Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Culture: It's so black & white

Hey everyone,

Thanks for the fun conversation today!

In no particular order, here's more information on various things I mentioned in class...

Here's the article on metacognition that Lauren Brester sent me.  The comments at the end are almost as illuminating as the article itself!

You think bullet ant gloves and the Sun Dance sound painful?  Check out this blog post -- full of videos! so much fun! -- of various rites of passage that young men around the world endure. 

While I was looking up rites of passage, I stumbled upon a pretty awesome  article about movie stereotypes (also known as cultural formulae).  I remember Cracked magazine from my middle school years as being a cheap-ish, not-as-funny version of Mad. However, the online version is surprisingly good, and even great on occasion.  What do you think?

Diamonds!  Gitcher diamonds here!  Read the history of the creation of the engagement ring norm.  It's long, but fascinating.

Is this child a boy or a girl?  It's actually President Franklin Roosevelt as a young fella! Read about the gender norming & re-norming of children's clothes, and look at more fascinating photos from the Smithsonian archive as well.

Happy reading/clicking!  Feel free to riff on any of these themes in your own blogs, if they catch your fancy...

Image sources: 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Be prepared!

Hi everyone,

I've uploaded the list of possible exam questions for this coming Thursday.

Also, you have your first opportunity for extra credit in this class -- if you submit thoughtful answers to these questions, you can improve your Exam 1 score by a letter grade (i.e., 2 points).

In terms of effective studying, I suggest at least looking at the e.c. questions before you start studying for Exam 2.  They should help...

Image source: http://www.adventuredad.com/images/boyscout.jpg

Friday, October 19, 2012

Article for Tuesday

Sorry I didn't mention this in class yesterday -- you have an article to read for next Tuesday, "Consumers and their Brands," which is available as a PDF through D2L.

Happy weekend!

Image source: http://www.5brand.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/brand.jpg

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In honor of tonight's Presidential debate...

 I know I haven't blogged in a long time, so I apologize!

I've recently seen a couple of infographics related to politics + marketing that I think are really fun, so here we go...

Here's another look at essentially the same kind of consumer data:

Getting more product-specific...  What consumers' beer choices say about their political affiliations and activities:

It's imperative to note that none of these infographics are based on the companies' donations to candidates.  They're all pretty simplistic consumption constellations based on statistical analyses of buying + voting behaviors. 

These connections between consumers, their brands, and their favored political parties can sometimes cause cognitive dissonance when a spokesperson/exemplar of the brand doesn't personally align with the values the brand has come to represent in the marketplace.

P.S. Here's one last one about which TV characters are Democrats and which are Republicans.  It won't load onto my blog (because it's interactive), but it's worth a click and a quick read!

Image sources:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Marketing of the Future!

I was talking to my husband yesterday about this class, and remembered this scene, which doesn't seem unrealistic at all.  (Well, except for the whole eye-transplant-on-demand thing...)

Did you think this post was going to be on Dippin' Dots when you read the headline?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Oh yeah...

The list of possible exam questions is posted in D2L under the "Exam materials" content tab.

How much do corporations know about you? How much do you want them to?

Hi all,

Here's a link to the article we touched on in class the other day, re marketing research & consumer privacy concerns.  It's long, but really fascinating stuff, and easy to read.  Even as a marketing researcher, there was info here that I didn't know -- the world moves pretty fast...

This is one blogger's response to the article, which seems to mirror how the majority of you said you felt about this issue the other day. (Granted, most of you hadn't read it, so you might change your mind given more data & more time to think about the issue).

Mr. Salmon writes, "I’ve never received a good answer to the 'why should I care?' question." Clearly, Salmon doesn't read the NY Times very often, for if he did, he would have seen this article by author and law professor Lori Andrews, which appeared around the same time as the longer piece that focuses on Target's data-mining & strategic practices.

Andrews's piece provides a very good answer to Salmon's very good question. To me, the most chilling part of her article reads:
Stereotyping is alive and well in data aggregation. Your application for credit could be declined not on the basis of your own finances or credit history, but on the basis of aggregate data — what other people whose likes and dislikes are similar to yours have done. If guitar players or divorcing couples are more likely to renege on their credit-card bills, then the fact that you’ve looked at guitar ads or sent an e-mail to a divorce lawyer might cause a data aggregator to classify you as less credit-worthy. When an Atlanta man returned from his honeymoon, he found that his credit limit had been lowered to $3,800 from $10,800. The switch was not based on anything he had done but on aggregate data. A letter from the company told him, “Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express.”
Even though laws allow people to challenge false information in credit reports, there are no laws that require data aggregators to reveal what they know about you.

