In this case, the details provided satisfy the requirements of the descriptive type of study. Usually, descriptive case studies are focused and rich in detail. They extensively scrutinize and articulate any questions there may be regarding the phenomenon in the study (Kim et al., 2017). As seen from the study, the researcher gathered all the necessary information and tried to present the readers with critical data regarding the other market players and current trends within the industry. Besides, the study provides the answers to the questions of ‘who’ as well as ‘how,’ while at the same time providing clarification from a legal perspective. Therefore, by exploring these features, the study satisfies the requirements of a descriptive study.
As indicated in the case, the study utilized exploratory research to generate the findings that informed the decision of launching the e-commerce business. With the help of the criteria in exhibit 2-1, the research conducted prior to launching the hero and villain action figure business can be assessed. According to the criteria, the first feature to consider when differentiating a good research from a poor one is checking if the purpose of the study is clearly defined (Cooper & Schindler, 2013). For the Herobuilders.com research, the purpose of the study is to determine the potential of the action-figure business. With the help of the exploratory research conducted, the data obtained would help Herobuilders.com to discover and understand the nature of competition within the market, which would assist in making mitigation strategies before officially launching the business. Besides, through the clearly defined purpose of the study, Herobuilders.com was able to have enough flexibility exploring basic information that would serve as the basis for future research.
The second standard that distinguishes a well-crafted research is the question of how well the research design is planned and executed. In this case study, Vicale briefly mentions researching the internet and the overall retail environment. From the internet, he was able to identify a number of companies from all around the globe that were engaged in the manufacture of dolls. From this exploration, Vicale established that out of the many market players, Hasbro was the biggest competitor. Further, from the research of the retail environment, Vicale established that majority of the isle spaces in toy stores are occupied by action figure dolls, whose next close competitors are electronic games. The third provision in the exhibit requires an exemplary research to demonstrate a high-level application of ethical standards (Swedberg, 2020). This feature is notable in the Herobuilders.com study. In the study, it is mentioned that Vicale sought the advice of a lawyer regarding the use of the likenesses of living heroes. Vicale was especially interested in learning the stakes of using the likeness of a sitting president and any negative impacts it could have on the e-commerce business upon launch. The lawyer assured Vicale that the likeness of living heroes was used previously for various commercial reasons. This implied that using the likeness of such heroes as a sitting president would not cause any legal concerns.
Further, in terms of analysis for decision-making, the study does not have a comprehensive analysis of the data. There is no provision of how pertinent insight and conclusions were made from the information obtained from the internet and that obtained from the retail market. For instance, Vicale mentions that majority of the aisle spaces in toy stores are occupied by action figures. However, there is no record of how many retail toy stores were visited or the capacity of action figure toys in stock at the time of the research to validate this conclusion. Also, the case study does not provide adequate information about the competitive analysis done to validate that Hasbro is the leading market player in the industry. A good research would have provided a detailed outline of the market share percentages of at least the three main market players. Observantly, the study does not report any limitations of the research designs or design execution used in the study. Lastly, the research is candid in terms of reporting, offering insights, and justifying conclusions. It is clearly mentioned that the main source of information was the internet and the retail environment. The information from the retail environment was obtained by making visits to toy stores and analyzing the amount of space occupied by the various categories of toys, with the key interest being on action figures.
Given a chance to prepare a research plan for HeroBuilders.com, there are several other issues that I would include other than the ones assessed by Vicale. These features are key to determining the success of the product in the market, and their exclusion constitutes gaps in the research done by Vicale. First, I would include the aspect of promotion as it would play an important role in familiarizing prospective customers with the new product in the market (Guercini, 2014). The second issue I would include in my research would be the aspect of price. Although Vicale researched about some of the major players in the market, there is no mention of their pricing policies. Price is important in any business for determining the profitability of engaging in the sale of a certain product. Thirdly, I would incorporate into the research the data about the targeted customer segment. This would be crucial for Herobuilders.com to ensure they create a product that fits the description and preferences of their customers. Lastly, I would also research the appropriate distribution channels for the toys both for the online platform and physical stores.