“why we buy” analysis project


  • Read Paco Underhill’s book, “Why We Buy” by 10/25/21. Do not attempt to do this project without first reading the book. (It is suggested that students take notes while reading the book).
  • Write a paper that is no less than 4 pages and no more than 5 pages (not including works cited page or pictures). Identifying 5 key important points/situations about the store environment according to Underhill (must list as 1,2,3,4,5, along with a heading)

Various situations to look for:

situations that follow Underhill’s recommendations (describe the Underhill recommendation and how the store follows it and why it works)

situations that don’t follow Underhill’s recommendations, but should (describe the situation and what the store should do instead according to Underhill’s recommendations)

or situations where the store doesn’t follow Underhill’s recommendations, but it seems to work anyway (describe how the store doesn’t follow Underhill’s recommendations and discuss why it seems to work anyway)

Any combination of the above three situations can be used (or all 5 of one type of situation). (10 points each = 50 points)

  • Utilize a professional/business style of writing
    • Papers must be free of spelling and grammatical
    • Write in the third person (do not use “I”. Do not write in first person, verbiage should be based upon observations and related to Underhill’s research, not as “in my opinion”).
    • Students should take the approach as if they were an outside consultant or analyst and a professional business approach should be use. “I think”, “and stuff like that” verbiage should not be
    • Observations should be stated as fact. Descriptions of how the retailer is “doing things right” must be based upon what was read an applied from Underhill’s book. Suggestions for improvement must be based upon what was suggested in Underhill’s
    • Papers must be double spaced using Arial or Times New Roman font of 12. Papers must have headings for each situation being discussed (see #3 above). The presentation of the information is as important as the information itself. It is not enough for students to simply offer information but care little for the writing presentation of that information. Sloppy or unprofessional writing is a direct reflection on the student. A paper that impresses with both the information expected and good writing gives a much more positive impression of students’ efforts, seriousness about learning, and ability to demonstrate their
    • Pictures of the situations at the retailer should be included where possible (some retailers will prohibit, so finding images online may be an alternative). If pictures are submitted, they must be incorporated into the 5-page paper (not separately), however, when/if the pictures would be removed, the minimum of 4 pages must still be accomplished.
    • Files must be submitted as MSWord documents or a PDF and should be saved as (replacing italics with your name and retailer): Studentfirstname_lastname_WWBPaper_for Name of Retailer_F21 (20points)
  • A brief introduction to the paper should include what store is being analyzed, the type of store (what format; refer to your Ch. 2 notes to determine) the number of stores in the company and the location of the headquarters/buying offices. A detailed conclusion at the end of the paper should connect what has been learned in this course and about how the retailer’s competitive advantages and strategies are impacting the in-store (20 points)
  • Throughout the paper, students should refer to the Underhill book, citing the specific page numbers that support the situation. Students must utilize the MLA citation format both throughout the paper and for the works cited page. Images used should also be cited. 
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