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 and communicators of strategic consumer insights that are business-relevant. 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 to uncover consumers’ true motivations, needs, and wants; (2) how consumers search for information and learn about the marketplace; (3) how to attract their attention and influence their memory; (4) the role of feelings and emotions in consumer behavior; (5) consumer decision-making processes; (6) shopping behavior; (7) unconscious influences on consumer behavior (e.g., cultural archetypes and evolutionary forces); (8) food and addictive consumption behavior, and (9) 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 variety of client companies. Past clients include Johnson & Johnson, Publicis, Macy’s, Novartis, Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Rolodex (Newell-Rubbermaid), Wrigley, ESPN, and the publisher of 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.