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Sauder School of Business Period 2 2006-7

University of British Columbia

BAMA 506: Buyer Behavior

Understanding and Influencing Consumer Behavior

INSTRUCTOR: Dale Griffin (

SUPPORT: Karminie de Silva (, HA 768
OFFICE HOURS: TBA. In general, please email the instructor for an appointment.
CLASS TIMES: Friday mornings 9-12:30, except the first week (special time will
be arranged)
COURSE MATERIALS: A course reader that contains cases, background notes, and
academic and popular press articles will be sold at Duplication
Services. The reader will contain several introductory chapters
from a textbook: Peter, J. Paul, and Jerry C. Olson (2005),
Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy (7th edition). (P&O)
You do not need to buy the textbook separately.


Belsky and Gilovich: Why Smart People make Big Money Mistakes.
Cialdini, R. Influence: Science and Practice (4th Edition).
Underhill, P. Why We Buy.
Zaltman, G. How Customers Think.

Contemporary approaches to marketing management emphasize the importance of adopting a customer-
focused orientation. This course examines the art and science of understanding the consumer (or
“customer” or “buyer”) and is aimed at an academically-oriented general managerial audience with
interest in consumer behavior. The course has both theoretical and practical aims in that it is designed to
provide insights into consumer psychology per se and also to explain how consumer behavior can be
shaped or influenced. Students should develop an understanding of how models of consumer behavior
can be used to develop efficient and fair marketing techniques and tactics, an ability to view marketing
techniques from both a managerial and a consumer’s perspective, and a more general understanding of
the diversity of consumer behavior. Our consideration of consumer influence methods brings with it an
opportunity to grapple with important ethical issues.

The course includes a general overview of consumer psychology, including attention, motivation,
emotional reactions, and cognition. The course will also touch upon the research methods used to study
consumer behavior. Overall, classes will be relatively equally balanced between lecture, case
discussion, and general discussion. Lectures will be liberally dosed with video examples and counter-
examples, so as to link the verbal learning with experiential learning. As in all classes, it is important to
keep up with the readings to maintain a high level of comprehension of the lecture material and to
maintain a high level of (informed) class participation. Be warned: the class is not designed to deliver
answers to a passive audience, but to provide frameworks and perspectives for you to apply. This is a
required course for the Marketing specialization and an optional course for the Marketing

Your grade will be based on the following weights:

1. Class Participation 20%
2. Three individual case write-ups 30%
3. Two Group Projects 60%
-Infomercial persuasion analysis 20%
-Final class presentation (week 6) 30%

1. Participation (20%).
Participating in discussion is essential to your learning in the course. Please be prepared and
ready to volunteer your ideas, as well as to respond to cold calls. There is plenty of room in these topics
for personal judgment and experience, but please focus on relevant analysis in your comments rather
than simply tell stories. Attendance will be recorded, please e-mail prior to class with any problems in
attendance or timeliness.

2. Case Write-Ups (30%).

Write a three-page (maximum) analysis prior to the class discussion of the Coffee Case and Club
Med case. Specific questions and guidelines will be presented for each case. A case analysis will be
required after and building on the class discussion of the TIVO case. Note that consumer behavior cases
focus on the customer and his or her motivations, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Strategic analyses of
firm behaviour must be linked to the individual consumer.

3. Group Projects
(a) (20%) Analyze and assess the persuasion techniques used in an actual television infomercial.
(b) (30%) Students will work in groups to undertake a major integrative project analyzing the
consumer behavior principles underlying a current or recent new product launch and present their
findings in the final week (Week 6) of class. A written summary is also required. Groups of 4 or 5
should be formed by the end of the second week. Groups should schedule a meeting with the instructor
during the 3rd or 4th week to seek approval for their final presentation project.

Preparation for the first class
(a) Before class, read the week 1 readings from the course reading packet.
(b) Prepare the Mountain Dew case. Additional group discussion time will be provided in class.
(b) Browse the website and be prepared to discuss it. On the basis of your browsing,
consider the following questions:
What insights about consumer behavior can you glean from this children’s activity website? What
kind of marketing challenges motivated the creation of this “virtual community”? In your opinion, how
does its business plan rely on consumer behavior issues?
Week Session Session and Assignment
1 A Introduction to Consumer Behavior and Analysis
Consumer Perception, Cognition and Affect
B Research in Consumer Behavior
Attention and the Unconscious
Case: Mountain Dew: Selecting New Creative

2 A Values and Involvement

Means-Ends Chains
B Consumer Motivation
Case: A Case for Brand Loyalty (The Coffee Case)

3 A Persuasion and Behavior

Infomercial Demonstration
B Forces and Barriers vs The Value Proposition
Case: TIVO: Consumer Behavior

4 A Culture and Ethics

B Case: Club Med Japan

5 A Consumer Decision Making and Rationality

B Pricing and Economic Psychology

6 AB Final Group Presentations on New Product Introduction

BAMA 506: Buyer Behavior 2006-7 READING LIST
Dale Griffin, Marketing Professor

Note: Additional online readings will be assigned during the course. The following readings (except the
online readings) are contained in the course reading package.
Primary book excerpted in the package: P. & O. Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy, 7th Ed.
(2005). Peter, J. P., and Olson, J. C. McGraw-Hill Irwin (Toronto)

P & O chapter 3 (pp. 38-45; 53-60). Introduction to Affect and Cognition

Hoyer & Macinnis, Consumer Behavior (3rd Ed). Ch 4 Exposure, Attention and Perception (pp. 78-90)

The Return of the Hidden Persuaders (Salon Magazine Online)

Mountain Dew: Selecting New Creative (HBS case 9-502-040)

P & O chapter 4 (pp. 74-90)
Hawkins, Best, & Coney, Consumer Behavior (9th ed). Ch.9. Learning, Memory and Product
Positioning (pp. 316-346)

A case for brand loyalty (HBS case 9-598-023)

Harnessing the science of persuasion (HBS reading)

Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers: Understanding the Psychology of New-Product Adoption (HBR
OnPoint Enhanced Edition)

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. Paco Underhill, Simon & Schuster (1999). Chapters 2 (pp.
34-39) and 12 (pp. 161-182)

The Science of Shopping (New Yorker Online)

TIVO in 2002: Consumer Behavior (HBS case 9-502-062)

National Culture and Management (HBS note 9-394-177)
Customer Value Propositions in Business Markets (HBR OnPoint Enhanced Edition)

Club Med Japan (Insead-ECCH-Babson case 590-030-1)

Mowen, J.C., & Minor, M.S. Consumer Behavior: A Framework. Ch. 9. Consumer Decision Processes
(pp. 171-190)

Get Close to your customers. Itamar Simonson. California Management Review Reprint (1993. V. 35,
Number 4).

Note on Behavioral Pricing (HBS note 9-599-114)