There's a thought-provoking analysis (including a nice historical perspective on the scope of consumer privacy) of Andrews's article here.

And finally, if you want to keep score, The Onion* began writing about these practices years ago, in an excellent piece entitled "Amazon.com Recommendations Understand Area Woman Better Than Husband."
Meyers, who has spent the past 15 years with a man who still believes she enjoys attending car shows, said she has kept her Amazon recommendation e-mails a secret from her husband so as not to corrupt the "deep and unstated understanding" between her and the popular website.

 *If you're not already familiar with The Onion, click here...

Image sources:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Anyone want to do some CB research?

Hi everyone,

This just popped into my inbox...  Please take a look if you're starting to get warmed up to consumer behavior research!
GfK "Next Generation" Undergraduate Research Competition

GfK sponsors an annual  paper competition geared to the next generation of consumer researchers.  Winners will receive a $1,000 award, plus an expense paid trip to NYC for the ARF Re:Think Convention in March 2013 to receive the award.  Undergraduates (individuals or teams from US institutions) are invited to submit a paper using primary research to address one of three topics (mobile marketing, impact of social media or other emerging issues).

Key Dates:

:: 10/29/12    Entry form due including a 2,000 word project brief. 

:: 11/5/12      Finalists notified

:: 1/28/13      Finalists’ completed papers due

:: 2/25/13      Winners notified

:: 3/20/13      Presentation and award ceremony at ARF Re:Think 2013 in NYC
Complete information can be found here, and here's a press release about the team that won this year's contest.

Please contact me asap if you think you might want to try for this.  It would be fun, and we could probably swing Independent Study credits into the mix, for those who would like this to go on their official transcripts. 

Image source: http://venturebeat.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/nyc.jpg 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thoughts on the extended self...

Thanks for participating in such interesting conversations today, everyone!  I had a good time getting to hear at least a little bit from each group (while trying to learn people's names...).

There were topics addressed in every group that elicited associations about relevant CB research that I've read once upon a time, so I thought I post that info here, for those of you who are interested in reading more about it.  If you're stuck and something here helps jump-start your own blogging, I'll be delighted!

Here's an article on people who feel that certain parts of their bodies don't belong to them, and therefore need to be removed.

If you want to arouse your other senses by letting go of one of them, a fun way is to eat in complete darkness...

Sometimes, there's a lot emotion tied up in a particular object, and not enough opportunity to release it, so people go to extremes when the get the opportunity to do so.  Hence, the "trash the dress" phenomenon...

Here's a sample of the conversation runners are having about whether or not people remember their marathon times for ever and ever.  Certain events = extended self.

And finally, a little enlightenment -- the quickest lesson in Buddhism/graphic design you'll ever get:

Buddhist philosophy related to the material world is really interesting.

Happy weekend!

Image sources: http://www.businessesgrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/conversation.jpg

Monday, May 21, 2012

A cool opportunity for you

The American Marketing Association is hosting a 1/2 day special online forum on online marketing research.  (Yes, that sentence is correct.)  It's a shame that it's happening right before the end of class, but you'll all be really, really good at marketing by that point!

Click here for more info & to register.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A non-robot post!

Something you all should keep in mind throughout this class is that our perceptions are extremely limited (through no fault of our own).  Why should we focus on, or even consider, problems or ideas that are outside our realm of experience?  It doesn't make sense from a cognitive perspective -- our brains would much rather spend that energy thinking about the Kardashians, right?

But the idea of the "bottom of the pyramid" is gaining strength in the marketing world right now. 


The idea is that there are literally billions of potential consumers who are currently underserved by traditional marketing sectors.  What if we could make products that help them live better lives?  What if we could sell billions of products to these people every year?  The margins are slim, but the aggregate sales figures would be huge.

This isn't dissimilar from the way the robber barons of the 19th century made their fortunes. 

The pyramid model is conspicuously ethical, as opposed to how the industrialists operated (hence the term "robber barons").  However, whenever there's money being made, there will be people trying to exploit the weaknesses in the system.  Microlending is a great example of a bottom-of-the-pyramid industry that's now experiencing growing pains.

Image source: http://images.fastcompany.com/upload/the-fortune-at-the-bottom-of-the-pyramid.jpg

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In keeping with the robot theme of the week...

"It doesn't look like Daft Punk. we wanted to look like Daft Punk."

