Applying Consumer Behavior Concepts

A class presentation (30 minutes + 5 minutes) is required for the group project, in addition to a written report. The purpose of the project is to apply consumer behavior concepts and theories to the study of marketing problems/issues. The group paper should be no more than 12 pagers, double-spaced, 1-inch margins. Work may be divided among group members; however, all group members should contribute equally to the project. In addition to an overall group grade, you will also be “graded” by other members of your group when necessary.Listed below are a number of options that your group can choose for the project. Select an option that you are interested in.Develop a list of attributes that may be salient for local restaurants. For three local restaurants, survey 50 people about their attitude toward the restaurants. In other words, use multi-attribute model of attitudes to ask people about their views on the restaurants ( i.e., ask people to rate a restaurant according to whether the restaurant has attribute …, and also how important attribute … is to the person; using this information, determine overall attitude toward each restaurant). What implications do your results have for restaurant managers? How can a manger improve the image of his/her restaurant? On what, if any, dimensions does a particular restaurant perform well?You should also collect some information on peoples’ background characteristics (ie, demographics). Are there any differences in the type of clientele that each restaurant serves? What are the marketing implications of your results?Watch three hours of prime time network television (Do not use cable television channels for this project). Code the ads for: who you think the target audience is (men, women, or both), the actors used in the ad (male, female, groups), and how the genders are portrayed in the ad. In particular, ads should be coded to reflect dimensions of masculine and feminine sex roles. For example, one aspect of the masculine sex role is assertiveness. Based on your coding of ads, you should be able to determine how often men are portrayed as assertive and how often women are portrayed as assertive in the ads shown. Once you have coded the ads for characteristics of gender roles, analyze your results. That is, base on what you observed, what can you conclude about gender roles today? How women are portrayed in ads and how well does this fit with traditional women’s gender roles? How well do the men’s portrayals fit traditional male gender roles? Given your observations, what can you conclude about the state of gender role todayWatch two hours of Saturday morning children’s programming. Record how many ads are shown? What types of products are advertised? Are there any frequently used techniques and themes across the ads (i.e., cartoon characters, bright colors, etc)? What impact might these types of ads have on children’s values over time? Next, watch two hours of prime time programming and record how many ads are shown. What types of products are advertised? Are there any frequently used techniques and theme (i.e., Comparative ads, one-side appeals, humor, etc) across the ads? What impact might these types of ads have on adults’ value over time?Based on your observation, discuss the relationship between advertising and consumers’ values.Visit a grocery store and observe interactions between parents and children in the cereal aisle. Collect data for 50 parent-child dyads. Hint: you should develop a coding sheet before you actually undertake your observations. You may want to include such categories as the sex and apparent age of children, apparent social class of the family, who initiate selection of a cereal, what strategies children use to influence selection of a cereal (e.g., requests, throwing box in the cart, temper tantrum, etc), parents’ responses to requests (e.g., refusing, refusing with explanation, accepting, etc), who first suggested the cereal that was ultimately selected, etc. What do your observations indicate about children’s role in family purchases of cereal? What are the marketing implications of your results? Be sure to include examples of your coding sheet in the paper and tabulate your results. (Other hints: make sure that all group members who are observers use the same coding categories. Record days of week and times during which observations are made—these factors might affect your results).Make a log of all the commercials shown on one network television channel over a two-hour period. Do the same thing for a cable channel on the same day and time period (this can be done in two consecutive weeks). Categorize each commercial according to product category and whether they are presented as a drama or argument. Categorize each according to the type of message used (e.g., one vs. two-sided appeals, comparative ads, etc) and the type of spokesperson used (e.g., television actors, celebrities, company spokesperson, animated character, etc). You may also use other dimensions by which to code ads; the previously listed dimensions are examples. Based on your categorizations, what can you conclude about the dominant forms of persuasive appeals used by marketers? Were there any differences in types of commercials between the two networks? If so, why might this be the case? Be sure to include tables of your categorizations in the paper. (Videotapes of selected commercials may be helpful for the class presentation. Be sure to hand in your coding sheets of ads with your paper.)

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