For most companies, business success requires the ability to uncover genuine insights about their customers. Which product is going to be a “hit”; which one is going to “flop”? Which aging brand can be revived; which one is doomed to die? Which product positioning will resonate best in the marketplace? Is a new market trend just a fad or is it going to last? How much will consumers be willing to pay for X? These are a few examples of the many important business questions that companies face every day and require customer insight.
This course focuses on the generation of sustainable customer insight for B2C companies, hence the title “Strategic Consumer Insight.”1 As will be amply demonstrated in this course, personal intuition about consumers is not consumer insight and not a substitute for it. The purpose of the course is therefore to equip students with the concepts and tools to become disciplined and astute discoverers of strategic customer insights for consumer-oriented (B2C) businesses.
This five-day, intensive course will be action-learning-oriented: combining lectures/discussions with many in-class workshops in which students will practice with and apply proprietary customer insight planning tools that the professor has developed through his many years of executive teaching, corporate training, and consulting. Importantly, students will have the opportunity to work on a real-life consumer insight project submitted by a client company. This real-life project provides a unique hands-on opportunity to design and execute a complete consumer insight engagement for a real client to help them address specific business issues (e.g., changing customer demographics, new competition, loss of brand relevance, market development, etc.). Previous clients include Coca-Cola, Macy’s, Novartis, Best Buy, Rolodex, ESPN, Men’s Health, Wrigley, Ann Taylor, Verizon, Wyndham hotels, Home Depot, LG, NBC-Universal, Barnes & Noble, Turner/WarnerMedia, and the Wall Street Journal. This term’s client will be announced in September.
This course builds on and extends the marketing core course in the MBA/EMBA program by fleshing out the customer insight dimension of the strategic market planning process. Topics covered in this course include: (1) how consumers make decisions; (2) how consumers shop in retail environments; (3) how to uncover consumers’ true motives, needs, and wants; (4) the role of feelings and emotions in consumer behavior; (5) an introduction to qualitative market research for consumer insight; (6) how consumers’ minds work; and (7) social and cultural determinants of consumer behavior.
Kravis Professor of Business
Professor Pham’s business expertise covers the areas of marketing strategy and management, branding, customer and consumer psychology, trademark psychology, marketing communication, and executive decision making. His most recent research focuses on the role of feelings, emotions and motivation in consumers’ and managers’ judgments and decisions. His numerous publications are widely cited and have appeared in many leading scholarly journals including...