The following was presented as part of a business plan by Apex Corporation.
"To answer the increased demand for artisan coffee, Apex Corporation is releasing a new line of coffee, "Gourmet Select." Apex Corporation will first introduce the coffee into major supermarkets, where it hopes word-of-mouth advertising will sustain sales. After a few months Apex Corp. will run an advertising campaign aimed at television and radio while simultaneously releasing the brand to several major chain restaurants. Based on this strategy, Apex Corporation hopes to make "Gourmet Select" one of the top sellers in the coffee market."

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.


This argument assumes the Apex Corporation's intent without ever providing substantial evidence. It does not clearly argue why their strategy indicates wanting their coffee line to be a top seller. First off, the beginning statement detracts from the final conclusion. We are told that Apex is releasing this line only because the demand for artisan coffee increased, which does not necessarily mean that they want to make this line the top coffee seller. This sentence also greatly limits the scope and applicability of their product. Gourmet Select is implied to be a artisan coffee. Artisan coffee is in greater demand, but we do not know how in demand it is compared to all coffees in general. Maybe only 10% of coffee consumers buy artisan coffee and an increased demand means 11% now buy it. If this were the case, it would be silly for Apex to think that Gourmet Select could make it to the top charts. The statements are also too vague to come to conclusions. Sure they are releasing the line to major supermarkets, but how many and where? Are they trying to go global or is it just one area? They are running a advertisement campaign, but this is too general to draw any conclusions. Are they targeting other coffee lines? Do they even aim to beat other coffee lines? It is unclear if Apex even wants to compete seriously or if they simply want their product to sell well like all companies do. Without specification there is no way to tell if they want to be a top seller or not. Same with the chain restaurants; how many and how widespread is their reach? With just a few more details, this argument could be much stronger. So far, everything in the plan suggests that Apex wants their new brand to do well, but does not indicate to what degree. For example, they first put their new line in major supermarkets, but it says in "hopes to sustain sales." This does not scream "top seller" material and - if anything - undermines the idea that Gourmet Select will sell well. This argument is lacking any evidence that Apex truly wants to compete at a high level. It would have been better to compare Apex's campaign to other top coffee sellers' campaigns for supporting evidence. Even providing a direct quote from a Apex employee about the company's intent would have been suffcient. Reaching far outside the scope, vague, and lacking evidence for competition, this argument fails to convince the reader of Apex wanting Gourmet Select to be on top charts.