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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVI2014U  Graduate Consumer behavior

English Title
Graduate Consumer behavior

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Dr. Maxwell Winchester, Victoria University
    Patricia Plackett - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Business psychology
  • Marketing
  • Economic and organizational sociology
Last updated on 30-04-2015
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Assess the key academic literature in the field of consumer behaviour.
  • Appraise cognitive models including cultural, social and psychological influences.
  • Apply behavioural models including Double Jeopardy, Duplication of Purchase Law and Dirichlet Theory.
  • Evaluate the strategic and tactical implications associated with alternative consumer behaviour theories.
  • Question the value of traditional marketing practice and reflect on how the different approaches impact the marketing profession.
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites.
Useful background: As this is an advanced graduate course, it is recommended that students have studied to an intermediate level in marketing previously, e.g., a graduate course in marketing management or an undergraduate minor in marketing.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: A written assignment based on a case study due in Class 6 for which students have to consider the impact of empirical evidence on the way that they actually do marketing in practice.
Home project assignment:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

This interdisciplinary course offers an opportunity for the student to critically consider common approaches to marketing in light of empirical evidence. The course emphasises the use of knowledge about consumer behaviour in marketing decisions underpinned by empirical marketing science, and aims to develop critical thinking skills by challenging students’ beliefs about the way in which consumer behaviour works. Initially, an overview of traditional consumer behaviour models is presented. These models are then challenged with empirical evidence and alternative approaches are discussed.  Finally, practical marketing implications are considered.  


The Preliminary Assignment will require that students use their previous knowledge of marketing to outline the importance of segmentation, targeting and positioning. The Mandatory Mid-term Assignment involves a major case study in which students have to consider the impact of empirical evidence on the way that they actually do marketing in practice. The Home Assignment will require students to reflect on the academic readings undertaken during the course and consider the impact on their future practise as marketers.  

Class Schedule

Class Topic
Class 1

Introduction to Consumer Behaviour

Preliminary Assignment Due
Class 2 Influences on CB (1)
Class 3

Influences on CB (2)

Class 4

Questioning the Dominant Paradigm

Class 5

Behaviourism in Consumer Behaviour

Class 6

Empirical Generalisations in Consumer Behaviour

Mandatory Mid-Term Assignment Due

Class 7

Implications: Loyalty & Brand Growth

Class 8

Implications: Marketing Strategy

Class 9

Implications: Promotions & Branding

Class 10

Implications: Pricing

Class 11 Comprehensive Review
Teaching methods
This is a course in which learners are responsible for managing their own time in completing prescribed reading, undertaking further research and completing assessment tasks. Students are expected to participate in practical problem solving sessions, usually through team work in class, and through case study analysis. For every classroom-based contact hour it is expected that students will undertake another two hours of self-directed work.
Further Information

Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


The timetable will be available on http://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/summer-university-programme/courses in end-December.

Expected literature

Textbook: Sharp, B.  (2010).  How brands grow.  London, Sage.


Required Journal Readings:

Ehrenberg, A. S. C. (1993). "Even the Social Sciences Have Laws,” Nature, 365(30): 385.


Armstrong, J. S. (1991). "Prediction of Consumer Behavior by Experts and Novices," Journal of Consumer Research 18(September): 251-256.


Winchester, M., J. Romaniuk, et al. (2008). "Positive and negative brand beliefs and brand defection/uptake," European Journal of Marketing 42(5/6): 553-570.


Kennedy, R. and B. McColl (2012). "Bringing Science into Marketing at Mars Inc,," Journal of Advertising Research.


Rothschild, M. L. and W. C. Gaidis (1981). "Behavioural Learning Theory: Its Relevance to Marketing and Promotions," Journal of Marketing 45(Spring): 70-78.


Winchester, M. and G. Lees (2013). "Do radio stations in New Zealand target successfully?" Australasian  Marketing Journal 21: 52-58.


Sharp, B., M. Wright, et al. (2002). "Purchase Loyalty is polarised into either repertoire or subscription markets," Australasian Marketing Journal 10(3): 7-20.


Colombo, R., A. Ehrenberg, et al. (2000). "Diversity in analyzing brand-switching tables:  The car challenge," Canadian Journal of Marketing Research 19: 23-36.


Meyer-Waarden, L. and C. Benavent (2006). "The impact of loyalty programmes on repeat purchase behavior," Journal of Marketing Management 22(1/2): 61-88.


Uncles, M., R. Kennedy, et al. (2012). "In 25 years, across 50 categories, user profiles for directly competing brands seldom differ," Journal of Advertising Research, June: 252-261.


Ehrenberg, A. S. C. (2004). "What Brand Loyalty Can Tell Us," Admap (October): 36-38.


Kennedy, R. and A. Ehrenberg (2001). "There is No Brand Segmentation." Marketing Insights, Marketing Research 13(1): 4-7.


Romaniuk, J., S. Bogomolova, et al. (2012). "Brand image and brand usage: Is a forty-year old empirical generalization still useful?" Journal of Advertising Research, June: 243-251.


Ehrenberg, A. and J. Scriven (2002). "Is Coke Always Less Price-Sensitive Than Pepsi?" Marketing Insights, Marketing Research 14(4): 40-43.

Last updated on 30-04-2015