Course Syllabus

Course Information
Course Expectations

Course Information

Course Description

In the Consumer Behavior Insights course, students explore how consumers make decisions and apply the knowledge to make strategic marketing decisions.

Understanding of various consumer segments is developed and applied as students take on decision-making roles to develop creative solutions for real-world case studies.

Consumer-driven marketing is evaluated by developing marketing objectives, positioning statements, strategies and tactics to achieve business goals. A decision-making framework is used to create communication strategies.

In-depth consumer knowledge of a sub-cultural segment is learned and applied as students conduct market research.

Students enrolled in the A2X competence learn, evaluate and apply design principles in various designs, including an original advertisement.

Various topic are assessed including: how consumer knowledge is collected, market segmentation, cultural and media influences on behavior, persuasive communication and development of consumer-oriented strategies.

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Competencies

In this course, you will develop the following competencies:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Understands and can apply the principles of effective intercultural communication.


Can evaluate the role and impact of mass media on society.


Can develop an original design based on an understanding of how design and strategy influence advertising.


Can evaluate influences on consumer behavior and create strategies for consumer communication.

Relationship of this course to the competence statements

In this course, students will develop skills and knowledge in the development of consumer behavior, which will result in demonstrated competence abilities in the H1A, H2G and FX competences. The evaluation of how culture is developed and the impacts that various variables have in this process, including mass media, will lay the foundation for consumer behavior understanding. Based on development of consumer behavior insights through research, strategies for communication are developed. Various exercises and examples enhance learning along with application of analysis frameworks. Students registered for the A2X competence will learn design principles and apply them in various designs throughout the course. Effective designs and processes are evaluated individually and with other students based on principles and strategies.

Assessment Criteria for each Competence

Course Resources

To buy your books, go to

Required Reading:

Schiffman, L. and Wisenblit L. (2015). Consumer Behavior Twelfth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Please note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit or competence in the School for New Learning.

Course Structure

This course consists of 10 modules. The time to complete each module/unit is one week. The assignments apply to all competencies except as noted.

The following table outlines the course:

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1: The Marketing Concept

Read Module 1 Content

Read Chapter 1 in your textbook

1.1 Introductions Discussion

1.2 The Marketing Concept Discussion

Week 2, Module 2: Mind of the Consumer

Read Module 2 Content

Read Chapters 2 and 16 in textbook

2.1 Mott's Research Analysis

2.2 Consumer Research & Product Ideas Discussion

2.3 Consumer Segmentation Discussion

Week 3, Module 3: Consumer Motivation and Reference Groups

Read Module 3 Content

Read Chapter 3 pages 54-67, 71-82
Read Chapter 4 pages  88-93,101-116

Additional Resources:


3.1 Comparative Analysis-Lux vs. Dove

3.2 Family/Peer Influence Discussion

3.3 Building Sales in a Weak Economy

Week 4, Module 4: Product Positioning

Read Module 4 Content

Read Chapter 5 pages 122-133, 140-141
Read Chapter 7

Read the case study on the Good Bake Cake company for the Persuasive Communication Discussion Assignment.

Read Positioning Statements, Statement of Benefits, Brand Objectives, and Communication Strategies (Module4AdditionalResources.pdf)

Read Creativity in Design (A2X Only)

4.1 Auto Purchase Positioning Analysis (H1A, H2G, FX)

4.2 Brand Positioning Discussion

4.3 Brand Passion Discussion

4.4 A2X Group Assignment: Movement in Design

Week 5, Module 5: Influence of Culture and Subculture


Read Module 5 Content

Read Chapter 11 and Chapter 12.


Optional Resources:

  • Module 5 Additional Resources
  • Read description of Cultural Segments

5.1 Cultural Segment Selection

5.2 Advertisement Selection

5.3 Mass Media Impact on Culture Analysis (H2G)

5.4 Culture and Subculture Analysis (H1A)

5.5 Cultural Miscommunication Discussion

5.6 Movement in Design (A2X)

5.7. Buzz Marketing Discussion

Week 6, Module 6: Consumer Attitudes & Persuasive Communication

Read Module 6 Content

Read chapter 6 pages 144-151 and chapter 9

Optional Resources

Module 6 Optional Resources

6.1 Research Analysis Reference List

6.2 Brand Promises that Support "Why Buy" Discussion

6.3 McDonalds Positioning in China Case Study

6.4 Great Design Discussion (A2X)


Week 7, Module 7: Socio-cultural Influence of Class & Lifestyle

Read Module 7 Content

Read Chapters 8 and 10


7.1 Research Draft

7.2 Socioeconomic & Lifestyle Influences Discussion

7.3 McDonalds & Lifestyle Changes Case Study

Week 8, Module 8: Applying Insights to Make Strategic Decisions

Read Module 8 Content

Read Chapter 14

8.1 Collaborative Case Analysis Discussion

  • Ad Objectives
  • Advertising Support
  • Target Audience
  • Consumer Need
  • Level of Involvement
  • Brand Benefit
  • Feel of the Ad
  • Controversy

