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MGT477: Consumer Behavior

Winter 2020 (Full-Time, Flex MBA)


PHONE (858) 822-7471
OFFICE Rady 3W115
OFFICE HOURS By appointment


Contemporary approaches to business emphasize the importance of adopting a customer focus.

Marketing, in particular, begins and ends with the consumer – from determining consumer needs to
ensuring customer satisfaction. The primary goal of this course is to enhance your understanding of
consumer behavior. The psychology of the consumer includes some intuitive and some non-intuitive
ideas about behavior. In this course, we will train your intuition, so that you think more like a behavioral
analyst about how consumers perceive and respond to market events. Many of the psychological
insights are particularly useful for strategy, brand positioning, and marketing communication decisions.
We will discuss some of these applications in class. In addition, we will discuss the methodology of
research to build the tools you will need to design and interpret research. You are very likely to be
customers of market research. The ability to correctly construct and interpret market research will make
this research much more actionable in managerial contexts.

This course will include lecture, discussion, and cases. However, every session will benefit from student
input, so it is important that you come to class prepared.


At the close of this course you will be able to:

• Develop insight into consumer behavior

• Think like a behavioral scientist when approaching marketing challenges
• Using behavioral insights to inform marketing strategy and practice
• Have general knowledge for interpreting marketing research, and constructing research on your
own (however, for more technical knowledge, refer to course on marketing research; this course
focuses on high-level design)


Required Readings:

• Course Reader (cases, articles)

In-depth Readings (assigned chapters to be read during the quarter; the rest can be read at your own

• Book: Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman on how people learn
and make judgments and choices

• Book: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a best-selling book by psychologist Robert

Cialdini on the art and science of selling, Collins (Revised edition 2007).

• Book: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg,
investigates the hidden forces behind behavior.

• Book: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by the behavioral
economist Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein (2009). This is a good book about how a
behavioral perspective can solve or improve real life problems.

• Book: Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore (2002). Read for the chasm model, and general
insights for managing innovations.

• Book: The Tipping Point: A classic and must read

Consumer Culture:

• Book: The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, by Meik Wiking

• Book: The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life, by Michael

• Book: Embrace the Chaos: How India Taught Me to Stop Overthinking and Start Living, by Bob


Date Class Topic & Activities Materials Preparation/Assignments

Session 1 Overview
FX: 1/7
FT: 1/8 Customer Behavior Case: Calyx & Corolla Prepare case: Calyx &
Orientation Corolla

Cultures and Subcultures Book: The Little Book of

Book: The Path
Book: Embrace the

Session 2 Demographic Segmentation Case: Eileen Fisher Prepare case: Eileen

FX: 1/14 Fisher
FT: 1/15
Session 3 Group Presentation: Group Assignment:
FX: 1/21 Comparing 3 Cultures Comparing 3 Cultures
FT: 1/22
In-Depth Qualitative Case: A Case for Brand Prepare case:
Research Loyalty A Case for Brand Loyalty

Session 4 Need-Based Segmentation

FX: 1/28
FT: 1/29

Session 5 Information Processing and Book: Thinking, Fast and Individual Assignment:
FX: 2/4 Evaluation Slow Segmentation Survey
FT: 2/5 Book: Nudge Questions
Book: The Power of Habit

Session 6 New Product Adoption Book: Crossing the Read assigned book
FX: 2/11 Chasm chapter
FT: 2/12 Book: The Tipping Point

Case: Polyphonic HMI Prepare case: Polyphonic


Session 7 Guest Speaker:

Matt Penfield
2/18 VP Consumer Insights @

Session 8 Guest Speaker:

Mike Diamond
2/25 SVP & GM of Payments @
Mitek Systems

Session 9 Group Presentations: Group Assignment:

FX: 3/3 Novel Marketing Novel Marketing
FT: 3/4 Paradigms Paradigms

Influence & Experiences Book: Influence

Session 10 Group Presentations: Group Assignment:

FX: 3/10 Improving Adoption of a Improving Adoption of a
FT: 3/11 New Product New Product

Summary Review

Week 11 Final Exam (Take Home)

FX: Due 3/17 No class
FT: Due 3/18

• Homework Assignments: See designations in the table above.

• Quizzes: None

• Exams: No Midterm; Take Home Final Exam


Assignments Points
Class Participation 15%
Individual Assignment (1) 15%
Group Assignments (3) 15% x 3
Final Exam 25%
Total 100%


Attendance required (absence of 2 sessions allowed; no reason necessary, prior notice required).


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students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual to whom it is assigned, without
unauthorized aid of any kind.

The complete UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship can be viewed at: http://www-


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access to the classroom must register with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). The OSD will
determine what accommodations may be made and provide the necessary documentation to present to
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The student must present the OSD letter of certification and OSD accommodation recommendation to the
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Please visit the OSD website for further information or contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at
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