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#7 - Packaging is vital to a product's commercial success

kjeevanjee
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For this question, I narrowed my answer choices down to D and E and incorrectly chose E. What attracted me to E was that it appeared to be the contrapositive of the statement made in the stimulus that customers did not buy the new product primarily because the packaging was too similar to the original product. I understand why all the other answers a wrong but I'm having trouble understanding what makes D correct and E incorrect. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Jonathan Evans
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Hi, KJeeVanJee,

Good question!

Notice that the information provided in the stimulus is not particularly "formal"/conditional in its structure. Instead, the statements are mainly causal. The test-writers exploit this distinction among the answer choices. Answer choices (B), (C), and (E) all involve some kind of conditional structure, not supported by the information in the stimulus.

For instance, what does (E) mean? In plain English, (E) means that any improved version will sell better except when it's packaged like the earlier version. If some new product doesn't look like the previous version, it's guaranteed to sell better.

Does the information in the stimulus really provide adequate support for this inference? Not really. Note that it's a very strong statement as well.

Answer choice (D) conforms to the situation described in the stimulus—you want product to succeed, don't create false expectations—and is therefore "most strongly supported" by the information in the stimulus.

I hope this helps!
biskam
LSAT Master
 
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I'm confused with the word expectation that shows up in the stimulus and in choice D.... So there's a new can of soda people didn't buy because the can's packaging misled them to think that the new can tasted just as bad as the old can, so in terms of expectations, they expected the can to taste just as bad, so they didn't buy it. A sort of "false expectations." It would be in the company's best interest to correct these false expectations and to change the packaging of the new cans, so the customers wouldn't be expecting a bad tasting can.

D is a prephase of my last sentence.

I think I'm struggling with this because the idea of expectations is usually that there's a higher bar of expectations that's set and something/someone doesn't meet it. Here it's diff--here the expectation is a lower bar in a sense, an expectation of a poorer tasting can...

Is this correct? Is my confusion making sense?
biskam
LSAT Master
 
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D is saying in order to succeed, a new product should be packaged to accurately reflect what's inside.

"the idea of not meeting expectations" is usually failing to meet a higher bar, but here the phrase means failing to meet lower expectations?
Matt Griffiths
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Good question, biskam.

It's best here not to focus on whether the expectations are higher or lower. After all, the stimulus doesn't say anything about higher/lower. On Must Be True questions, we don't want to add more complexity to the stimulus than is already there. We focus on the exact wording of the stimulus and draw inferences based on that.

The stimulus mentions that 1) consumers expected the new product would share certain features of the old one, because of the can (packaging), and 2) the new product did not meet those expectations. We also know that customers didn't buy the new product, i.e. it did not succeed in the market.

Answer choice (D) is an inference that can be made from the above information. If the product didn't succeed because the packaging created expectations and then failed to meet them, it stands to reason that if we want it to succeed, we need to change the packaging. Again, it doesn't matter whether the expectations were high or low; the point is that the packaging created expectations and then failed to meet them.

Hope that helps a bit.
biskam
LSAT Master
 
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Yes thank you! Need to strip it down to the bare essentials.