TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 04 from Barron’s TOEFL iBT Solution & Transcription


Audio Lecture

Narrator Listen to part of a lecture in a business class.


In your textbook, the author states that “companies sell products but companies market brands.” And several of you have asked me about that distinction… between selling products and marketing brands. … I thought we ought to take some time to talk about it in class. So, let me give you an example. Sup-pose that we have a company, and the product is chicken. Then it’s easy to understand that we’re sell-ing chicken. Maybe we’re even selling a special preparation of chicken—barbecued chicken—and maybe we include lemonade and a hot roll free with our barbecued chicken. We may even have the best service. But, we re still selling chicken, even though It’s a special preparation and even though we’ve provided an attractive package with free additional products and good service. All of that is still selling.

But what’s marketing then? Well, when we market a product, we have to create meaning that attaches itself to the product. .. something that makes the product more unique and more desirable than other simBar products. Maybe this chicken was a family recipe that was handed down from Aunt Ruby. So this isn’t just chicken. It’s Aunt Ruby’s recipe. And eating it is special because she doesn’t give the recipe to anyone but family, and being in the restaurant is just like being in Aunt Ruby’s kitchen. How you interpret the experience is just as important as how you view the product. See what I mean?

Take a look at commercials on television if you realty want to understand marketing because these commercials almost always represent the product as something else—success, sex, youth. All of these are important to the consumer. So. when a car is marketed, for example, it’s shown in the context of a successful crowd of people in an upscale neighborhood, or the man who buys the car gets the woman, or the woman who buys the car is young, beautiful, and desirable while she’s driving it And marketing is what attaches that meaning to the product. You may not be able to buy youth, but you can buy products. and the message is that these products will get you what you really want.

Okay, so marketing is selling an image or a benefit… something that’s really attractive and larger than the product itself, and by attaching it to the product, we can give that larger meaning to what we want to sell. Go back to the car commercial for a minute. We want to sell cars, but we market them by selling something bigger first, and by association, we sell the cars

This brings us to the term branding. Now branding is similar to marketing because the customer perceives the product as being valuable. So then, branding is more about the customer than it is about the product. Ifs the personality of the product that people relate to. Think Allstate Insurance, and you’ll probably come up with “You’re in good hands.” and their competitor. State Farm will remind you, “Like a good neighbor. State Farm is there.” This is an emotional relationship that customers have with the personality of the product. Rob Frankel is probably one of the most widely respected business consultants in the area of product branding. In his book. The Revenge of Brand X, he says, “business is about relationships, not about transactions.” That’s not an exact quote but ifs dose. And he’s so right on. Branding isn’t about the product or even about the customer service. Ifs about the customer’s perception of the product and the relationship with the personality of the product. And that’s how branding works

So it’s not a logo, it’s not a name, although name recognition or the familiarity of a logo is helpful. Ifs not a commercial or even a string of commercials in a marketing plan. It’s more about loyalty and confidence aid all of the things that make a relationship good. Customers have to do more than recognize the brand. They have to be motivated to buy it… and … and continue to buy it, over time. In a way. ifs a telegraphic marketing message that’s easy to understand and speaks to the customer, and it has to be a consistent message. I mean that to build a brand, and more important, brand loyalty, you have to repeat that message over and over. Say it loud enough and long enough and it starts to sound right, and even more important, it starts to echo in your customers’ heads when they think about making a purchase.

So what’s the result that we’re going for? Ifs when the customer will wait until the store gets more of it instead of buying a different brand, or if the price goes up, the customer will pay extra instead of buying a cheaper brand. And this is brand loyalty, which is especially important in an industry where there isn’t very much difference in the competing products. Laundry detergent. .. now that’s really a very similar product across brands… but people tend to buy the same one.

Okay then. How do we give our products a personality so we can develop a relationship with cus-tomers? Well. Aunt Ruby is someone that we can relate to when we think about chicken. But celebrity spokespersons are an even more obvious option. When kids think about Nike shoes, do they want a relationship with a shoe, with Nike, or with Michael Jordan? Ifs pretty obvious that Air Jordan shoes are all about the basketball player. That’s taking branding to its logical conclusion.


Audio Conversation

Narrator: Listen to part of a conversation on campus between two students.

Woman: This is an interesting assignment.

Man: It is. I’m just having a problem figuring out how to write up the report.

Woman: Oh? How much have you done?

Man: Well, the introduction was easy. I just expanded on the information that the lab assistant provided, you know, about the effects of alcohol on reflexes, and I used the same references that he cited.

Woman: Me. too.

Man: Then I described the experiment in the second part . . . the methods and materials section.

Woman: What did you include there? The lab assistant said that it was important to be specific when we did this part

Man: Yeah, he did. So I mentioned that there were ten subjects, and five were drinking gin and tonic, but the other five… that”s the control group … they were drinking tonic only, and no one knew which group was which. Then they each had to drive in a computerized … what was it called? A… a simulator… a simulator of a car that was supposed to be moving at 35 miles an hour. And when they saw a bicycle, they were supposed to hit the brakes.

Woman: So far so good. The only thing I can think of that you might want to add is maybe a little more about the subjects. I think they were college students, and they were selected at random to be in the experimental or control group.

Man: Good idea Especially the part about the random selection. That would be important

information if someone wanted to duplicate the experiment, and didn’t he say that this section had to be specific enough for another researcher to be able to repfi … repli…

Woman: replicate

Man: Yeah. Replícate the study.

Woman: Okay, so what did you do with the results section?

Man: That’s the problem. I can’t seem to figure out what to put in the results section and what to use for the discussion section. If I put the chart with the reaction times in the results, should I explain the chart in the discussion, or what?

Woman: Oh, now I see the problem. The chart’s fairty selfexplanatory, isn’t it? I mean, it’s really a simple chart to read.

Man: That’s what I thought

Woman: But you still have to explain the chart in the results section.

Man: You do?

Woman: Yeah. Um, look, here’s what I’d do. I’d look at the chart and try to come up with a few general statements. For example, um, well, all of the subjects who were drinking alcohol had longer reaction times. Then you can look at the range – 1 second to 4 seconds for the subjects who were drinking only tonic, and that’s compared with 3 seconds to 20 seconds for the subjects who were drinking gin with the tonic.

Man: So, I’m really just repeating what’s on the chart, but I’m explaining it in words.

Woman: Right. But, here’s the thing—you shouldn’t draw any conclusions in the results section.

Just the facts.

Man: You mean, just what happened in the experiment.

Woman: Right. You have to save the conclusions for the discussion section.

Man: Okay. So in the conclusions. I might say that driving after having four drinks … if you have four drinks, you probably won’t be in a position to avoid an accident.

Woman: That’s good. And you could also point out problems in the research, if there are any, or suggestions for future research.            .

Man: Like doing the experiment with beer instead of hard liquor or repeating the same experiment with three drinks instead of four.

Woman: Sure. That’s the idea.