Whether the company is Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, BMW, Apple, or Disney, the foundation of many companies’ and other organizations’ success lies in true insight into how consumers think, feel, choose, and consume. This course is designed to help students become astute discoverers of business-relevant consumer insights. It provides a comprehensive coverage of frameworks, concepts, tools, and techniques to get into the hearts, minds and motives of consumers. Organized around a framework called the Concentric Model of Consumer Behavior, topics include: (1) how consumers make decisions; (2) why and how consumers shop; (3) how to uncover consumers’ true motivations, needs, and wants; (4) unconscious drivers on consumer behavior (e.g., cultural archetypes and evolutionary forces); (5) feelings and emotions in consumer behavior; (6) an introduction to qualitative market research for consumer insight; (7) how consumers’ minds work (e.g., how to attract their attention, how consumers perceive things, how to influence their memory); and (8) social and cultural determinants of consumer behavior.(See brief introduction video by Professor Pham.)
An important part of the course is a real-life consumer insight field project submitted by a client company. Past clients include Johnson & Johnson, Publicis, Macy’s, Novartis, Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Rolodex (Newell-Rubbermaid), Wrigley, ESPN, Ann Taylor, and Men’s Health (see a short video about the project). In addition to standard lectures, readings, and case analyses, the course includes a variety of in-class and out-of-class exercises. The course is targeted at intellectually curious and motivated students who are interested in pursuing careers in general management, marketing, entrepreneurship, business consulting, media and advertising, or consumer-oriented not-for-profit organizations.