GRE Argument Essay 192
The following appeared in a memo from the vice president of marketing at Dura-Sock, Inc.
“A recent study of Dura-Sock wearers suggests that our company is wasting the money it spends on its patented ‘Endure’ manufacturing process, which ensures that our socks are strong enough to last for two years. Dura-Sock has always advertised its use of the ‘Endure’ process, but the new study shows that the average Dura-Sock customer actually purchases new Dura-Socks every three months. Furthermore, Dura-Sock customers surveyed in our largest market, northeastern United States cities, say that they most value Dura-Sock’s stylish appearance and availability in many colors. These findings suggest that Dura-Sock can increase its profits by discontinuing its use of the ‘Endure’ manufacturing process.”
The arguer recommends that Dura-Sock can increase its profits by terminating the use of the ‘Endure’ manufacturing process which ensures that the socks that are manufactured by the company will last for two years. He supports his recommendation by citing two facts. The first refers to the results of a recent study which show that the customers have to buy new Dura-Socks every three months. The second fact is that the customers of Dura-Sock in northeastern United States cities have admitted to being attracted by the stylish appearance and colors of the socks. However, as it stands, the evidence provided by the arguer does little to substantiate the recommendation made by him.
Firstly, the fact that the customers have to buy Dura-Socks every three months does not necessarily mean that the socks are not lasting for the two years that they have been designed for. Moreover, this fact does not indicate that the customers do not value the quality of Dura-Socks. There may be varied reasons for buying the socks frequently. Incomplete information about the conduct of the study makes the results sound unconvincing. The reader needs to know the cross-section of people who participated in the study. It is likely that the people who participated in the study consisted mainly of students or sportspersons who may require socks more frequently than the others. Moreover, there is no indication either of the region where the study was conducted or whether this region accounts for the entire market area for Dura-Sock. In view of the above, it is doubtful if the results of the study will hold true for all the customers of Dura-Sock.
Secondly, the northeastern US cities cannot represent the thought process of all the Dura-Sock customers who may be distributed across the country. It is acceptable that the northeastern US cities account for the largest market of the company but it is likely that all the remaining cities of the country put together may account for a larger portion of the consumer market for the company. The fact that most of the participants find the stylish appearance and colors of Dura-Socks attractive does not mean that they are willing to compromise on the quality of the socks. It is likely that the quality and durability of the socks are of a greater importance in the minds of the customers as compared to the colors and the style of the socks. The arguer needs to rule out this possibility in order to convince the reader that the stylish appearance and the availability of colors are of more importance and that the consumers do not give much importance to the quality of the socks. In the absence of such evidence the termination of the ‘Endure’ process is not justified.
The arguer makes no mention of the opinion of the consumers who have not participated in either the study or the survey in the northern United States cities. As the company should cater to the demands of the maximum number of its consumers, it is necessary that their opinion should also be taken into account before taking the decision to discontinue the ‘Endure’ process. Moreover, the arguer does not bring out the financial amount that is being spent on the ‘Endure’ process. It is likely that terminating the process would not make a significant increase in the profits of the company. In view of the inadequate evidence provided by the arguer, it can be concluded that the argument fails to convince the reader that terminating the ‘Endure’ process would result in higher profits for the company.