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BUS 5656 Consumer Behavior Strategies

Course Description

Examines the consumer decision-making process and its societal, environmental, group, and economic determinants. Includes research, analysis and strategy development in consumer motivations, values, wants, needs, and behavior.

Key Course Concepts

  • Perceptual, memory, and learning systems as related to consumer knowledge
  • Motivation, involvement and values underlying consumer behavior
  • Attitudes, attitude change and persuasion
  • Individual and family decision making
  • Group and subcultural influences on consumption

Week 1

Lecture: Introduction to Consumer Behavior


  • Define consumer behavior
  • Describe three phases of consumer behavior
  • Define segmentation
  • Identify typical bases for segmentation
  • Describe the three-stage perceptual process
  • Explain why most single marketing messages have little influence on us
  • Discuss how personal and stimulus factors influence attention
  • Explain why subliminal advertising is ineffective
  • Explain why one ad may be interpreted differently by different people

Week 2

Lecture: Learning and Memory
Lecture: The Self


  • Describe how cognitive systems and memory work
  • Explain how people learn via cognitive learning
  • Define classical and instrumental conditioning
  • Apply learning theories to marketing contexts
  • Define the self in terms of cognition and memory
  • Explain how gender, sex, and sexuality are related to the self
  • Discuss how personality is related to the self
  • Apply theories of self to marketing and identity

Week 3

Lecture: Motivation, Involvement and Values
Lecture: Lifestyles and Psychographics


  • Define motivation and describe the motivational process
  • Discuss how motivation influence how people make decisions
  • Describe involvement, its antecedents and its consequence
  • Explain what values are and how they influence behavior
  • Define lifestyles and psychographics and the relationship between them
  • Explain how psychographic research is used to do lifestyle segmentation and marketing
  • Discuss why lifestyle segmentation is so powerful

Week 4

Lecture: Attitudes, Theories and Models
Lecture: Persuasion through Communication


  • Define attitude, attitude object and the ABC model of attitudes
  • Describe the three attitude hierarchies and relate them to marketing
  • Explain the relationship between cognitive consistency or balance and attitudes
  • List different multi-attribute models and how they influence how marketers attempt to change attitudes
  • Describe conventional communications model
  • List source characteristic that make a communication more or less persuasive
  • List message characteristics that make a communication more less persuasive
  • Discuss the ELM and how it influences persuasion in two different ways

Week 5

Lecture: Individual Decision Making
Lecture: Family Decision Making


  • Describe the consumer decision making process
  • Explain how involvement affects the consumer decision making process
  • Identify how marketers can influence the decision making process at each step
  • List how group decision making differs from individual decision making
  • Discuss how the family life cycle influences family decision making
  • Identify how children influence family decision making

Week 6

Lecture: Group Influence


  • Define reference groups and list the different types
  • Explain how and when reference groups will influence purchase intentions
  • List the characteristics of opinion leaders
  • Discuss when WOM is likely to occur and how firms might manage it

Week 7

Lecture: Cultural Influences
Lecture: Income and Social Class


  • Discuss what culture, subculture, race, and ethnicity generally mean
  • List and define Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions
  • Explain how culture influences consumer behavior
  • Identify three major U.S. ethnoracial subcultures
  • Discuss how ethnoracial, religious, age, and other subcultures might influence consumer behavior
  • Define social status
  • Describe how social status influences financial and other resources
  • Explain how different social strata are different cultures
  • Explain how social class influences consumption behavior

Week 8

Lecture: Dark Side of Consumer Behavior


  • Discuss four (of many) controversial issues related to consumer behavior
  • Segmentation or Exploitation
  • Addictive and Compulsive Consumption
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Exporting American Culture

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. January 2012