Friday, September 25, 2009

Love story assignment -- consumer behavior

Hi CBers,

You've got a 1-2 page essay due on Tuesday -- don't forget!

Please describe something that you would run back into a burning building to save, something that is or has been priceless to you. Did you buy this special item or was it a gift (or a find…)? Is this item still in use, a thing of the past, or something you could use in the future? If you don't have it anymore, tell me what happened to this item. Most importantly, WHY is this item so meaningful for you?

Please DON'T write about your first girl/boyfriend (or your current gf/bf), your mother, or your dog. I don't doubt you have much love for all of them, but the point of this exercise is to dig into how consumers interact with inanimate objects, and to examine why certain items become so important to certain people.

Having said that, and knowing how much people looooove their computers (me too!), please DON'T write about your computer, either. It's sort of like claiming to love your brain, i.e., a given, and not very interesting to think or read about.

Finally, you all need to find, print, read, and be ready to discuss Russ Belk's 1988 article entitled "Possessions and the Extended Self," published in the Journal of Consumer Research. This is homework, so be prepared! It's a long article, but interesting and well written, so be sure to budget adequate time to go through it and digest it.

Good luck, have fun, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BUS 341 classes

I've posted the segmentation assignment instructions here and in the sidebar of this blog.

Above, you can see segments of grandparents in the UK, from research conducted by SAGA.
These researchers used geographic, demographic, and psychographic variables to segment the market in to clearly identified groups.

We'll discuss this assignment in class on Tuesday, but I know some of you wanted to get a head start.

Good luck and have fun!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Industry self regulation

Here are various people's takes on the new "Smart Choices" front-of-the-box nutritional information program that launched last year...

The Smart Choices website

New York Times

Progressive Grocer -- A side

Progressive Grocer -- B side

Pretty interesting, huh? What do you think about this program?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early-mid-semester fun pack

Well, hel-lo ladies!

At this point in the semester, you're probably ready for some marketing fun.

The following links all relate to product marketing to different segments of consumers. Check 'em out!

A completely awesome take on an already awesome song

A completely different take on online dating. (Take a look at their money-back guarantee!)

A completely different take on the stars of la RevoluciĆ³n and Spongebob

Monday, September 7, 2009

Discussion questions

Hi students,

Please take notes while watching "The Persuaders" in class this week. We'll discuss the following questions when we finish watching the film.

341: Be ready to talk.
343: I want you to turn in your notes/answers (as well as discuss). These can be very informal.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

341 Extra credit: Farmer's market edition

Sorry for the late posting, but I realized that some people might want a little guidance before they set out on Saturday.

While you're at the farmer's market, look for the 4 Ps. What's interesting?
Take note of what people are getting right, and what they might be doing better.
Are there particular target markets that different vendors are appealing to?
Do you see any aspects of the "dynamic environment" at work?

That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Nothing needs to be in-depth, unless you want to go there, but you should put some analytical thought into your analysis -- don't just describe what you observe.

Have fun, and happy shopping (and eating)!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

343 First assignment

Here's what you should do before class on Thursday:

1. Read "My Missspent Youth" by Meghan Daum.
2. Write a reaction paper (~2 pages, double spaced) about this essay, thinking about these types of questions:
  • What motivated the author to make the consumption decisions that she did?
  • Does she remind you of anyone you know (including yourself)? How?
  • Do her decisions seem rational? Why/why not?
  • Do you think she could have predicted/averted her financial crisis? Why/why not?
  • Did you enjoy reading this story?

Great first day of class!

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