if
• clearly explained
• fully justified
• systematically applied
• and leads logically to the conclusion

Recommendations – excellent if
• comprehensive
• Market entry mode;
• target market;
• positioning;
• standardisation vs customization of product/promotion
• specific, realistic and convincing
• showing in depth understanding of overseas market, company and international marketing theory and issues
• key points from the market research used well to justify the recommendations
• limitations acknowledged




Communication – excellent if
• written clearly and concisely
• structured logically
• flows smoothly and
• has no spelling and grammar mistakes
Presentation – excellent if
• visually appealing
• appropriate layout, font size, use of white space, tables, graphs, illustrations
• correct referencing
• and relevant appendices
GRADE A+…A…A-..…B+…B…B-..…C+…C…C-…….…D /40
After deduction of marks for inadequate referencing and / or late hand-in

Explanation of grades – International Market Opportunity Proposal
Grade % Explanation
A+ 90-100 An excellent quality has been achieved in all areas of the assessment and is exceptional in some aspects (e.g. the depth of research, the choice of criteria and systematic evaluation, convincing recommendations and / or the clarity of communication). This reflects a considerably greater level of motivation, effort, and achievement than might usually be expected from a Level 7 assignment. .
A 85-89 An excellent standard has been achieved given the difficulty of the assignment and resource limitations. The work demonstrates in depth research, logical analysis and interpretation, a systematic and well-justified evaluation, ability to select and apply appropriate theory. The standard of communication and presentation are both excellent.
A- 80-84 This assessment is strong in all areas and excellent in some (e.g. research, the evaluation process, recommendations and / or the clarity of communication). It reflects hard work and is well researched. A very good level of analysis and evaluation has been achieved and there is good use of conceptual frameworks.
B+ 75-79 The work here is comprehensive and thorough. However, there was scope to demonstrate greater understanding and application in key areas like interpretation of findings, systematic evaluation, clarity of explanations and justification of recommendations. Or, in some cases, this grade reflects an assignment, which is brilliant in some respects but also has considerable flaws in other areas.
B 70-74 This assessment reflects a good effort on the part of the student. The work is thorough and shows competence in having achieved the learning outcomes. However, the work could have been pushed further. In some cases, the assignment may be quite strong in some areas but uneven in others (e.g. research, analysis and interpretation of data, the evaluation process, the nature of the recommendations and / or communication & presentation). However, overall, it is more than an average result.
B- 65-69 This assessment has met the learning an outcome overall and in some areas is still better than average work. Some aspects (e.g. research, analysis and interpretation of data, the evaluation process, the recommendations and / or communication & presentation) are lacking or have not been extended as far as expected. In some cases, a good result may have been achieved with insufficient research or in others disappointing conclusions has followed good research. Communication and presentation of the assignment are of an acceptable standard.
C+ 60-64 This work is of an average standard and shows an adequate level of work to meet the assignment requirements. However, there was considerable scope to work more on the different aspects of the assignment (e.g. research, analysis and interpretation of data, the evaluation process, the application of theory, and / or communication & presentation). If this subject is not an area of strength for the student, this is still a good grade.
C 55-59 Whilst this work shows effort to meet the assignment requirements to an acceptable standard, there are some concerns about it which may relate to the depth of research, the analysis and interpretation of data, the process of reaching the conclusions, the ability to apply theory and / or the quality of communication & presentation. Alternatively, the student may have produced an assignment that has partly missed the point.
C- 50-54 This assignment has met the assignment requirements to a pass standard. However, the grade reflects serious concern about the way that the assignment was handled. There are major gaps in the quality of research, analysis and interpretation of data, in demonstrating systematic evaluation, applying theory, scope of recommendations and / or the quality of communication & presentation. The final result does display application but it is only just adequate.
D 0-49 This assessment has not met any or very few of the assessment criteria. A greater effort is needed to understand what is required and to ensure that these requirements are met to a level 7 standard.