AEM 3440 – Consumer Behavior – Wansink

1.  Why is the course valuable to entrepreneurial students?

Students in AEM 3440 learn how to specifically target consumers, a skill that is essential to building a successful business.  The psychology behind consumer decisions is uncovered and discussed.  Through a variety of class projects, students get several opportunities to actively work through a marketing problem they have encountered in the real world, or one they think they might in a future business.  The class also details and allows active practice of important techniques for better understanding potential consumers such as laddering, influence strategies, and prototyping.

2.  What kind of students should/should not take this course?

Students with a passion for creative thinking and an interest in exploring the psychology and strategy involved in attracting consumers’ attention do well in this course.  Students should have a sense of curiosity, and be able to look at common situations and ask themselves, “Why does that work or not work?”  Students should also be comfortable sharing their ideas even when they’re not sure that the idea is perfect.

3.  What are the challenges associated with taking this course?

  • You will need to think in a way you may not be comfortable with at first.  You will need to develop innovative solutions without the answer being specifically given to you.  You’ll need to continue to ask questions, and ask for help when you need it.
  • You will need to be comfortable trying out marketing techniques before they are explicitly explained in class.  You can’t be afraid to encounter a setback the first time, and you need to be able to learn from mistakes.  It would also be helpful to have good writing skills.
  • You will need to maintain a sense of curiosity about the world around you, and not be afraid to talk to champions and stakeholders in the areas you’re investigating.

4.  Other points the professor wants to share about this course?

This course will give you real insight into how to best reach consumers in a variety of settings.  From attendance at football games, to vegemite, to Bond movies, this course explains how companies have successfully and unsuccessfully attempted to influence their target demographics.  Students will leave the course with a better understanding of how to actually shift consumer behavior, making them more equipped to become successful entrepreneurs, consultants, academics, or consumers themselves

For more information on Professor Brian Wansink.

For more information on the course.