Here's some Daft Punk, for comparison purposes:

FYI, this song is one that really, really, really sticks in my head.  Good thing I like it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thinking about robots

Once I posted the photo of the Fake Maria from Metropolis (previous post), I couldn't stop remembering other female robots in pop culture...

Fembots (from Austin Powers)

Rosie (from The Jetsons)

Cylons (from Battlestar Galactica)

Pris (from Blade Runner)

This post doesn't really have much to do with marketing or BUS 341, except that I wanted to show you all how easy it is to add multimedia content to your own blog posts.  Searching for the perfect images can be really addictive!

Image sources: 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting ready to teach online!

I'm really excited about teaching principles of marketing online this summer!  As a teacher, it's really interesting to create a class that's challenging and informative and captivating (is that too strong a word?) for the students who are taking it, within the limitations of the online environment -- it's so different from thinking about a class that's delivered face-to-face.

It's also been fun trying to figure out how to keep the humanity in a course that everyone (including me) is going to experience while sitting in front of individual computers...  I don't want anyone to ever think that this class is being run by a robot, because I know how much time and effort I've put into it already, and it hasn't even started yet! I hope the tone and content of my online interactions with my students shows how much I love teaching, and how much I want to you to succeed -- not just in this class, but throughout your school careers, and lives  :-)

I guess we'll learn what works and what doesn't, huh? 

PS Let's kick off the conversation with a pretty easy question: Does anyone know what the above image is from?  Who's seen it?  What did you think?  Answer in the comments section!  Let's get to know each other! 

Image source: http://www.wildsound-filmmaking-feedback-events.com/images/metropolis_robot.jpg

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Turn It In

Hi all,

Ten of you didn't submit Case 3 answers to TII yet.  Please do so ASAP.  I won't post your grades until you do!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Make sure you follow instructions for book review #2 if you're planning on doing a second one.  Note: this book review expects you to compare the book you read to your textbook, and all the knowledge about CB that you've accumulated over the semester.  It's not the same as BR #1!
Your blogs are due by the end of this week.  I'll start grading them as soon as I finish grading cases.  Remember, grades are based on quality of posts as much as quantity.
Sorry for not including the link to the extra credit survey.  If the link doesn't work, the address is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/barefootrunning.
"Beer Country" (my documentary) is showing at the Procrastinator at 4:00 on Thursday.
Finally, I can't believe I didn't post this last Friday!  The creation & diffusion of new holidays/rituals is an interesting CB phenomenon...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Extra credit opportunity!

Hi everyone,

If you'd like to earn 1% of your final grade -- while helping me out with a research project! -- click here and take a relatively short survey about running footwear.

You don't have to be a runner, or like running, or even know anything about running in order to participate!  You do, however, need to provide me with an identifiable name at the end (when it asks for your email address), so that I can give you credit.  If you want to be entered into the drawing, you'll need to give me your email address as well.

Thanks for your help!

Edited on 4/24 to add link to survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/barefootrunning 

Image source: http://design.spotcoolstuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/barefoot-running-m.jpg

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Group wikis, more info

When you go to the "welcome" page of the class wiki, you'll see a link that says "Group Wiki Pages." 

Please use this page as the index to link to each group's "home page."
Click here to access examples of other groups' end-of-semester projects.  The one entitled "Social Reinforcement Behavior" is an excellent example of how to do a group wiki for the final grade in this class.  

My only criticism of this group's project is that it's not very visually appealing.  They should have used more images, headers, other graphic elements to help break up the text & help the readers understand the information they presented.

Group wiki guidelines

Your group project should be ~1 new page per person in the group.  
You’ll have no more than 15 minutes to present your wikis.

One of your pages should be an overview of the topic you’ve chosen:
  • Definition of the phenomenon/activity/idea
  • Overview / links out to the rest of the pages
  • Anything else that you feel would enrich this “landing page”

At least one of your pages should contain the CB theories that relate to your topic:
  • Include links to wikis from the semester that are relevant
  • Also include links to other relevant sites

If appropriate, other pages can include:
  • the history of your phenomenon
  • real world examples of your topic
  • multi-cultural/cross-cultural/sub-cultural variations on the theme
  • CB phenomena that are related (but not the same) as your topic
  • etc. -- be creative!  

Your topic should be a “big” enough phenomenon that you can come up with amazing, interesting, “fat” pages full of info that will mesmerize the rest of us during your presentation (and make us want to go back and revisit your wiki after the class is over). Break out your info onto individual sub-topical pages as appropriate -- whatever is the most logical organization of your information is the format you should use.

Make sure your pages are unified, i.e., they look like they're all part of the same project (as opposed to 5 people's individual work stuck into the same electronic document).

