Consumer Buying Behavior
Professor: Kevin D. Bradford
Class meeting time: Monday and Wednesday: 3:00 to 4:50 in room LO14B
Office Hours: Tuesday: 2:00 to 4:00
Office Location: LO14B Mendoza College of Business
Office Phone: 574-631-5057
Home Phone: 574-340-6931
1. Text Book: One textbook. Available at the Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore.
2. Notes to support Lectures: These are the responsibility of the student. Students paying
careful attention in the class will provide ample opportunity to acquire the necessary notes and knowledge to obtain
the requisite knowledge to achieve in the course. The lectures will support the accomplishment of case studies,
assignments, and the material to be learned.
OVERVIEW OF THE COURSE:
This course is an introduction to the fascinating field of consumer behavior. Emphasis will be given to appreciating its
scope, understanding the essentials underlying consumer decisions, and relating such understanding to issues in marketing.
This course emphasizes theory and empirical research in social sciences. We will see how these theories and methods
provide the foundation for evaluating alternative courses of action in decisions involving product development, pricing,
advertising, market segmentation, product positioning, as well as other marketing variables.
The course will be managed with expectations that students conduct themselves professionally. Students will also be
expected to communicate their ideas, challenge existing thought, and contribute to topics in the class. These expectations
are for both written and oral-discussion based assignments. Students will be challenged continuously their opinion and
ideas regarding consumer behavior topics and will be asked to succinctly and effectively communicate their points of view
in both written and oral formats.
The objectives of the course are:
1. To inform students of the major concepts and theories used to explain consumer behavior and their implications for
marketing and public policy decision making.
2. To develop a comprehensive appreciation of marketing’s use of the understanding of consumers in their business
3. To develop students’ abilities to use these concepts and theories in developing strategies and approaches to deal with
various marketing management situations in an applied manner.
4. To assist in the development of student’s communication, creative, and interpretation skills as it pertains to applied
social and cognitive psychological concepts, demographic concepts, and sociological concepts.
5. To comprehend the power of marketing and appreciate it as a catalyst for social change and standards of living.
1. To gain an appreciation of the processes marketing uses to affect change.
6. To provide background for a broader consideration set for marketing decisions to consider not only the maximization
of profit for the firm but to consider the effects of marketing decisions on all of the stakeholders.
COURSE FORMAT/CLASS CONDUCT
Instruction will be provided through a mix of business case analyses, discussions, and lectures. The class is structured to
facilitate students’ active participation in class proceedings and case discussions. Thus, daily preparation and completion of
class and/or homework assignments is required. Students will be expected to understand some key behavioral, qualitative,
and quantitative aspects of consumer behavior. Although the class will engage in somewhat challenging quantitative
analyses periodically, no more than arithmetic and minimal algebra is required.
The lectures and class discussions are predicated on the required readings. The lectures may cover particularly important
aspects of marketing and may be on topics not in the text. In addition, all assigned reading material is the responsibility of
the students. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions in office hours to clarify or explain concepts not covered in
the lecture or in the case analyses. So that you will receive maximum benefit from this course, it is expected that all material
will be read prior to class for which it is assigned.
There are thirteen classes in this semester plus a final examination period. During this time you will be evaluated in the
Course component Number % of grade
Business Case Analyses Four 40
Position Paper: written One 25
Position Paper: oral One 15
Class participation, preparation, and attitude All semester 20
Case Analyses. Cases analyses deal with topic areas that provoke discussion and relate to important topics in consumer
behavior. Cases studies are relevant and the discussions prove to be insightful. There will be four case studies assigned.
Directions for these assignments are in the attachment along with the questions for the assignment. The case studies are
group assignments. Case study assignments
Position paper Assignments. The position paper assignment is designed expose students to fundamental consumer
behavior concepts and to challenge students to articulate how theoretical knowledge can be used to describe current
marketing issues and problems. The assignment is to read the related material for understanding, answer the accompanying
discussion questions in a report format to be handed in and then to be presented on the last two days of class. These
position papers are to be written in a complete but concise manner and to be clearly communicated. Students should focus
on both the written and oral communication of the position paper in that they will be graded separately. The position
papers will be evaluated on completeness of answer, clarity of thought, insightful contribution, pushing the knowledge
beyond the required reading versus reporting the facts, and uniqueness of the contribution. The oral presentation will be
evaluated on the bases of completeness, how informed the presentation is, clarity, and the ability to answer “the
question(s)” that the professor will pose to you relating to your topic. This is a group assignment. The key here is: While
learning, teach the class.
Class participation, preparation, and attitude. Active participation in the class is an essential part of the learning experience.
Meaningful participation includes careful preparation for class by reading the text, preparing written assignments or
discussion questions as well as making a contribution to our class discussion.
The class is designed to reward the student that professionally participates. That means those who attend class, arrive on
time, and are prepared to participate in meaningful dialogue about assigned consumer behavior topics. Absences will be
noted and will affect your grade in accordance with the grading policies of the University of Notre Dame. Tardiness and
absence will directly affect the participation portion of your grade.
Oftentimes, professors can detect whether a student positively affects a class by his or her attitude toward the class.
