Consumer Behavior                                                                 Professor Laura A. Peracchio

216-461                                                                                    Business N385

Fall 2010                                                                                  Office Phone: 414-229-3830

Office Hours: W 8:30-9:30 and                                               Home Phone: 414-332-7010 (8 am - 8 pm)

by Appointment                                                                       E-Mail:


Week                 Date                   Assignment


                                                    I.  OVERVIEW AND COURSE INTRODUCTION


1                        9/8                     Introduction



2                        9/13                   Introduction slides

                                                    Wash Away Bad Hair Days

                                                    BP Steps Up Bid to Fix Image

                                                    The Mind of a Cat Could Be Feline Groovy

                                                    Chapters 1 and 2

                                                    Case:    Bross Cord


                                                    II. MARKET SEGMENTATION


3                        9/20                   Market Segmentation

                                                    The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets

                                                    Exploring Ways to Build a Better Consumer Profile

                                                    Case:    European E-Consumer


4                        9/27                   Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

                                                    Shoppers Who Can’t Have Secrets

                                                    In a Bid to Sway Sales, Camera Track Shoppers

                                                    Fashion Nation: What Retailers Know About Us

                                                    Chapter 15

                                                    Case:    Fall Out of the Gap

                                                    Paper #1 due on 9/27


5                        10/4                   In Search of Adorable, as Hello Kitty …. Goodbye

                                                    Which Grease for a Squeaky Wheel

                                                    Six Strategies for Successful Niche Marketing

                                                    Cases:   Cadillac

                                                    American Girl

                                                    Guest Speaker 10/4:  Barbara Glazer




6                        10/11                 Customer Information Processing

                                                    Note on Information Processing

                                                    The Sweet Smell of Excess

                                                    Using Appeals to Emotions to Sell Paint

                                                    Modernizing the Kodak Moment

                                                    Chapters 8, 9, and 10

                                                    Cases:   Schlitz Suds

                                                                 Hires Root Beer



7                        10/18                 Old Spice Argues That Real Men Smell Good

                                                    The Emotional Quotient of Soup Shopping

                                                    Chapters 3 and 4

                                                    Cases:   Coke


                                                                 Old Spice

                                                    Paper #2 due on 10/18


8                        10/25                 Six Key to Making Good Decision

                                                    The Impact of the Irrelevant Decision-Making

                                                    Faux-Authentic Uniforms

                                                    Chapters 5, 6 and 7

                                                    Cases:   Bud Light Beer           




                                                    IV.  MARKETING ENVIRONMENT


9                        11/1                   Marketing Trends

                                                    Where Do Gadgets Come From?

                                                    Known Faces Are Displacing the Amateurs

                                                    A Contact Lens Cleaner, With Nature as Inspiration

                                                    Eyewear, with a Bit of Disney and a Touch of Apple

                                                    Chapters 11 and 12

                                                    Cases:   Green Bay Packers

                                                                 Coffee Wars

                                                                 Bend It and Sell it like Beckham

                                                    Paper #3 due on 11/1


10                      11/8                   But Will It Make You Happy?


                          11/10                 Midterm Exam



11                     11/15                 A Pitch for Hummus Goes Nation

                                                    Love the Telenovela, Buy the Product

                                                    Chapters 13 and 14

                                                    Cases:   Lipton





12                      11/22                Product slides

                                                    Service slides  

                                                    Promoting a Potato Chip

                                                    Keds Campaign Claims a First

                                                    Charity Give Shoe Brand Extra Shine

                                                    Chapter 16

                                                    Cases:   Doritos

                                                                 Shoe Fashion Forward

                                                    Paper #4 due on 11/22


                         11/24                Thanksgiving Break                 



13                      11/29                 Internet slides

                                                    Instant Ads Set the Pace on the Web

                                                    Watching TV Together, Miles Apart

                                                    What’s Wrong with Dot-Com Ads? (Handed out in Class)

                                                    Chapter 17


14                      12/6                   Advertising slides

                                                    Promotion slides

                                                    Candy Makers Cut Calories

                                                    For Corn Syrup, the Sweet Talk Gets Harder

                                                    Chapter 18

                                                    Cases:   Harry Potter

                                                    Guest Speaker:  Greg Krejci                                          


15                      12/13                 Channel slides

                                                    Chapter 19

                                                    Final Case due on 12/13



Nature and Purposes of the Course


1.  To analyze critically the task of marketing under contemporary conditions from a behavioral perspective.


2.  To examine the major functions that comprise the marketing task and their interactions with consumer behavior.


3.  To evaluate various types of consumer behavior policies that can be employed in guiding marketing activity.


4.  To develop an awareness of the major types of marketing and consumer behavior problems faced by organizations.

International and Cross Cultural Issues

Cross-cultural issues will be covered in the segmentation and marketing environment sections of the course.  International advertising will be covered in Week 12.  Week 14 will be devoted to international issues with a discussion of e-commerce.


