Why do consumers around the world make some of the decisions they do? How are consumer behaviors influenced by marketing messages, other people, and factors such as culture and context? This course will examine factors influencing the acquisition, consumption, and disposition of products, services, and ideas. First, we will examine basic psychological processes that take place within the mind of the consumer. Topics here will include consumer perceptions, learning, memory, motivation, the self, personality, decision-making, and attitudes. Second, we will examine external influences on consumer behavior, such as the opinions of others/social influence, situational factors, and cross-cultural differences. This course is based on disciplines such as psychology, sociology, social psychology, and anthropology. Throughout the trip you will put your learning to work, not only to observe your own consumption behaviors, but to be an ethnographic or participant observer of the consumption behaviors of a wide range of culturally diverse consumers and marketers you will encounter in the countries that we visit while traveling around the world.
Field ClassCountry: Japan
Day: 2 - Kobe - Friday, 30 January
The field lab will visit a sake museum to discuss how this uniquely Japanese alcoholic beverage is produced and marketed to the world. We will also have a lunch featuring world-famous Kobe beef, then tour a Kobe beef farm. There also, we will discuss how and this Japanese product appeals to consumers all over the world. What consumer needs and wants do Japanese products such as sake and Kobe beef respond to? Why are Japanese products so highly valued? How are country of origin effects at work here? What global consumer trends are driving demand for sake and Kobe beef? Academic Objectives: 1. Understand the role of country of origin effects in consumer behavior. 2. Understand the interaction of global consumer trends, and demand for specific products. 3. Understand how marketers use unique production processes, as well as cultural factors, to design products that appeal to a global consumer.