Don’t try to talk about everything you include in your wiki during the presentation.  Just make sure you talk about the most relevant info -- you can include a lot more stuff that you discuss during your 15 minutes of fame.

Here's the Google doc with the same instructions, if you want to print them out, etc.

Image source: http://oddmuse.org/pics/HowWikiWorksImage.png

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Babies study guide (and other stuff)

Study guide: You asked for it, you got it!  I'll hand out hard copies in class tomorrow, too.

REMINDER:  The date for case #3 (about Babies and culture) has been moved to next Wednesday, April 25.

If we need to, we will use Monday, April 23 to finish up wikis, since there are a lot of you who still need to present.  If we don't need to do wikis on Monday, we still need to get together to take care of end-of-semester business:
  • Working on your group wikis
  • Answering questions you might have about case #3
  • Filling out Knapp forms

To make coming to class more, uh, palatable, I'll bring Granny's donuts.  Okay?  So everyone come!

Note:  I'll be posting fairly extensive instructions/guidelines/examples for your group wikis this afternoon, so stay tuned...

Image sources: 

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm such a good mom!

Note: there is a full, clean sippy cup of water just out of the frame...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Babies case material & Q1

Please read the following articles / websites in order to answer the questions for case #3.

Case 3, Question 1:
One recurring – and valid – critique of this movie is that the filmmakers don’t really represent reality, or offer much deep insight, into the lives of babies around the world.  Using the articles above, your textbook, and other sources (if you choose) to support your answer, discuss, in detail, what this film CAN teach us about consumer behavior within the four cultures it focuses on.

Your answer should be both broad and deep, i.e., don’t just mention one or two aspects of CB.  Really dig and see how much you can learn from this “text.”  And remember, as always, to cite everything you write about!

Image source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_f97gXEQkmUo/TQpPihzBrUI/AAAAAAAAC-Y/HvNfq8DKZLk/s1600/Babies.jpg

Monday, April 2, 2012

When you have some free time...

This is a fascinating article about the first official women's football (i.e., soccer) teams in the UK.  Funny, the Scottish team captain used the pseudonym "Mrs. Graham."

It's a quick read, and contains a lot of interesting info: Riots! Crowds numbering in the 1000s! Scandalously revealing outfits!  And more!

Image source: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/12/08/article-2071635-0F1A084100000578-679_634x419.jpg

Study guide for case #2

 Here you go -- use it wisely...  :-)

Image source: http://www.robertsewell.ca/charlscholars.jpg

Monday, March 26, 2012


Who's version of "Changes" is cooler:




Please note the following changes to the Consumer Behavior schedule for the next few weeks:

(W) March 28:  Start Beckham

(M) April 2: Finish movie and discuss
(W) April 4:  Case 2

(M) April 9: Individual and family decision making wikis (chapters 8 & 11)
(W) April 11:  Watch Babies

(M) April 16: Finish any decision making wikis. Consumers & culture wikis (chapter 15)


Regarding changes to the grading policy of this class, you have 2 options:

1)  No change from the syllabus -- submit all assignments, and have your grade taken as a percentage of points out of a possible 250.

2)  Drop your lowest grade (book review or case study), and have your final grade taken as a percentage of points out of a possible 230.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Case 2, Q 1

 Hi everyone,

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything!

Here's the first (take-home) question for Case 2.  I strongly advise you to familiarize yourselves with the information from the Solomon book before we watch the movie next week -- it'll really help you know what to look for / take notes on when we're watching it.

Please let me know if you need more explanation to help you answer it.

Good luck, and have fun!

In Bend it Like Beckham, Jess is shown being a member of two subcultures -- Indian Britons and female soccer players.    
*Using substantial information from your textbook to support your answer*, identify and discuss defining elements of these subcultures  (e.g., diet, religion, clothing/fashion, romance, family structure, career/education expectations, leisure activities, household décor, etc.). 

Then, *using substantial information from your textbook to support your answer*, discuss how the members of these subcultures (not just Jess) use consumption to help create identities for themselves and express their personalities and lifestyle preferences.

Finally, please note whether you think these portrayals are stereotypes, and justify your opinion, *using substantial information from your textbook to support your answer*.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The good ol' days

I first came across this cola ad (actually, a parody of '50s advertising created by The City Desk) while taking a stroll through a feature called "Ads We Will Never See Again."  Even though it's really well done, the ad immediately set off my, uh, "satire detector"  because it's just a little too over the top.

