This course has a number of goals and objectives, including:
- To appreciate how understanding consumers can lead to competitive advantages
- To introduce current knowledge of both substantive findings and theory about consumer behavior
- To provide concepts for understanding consumer reactions to marketing stimuli
- To improve the ability to identify potential applications of consumer behavior concepts and to utilize those concepts in analyzing marketing problems and determining marketing strategy
- To foster connections between consumer behavior variables and issues, and companies' marketing research techniques.
Out of all the subjects that you as a business
student might encounter during your studies, consumer behavior is the one you
have the most intimate first-hand knowledge of. You were a consumer long before starting your studies - you might even be an outright expert in some consumption field, such as your favorite hobby. Yet this familiarity
with consumption sometimes makes it difficult to develop a necessary critical
or analytical distance.
the concepts presented during the course will be numerous, I will actively
encourage reflection, criticism, deeper exploration, and creative applications
based on your own interests. This should also sensitize you to understand that
when it comes to understanding consumer behavior, there is no one correct answer;
rather different perspectives and explanations are often complementary.
Course format and requirements
This course will be heavy on student-lead content and different types of exercises, while lecturing will have a much lesser role (epecially on the classes during the second period) than you may have become accustomed to in mass lectures, As such, this course will require more of your own study.
Throughout the course you will be assigned compulsory readings to familiarize yourself with before the class, and the readings will be applied in class through exercises/exams (see Assignments) that carry 25% towards you final grade. Therefore, you are expected to come to class prepared, and failure to do so will likely have a significant negative effect on both your learning experience and your grade.
There is no final exam, but you will have several deliverables, both written and oral (see Assignments for more detail).
6 credits equals approximately 160 hours of work. Class will make up 34 hours, so you will spend 126 hours reading, writing, and doing group work.
In the table below is a likely allocation of the hours:
|Preparation to class exercises &
other independent study
|Group work (includes all assigment &
meetings with the instructors)
Attendance and participation
Class participation is an important part of the learning experience of this course. There are no formulas for attacking marketing problems; through discussion you should learn to ask the right questions and see how others approach answering such questions. Prior to each class, I expect each student to have read all assigned readings. Everyone is expected to be able to discuss the readings in class, so prepare well.
Attendance will not be formally tracked (except for the pitch session and the poster session) but meaningful, active participation can earn you up to 5% extra points towards you final grade. You may also contribute by engaging in discussion on the class Facebook group, in which you can ask questions, start discussions or debates, post relevant content etc.
If you do miss a class, it is your own responsibility to get notes, assignments, exercises, or other
materials from another student.
*Please let me know as soon as possible if you have an acceptable reason for being absent (i.e. acute personal illness, medical appointment, court appointment, a family emergency, a funeral service, or a similar unavoidable engagement). Work duties, attending sports events, poor time management, assignments for other classes, or personal travel are not acceptable reasons. Missing a class does not excuse you from or change assignment due dates.
Course policies in and out the classroom
No cheating of any kind will be tolerated - this includes plagiarism, but any other forms of academic dishonesty, such as:
- Buying written papers or analyses from suppliers online or offline
- Writing with fellow classmates on assignments meant to be done individually.
- Copying other group's work, including their ideas, and turning them in as your own
- Not using citations when referring to other people's work, or not using quotation marks for any direct quotes
If you are not sure whether something constitutes as cheating, ask!
written assignments are to be done individually.They are not a collaborative effort. Any work turned in with the same answers and
showing a clear pattern of collaborative effort will be considered cheating and
will be dealt with according to the rules dictated by Aalto University.
- Be on time in class! If you have to be late, or if you have to leave early, do so discreetly and sit nearby the door.
- Turn your electronic devices on silent
- I do not forbid the use of laptops, tablets, or phones in class, but I expect you to use them discreetly
- If you are expecting an
important phone call and have to keep your ring tone on, please let me know beforehand.
Please leave the classroom to engage in any such personal
- If you want to take photos or make a voice recording during a class, it is professinal courtesy to ask for permission.
- Be courteous towards you class mates
- In class this mean listening to others, not interrupting them when they speak, and participating in any exercises and discussions other groups have designed.
- When doing group work, pull your own weight: participate equally, follow mutually agreed upon deadlines, do your very best. You are not only responsible for your own grade, but for your mates' as well!
- Be courteous in your communication with the instructor(s)
- Before you ask the instructor to ask about practicalities, read the syllabus. If the question is not answered in the syllabus, or if you need clarification on something, please use the discussion forum in MyCourses
- Do not ask for special treatment, such as extra assignments to make up for missed ones, because 1) the instructor has to treat everyone equally - therefore accommodations can only be made in special cases (such as disabilities) and 2) extra assignments for students actually mean extra work for the instructor
On the course you can
earn max. 100 points, ie. 100% of the grade.
Here's a rough breakdown for the grade (please check the assignment section for more details):
|Assignment|| % of the final grade
|Student-led class exercise
The points will be converted to the final grade as follows:
|90 points and over||5|
|80 to 89 points||4|
|70 to 79 points||3|
|60 to 69 points||2|
|50 to 59 points||1
points and under
- All "official" course communication from the instructor and course assistant will take place through News forum. Anything posted in that forum will be forwarded to your Aalto email, so please make sure you check it periodically.
- Please use the Discussion forum if you have any questions or feedback regarding course topics, lectures, materials, assingments etc.
- I will not be answering any inquiries regarding anything that can be easily found in the syllabus via my personal email.
- Please only use email if the
matter is very personal or very urgent (ie. you are missing a class because you are home sick, or there is a problem with MyCourses).
For most classes, you will be assigned conpulsory reading(s), but there are also a two generally required texts:
- Ariely, Dan. (2008) Predictably irrational. New York: HarperCollins.
- McCracken, Grant. (2011) Chief culture officer: How to create a living, breathing corporation. Basic Books
- Thaler, Richard H. & Sunstein, Cass R. (2008)
Nudge: Improving decisions about health,
wealth, and happiness
Buying a copy for these books is highly recommended. Cheap copies are available on paperback on Amazon, for example.