Course Materials

Required: Consumer Behavior Case Packet. (This includes all cases and handout materials.)


Required:  Power Point presentations, cases, and a small number of readings are on the G drive.


Optional: Peter, J. Paul and Jerry C. Olsen, Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy, Homewood, IL: Irwin.


Evaluation of Student Work

Each student will be evaluated on the following basis:


Midterm Exam             30%

Final Case                     30%

Papers                             25%

Class Participation       15%



The examination format will draw from some or all of the following types of questions:


1.  Short answer questions designed to assess students' knowledge of material developed in the course.


2.  Analysis of mini-cases, each of which describes a marketing situation. On the basis of data presented in the mini-case, students are asked to (a) make decisions with respect to several issues raised in the case, and (b) marshal support or justification for the position advocated using theories, concepts, and analytical devices developed in the readings and in class.


Adequate preparation for the exams may be achieved by (1) reading and studying all of the required assignments (2) taking comprehensive notes and reviewing them prior to the exams and (3) devoting effort to the preparation and analysis of in-class cases.


Class Sessions

Rather than rehashing concepts developed in the text, class sessions will be devoted to probing, extending, and applying the course material.  It shall be assumed that students have read the course assignments before coming to class.


Class Discussion

Each student is expected to contribute to class discussion.  To a substantial extent, the benefit students derive from the assignment is related to their willingness to expose their viewpoint to the critical judgment of the class.  Do not be reluctant to voice your opinion.


Reading Cases

The cases are to be read and analyzed prior to attending class.  The instructor will call on class members to present and defend their recommendations regarding case issues.  Participation in these and other discussions will account for 15% of the student's final grade.


Instructor/Student Interaction

If at any point during the course you have questions regarding the preparation of cases, exams, or other course-related issues, please do not hesitate to contact me either by phone or in person.  I would be happy to meet with you and discuss your questions.



Four short (Maximum Length: Two pages, single spaced) papers are assigned.  The page length is a maximum; the paper need not be two pages long. The papers are designed to reinforce the material introduced in the lectures and to encourage the student to think about the concepts introduced in the course.  No Paper Will Be Accepted Late!  The papers will be graded Inadequate, Adequate, or Superior.

Marketing Papers


Papers are due on the assigned dates and must be turned in at the beginning of class.


9/27 - Paper 1:

A managing director of a large company made the following statement: "To be successful in business, all you need is a customer. You don't need any of those tight little academic concepts of how to manage. You don't even need to solve all your problems or be efficient. All you need is to find out what you do right for the customer you've already got and do more of it." Assess the validity of this statement. Does this reflect the marketing concept?


10/18 - Paper 2:

On March 22, 2005, Anna Ayala claimed she found a finger in her chili at a Wendy’s Restaurant in San Jose, California. On April 22, the San Jose Police Department announced that its investigation had determined Wendy’s was not at fault and that the district attorney was charging Ms. Ayala with attempted larceny. Wendy’s reported that overall sales for its 6,250 restaurants were down several percentage points. Sales of Wendy’s in the San Francisco Bay/San Jose area were down 20 to 50 percent. The Wendy’s chain, having been wrongly accused, now faced the task of rebuilding its brand. How should they address this crisis? How should Wendy’s rebuild its brand and recover lost sales?


11/1 - Paper 3:

Watch the movie Up in the Air with George Clooney.  Then, do an analysis of the movie. Should American Airlines and Hilton Hotels have agreed to participate in the movie? What impact might the movie have on these brands? What potential positive or negative effects might the movie have on these brands? From a consumer behavior perspective, do an analysis of the character played by George Clooney. Be sure to describe this character’s relationship with the American Airlines and Hilton brands. Does this movie offer any insights into consumer-brand relationships?


11/22 - Paper 4:

Several years ago Fortune magazine crowned golfer Tiger Woods the number one endorser in the world; he had an estimated 85 million dollars in commercial deals. Then, in November of 1999, unflattering revelations surfaced about Tiger Woods’ private life. Many endorsers quickly abandoned Woods.