Other ads in the series are real, however.  I actually own have a larger version of this PEP ad: 

It was a gift, naturally, from my first husband.  You can stop by my office and see it for yourselves, if you'd like!

Back to selling sugar to kids, this one is real, from 1971...

... as is this one, a shout-out to Bozemanites if there ever was one!

Image sources:
Photos 1, 2 & 4 from http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/photo-galleries/2012/02/01/ads-we-will-never-see-again/photo-86020/
Photo 3 from http://www.ed4wb.org/?p=169

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Celebrate good times, come on!

Congratulations to everyone for completing your first case study!

You should reward yourself (i.e., self-gift) by taking some time to relax and treat yourself to something special...

Hot Dog Tea
Spike Full EpisodesSpike Video ClipsSpike on Facebook

Image source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_eQ6SG5qNy0c/TOqUn_c6wdI/AAAAAAAADLY/4R8IiYcxFWE/s1600/disco-dancing-sil.jpg

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Case 1, Question 1

Hi everyone,

Here's the first question for the first case study (due next Wednesday, Feb 29).

Obviously, it requires a lot of reading, and a lot of thinking, before you can really start writing.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to do a good (or great!) job on this assignment.  If you leave it to the last minute, you might find yourself freaking out...

Remember, you need to submit both your answers to Turnitin.  Also, you'll be using your code names on the copies you turn into me to grade.

Finally, please consider visiting the BBCC to sharpen up your answer to Q1; I guarantee it'll help you answer Q2 as well!

Image source: http://artsyspot.com/img/misc/steampunk-computer-made-from-antique-organ/steampunk-computer-made-form-antique-organ02.jpg

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(Baby) sick day

Hi everyone,

Sorry to cancel at the last minute -- I have a sick baby at home, and my schedule could flex more than my husband's today.

If you're reading this at home before class, please note the following re turning in your book reviews:

·    Put only your code name on the hard copy
·    Hard copy in the file folder on my office door – Reid 347


·    Katrina (the TA) will pick up all the papers at the end of each class
·    Submit to Turnitin

I'll post materials & additional instructions for case study #1 here either today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, enjoy your week(end)!

Image credit: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--DvdMJBp1jM/TasUbyGpkqI/AAAAAAAABMU/AkTxCvlVdwA/s320/sick_baby.jpg

Thursday, February 16, 2012

An article published this month in the premiere CB journal, the Journal of Consumer Research, is totally relevant to the material we've been discussing in class recently.

Here's the opening paragraph:
       Stephanie, a first-year MBA student, is shopping for a new suit to wear to her internship   
       interviews. She finds a suit she likes and decides to try it on. As she approaches the dressing
       room, she sees another customer standing in front of a three-way mirror wearing the same suit
       she has in her hands. The customer is beautiful and looks stunning in the suit. Stephanie tries on
       the suit, is  not satisfied with how it looks on her, and decides to keep looking at another store.
       The question we examine in the current research is whether or not Stephanie’s evaluations of the
       suit would have been different had she not seen the other customer wearing it and what factors
       might influence this social comparison process.

From "Social Information in the Retail Environment: The Importance of Consumption Alignment, Referent Identity, and Self-Esteem," by Darren W. Dahl, Jennifer J. Argo, Andrea C. Morales

If you're on campus, you should be able to link to the full-text article seamlessly.  If you're off-campus (or if the on-campus link is sticky), you can access it through our wonderful library website (note: you have to log into the lib site to have access to any paid-for material).


Why am I pointing you in this direction, hoping that you'll read, or at least skim, the article?  Why is research important in general?  Why is research important at Montana State University?  Why should research be important to you, as an undergraduate?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oh yeah...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Your always-overthinking CB professor

Image source: http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/431248_10150603557673290_509738289_9037810_1357882801_n.jpg

Assignment instructions

Sorry to have been a slack blogger recently.  Crummy cold...

I've posted the link to the instructions for Book Review #1 in the sidebar to your left.

You should use your shiny new code names on these papers, and upload them to TurnItIn.  If I've recommended that you use the BBCC (as feedback on an earlier assignment), now is the time to start!

Image credit: http://fineartamerica.com/images-medium/american-idol-ed-slack.jpg

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sick day

I don't think anyone wants me within a mile of Reid Hall today -- I'm a walking germ bomb, averaging about 10-12 sneezes per hour. 

"Going viral": Good for marketing, bad for ... well... viruses.

We'll do today wiki presentations on Wednesday.  I apologize to everyone who burned the midnight oil to get your pages done on time for today!

Image source: http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll98/teenoff/nuclear-bomb-explosion.jpg