Students can positively affect their grades by demonstrating a positive, helpful, professional, and respectful attitude in class.
On the other hand, students that disrupt and present a perceivable negative effect on the class by his or her behaviors or
attitudes can expect their grades to be negatively affected.
Grades will be assigned using the +/- system. The following is the grading scale for this course:
Letter Grade Score
F Below 60
If you have any condition, such as a physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work
as we have outlined it or which will require academic accommodations, please notify me during the first meeting of the
course and I will strive to accommodate you.
OTHER COURSE POLICIES
1. It is expected that all assigned materials have been read prior to class. You will be asked to answer questions, give
examples, and explain items covered in the reading assignments.
2. On occasion, additional material will be assigned and/or distributed in class.
3. Computers are not to be used or cell phones are not to ring in the class.
4. Only those students enrolled in this class are allowed to attend unless arrangements are made with the instructor.
5. Important course announcements (e.g., changes in the syllabus, etc.) and various suggestions and hints will be
posted to a list serve created from your e-mail address, so please make sure we have your correct address. Please
check your e-mail regularly.
6. No late work will be accepted. If you know you must miss a class, you may always turn an assignment in early.
7. All assignments must be typed and placed on hard copies unless otherwise specified.
Date Class preparation Topics
M, 10/27 Syllabus
Definition of consumer behavior
How the study of consumer behavior is used
Introduction to the course
W, 10/29 Marketing and the Job of the Marketing Manager; Chapter 1, page 1; by Winer, Role of the marketing manager
Russel S. The marketing concept
The importance of being customer focused
Types of demand
o Types of marketing
Why Study Consumer Behavior
How marketing is changing
Introduction to Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning
Importance of segmentation
How segmentation is used
M, 11/3 Identifying Market Segments and Targets; Chapter 2, page 35; By Kotler and Keller. Value-based segmentation criteria
Behavioral criteria for segmentation
Consumers’ Rule; Chapter 3, page 70; By Solomon, Michael R. Profile-based segmentation
Requirements for Effective Segmentation
Evaluating Market Segments
Target Marketing Strategies
Choosing a Target-Marketing Strategy
W, 11/5 Customer Intimacy and other Value Disciplines. By Michael Treacy and Fred Consumer behavior is a process
Wiersema; (1992) Harvard Business Review article; Product number: 93107. Consumers use products to help them define their identities
January 01, 1993 The internet and consumer behavior
Consumer activities can be harmful to individuals
Perception; Chapter 4, page 109; By Solomon, Michael R. How to study consumer behavior
M,11/10 INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE; Richard Yoo; McDonald’s Three stage process of perception
Products and commercials don’t always affect us.
CASE ASSIGNMENT Due, page 445: Webvan: Groceries on the Internet; ;
Harvard Business review case study; By Bakshi and Deighton
W,11/12 Attitudes; Chapter 5, page 147; By Solomon, Michael R. Subliminal advertising
Interpretation of marketing stimuli
Discussion of case assignment: Webvan: Groceries on the Internet; ; Harvard Semiotics and symbols
Business review case study; By Bakshi and Deighton
Why attitudes are so important for consumer researchers
Individual Decision Making; Chapter 6, page 181; Solomon, Michael R. How attitudes are formed
M, 11/17 Attitudes continued; Chapter 5, page 147; By Solomon, Michael R. Motivation to maintain consistency among all components of
Individual Decision Making continued; Chapter 6, page 181; Solomon, Michael R. Measuring attitudes
CASE ASSIGNMEMT: Coca-Cola’s New Vending Machine: Pricing to Capture
Value or Not?; page 402; Harvard Business review case study; By King and
W, 11/19 Industry Executive; Tamara Prather; Kraft Decision making processes
Stages in decision making
Rationality and decision making
M, 11/24 Individual Decision Making continued; Chapter 6, page 181; Solomon, Michael R. Special topic: Problem Recognition and Information Search
Income and Social Class; Chapter 7, 221; By Solomon, Michael R.
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: Vermont Teddy Bear Company: Calyx & Corolla; By
Alexander Chernev; Harvard Business review case study; Source: Kellogg School of
Management; August 10, 2005
W, 11/26 Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Subcultures; Chapter 8, page 255; By Solomon, Michael Purposeful consumption
R. Personal and social conditions effects on decision making
Ethnic, racial and religious subcultures affect consumption
Age Subcultures; Chapter 9, page 285; By Solomon, Michael R.
Three largest racial/ethnic subcultures in the US
Marketing appeals to ethnic and racial identity
M,12/1 WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: Li Ning Anything is Possible; (2007); Harvard Ethnic, racial and religious subcultures affect consumption
Business School Case Study: February 26, 2007 Three largest racial/ethnic subcultures in the US
Marketing appeals to ethnic and racial identity
Motivation and Values; Chapter 10, page 315; By Solomon, Michael R.
Learning and Memory; Chapter 11, page 355; By Solomon, Michael R. Teens
Seniors increasing importance
Socially Responsible Targeting and Positioning: Children,
Women, and Elderly
Involvement and consumer decision making
Values affect on consumption
How memory systems work
W, 12/3 Presentations of Position papers
M,12/8 Presentations of Position papers