Week 9, Module 9: New Product Adoption

Read Module 9 Content

Read Chapter 15

Read Assessment Criteria for your Research Analysis

9.1 Final Research Paper

9.2 Product Success or Failure

Week 10, Module 10: International Perspectives on Consumer Behavior

Read Module 10 Content

Read Chapter 13

10.1 Communication Strategy Analysis

10.2 Advertising Creative Design Analysis (A2X)

10.3 International Marketing Discussion

10.4 Ethics of Advertising

10.5 Trends Perspective

10.6 Learning Reflection


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Assessment of Learning

Student learning will be assessed based on participation in discussion forums, a research report, communication strategy analysis, case analyses, exercises, one collaborative analysis and a summary perspective statement.

Consumer Behavior Insights is a graded course. Your final grade will be based on performance and completion of the assignments that are required.

The learning outcomes for each module will be used to assess achievement of the competencies that you are fulfilling.

Percent Distribution of Assessments

Type of Graded WorkPercent of Grade



Case Analyses


Final Research Analysis

20% (H1A, H2G, A2X) or 26% (FX)

Communication Analysis

13% (H1A, H2G, A2X) or 20% (FX)

Competence Specific Analysis (H1A, H2G, A2X)

13% (H1A, H2G, A2X)

Learning Reflection


Students registered for FX and one other competence (H1A, H2G, A2X) only submit the assignment for their other competence.

Grading Policies and Practices

To complete the course, you must complete each of the assignments as described in the course and submit them to your instructor by the assigned deadline.  In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forum by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as necessary.

Points are deducted for late work.

Assessment Criteria for Written Assignments

Assessment of written assignments will be based on:

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Consider visiting the Writing Center to discuss your assignments for this course or any others. You may schedule appointments (30 or 50 minutes) on an as–needed or weekly basis, scheduling up to 3 hours worth of appointments per week. Online services include Feedback–by–Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam). All writing center services are free.

Writing Center tutors are specially selected and trained graduate and undergraduate students who can help you at almost any stage of your writing. They will not do your work for you, but they can help you focus and develop your ideas, review your drafts, and polish your writing. They can answer questions about grammar, mechanics, different kinds of writing styles, and documentation formats. They also can answer questions and provide feedback online, through IM/webcam chats and email.

Obviously, the tutors won’t necessarily be familiar with every class or subject, but they are able to provide valuable help from the perspective of an interested and careful reader as well as a serious and experienced student-writer.

Schedule your appointments with enough time to think about and use the feedback you’ll receive. To schedule a Face-to-Face, Written Feedback by Email, or Online Appointment, visit

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Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

Your participation in online discussions will be based on the following:

Online Participation Guidelines

Each student is expected to make at minimum one contribution per discussion in the forum. To maximize your participation grade, address each question in each topic in an insightful manner that builds on the input of others. Your responses to both instructor questions and to other students' comments will enhance the learning experience for all students.

Your contributions to discussions should include a supporting statement(s). Draw from your text readings, magazines, work or any personal experiences, etc. to explain why you agree/disagree with another student or why you have the perspective that you have.

Text does not carry the tone and nuances of face-to-face conversations. Students read messages through their own perceptions, so misinterpretation is both easy and common. Congenial interaction in online conversations facilitates the learning process. Extra attention is needed in online dialogue for these reasons.

These discussions are a place for you to exchange ideas with the others in the class related to specific topics on a weekly basis.

In on-line courses, the student is an interactive learner with the instructor providing guidance and mentoring.

Electronic Submissions and Communications

Assignments should be submitted electronically via D2L in the Dropbox area of the course. Microsoft Word is the supported word processing software. Word revision tools will be used to correct student work. Zipped files should not be sent; zipped files will not be read. E-mail communications with the instructor are the preferred and primary format. Graded work will not be faxed to students.

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Course Expectations

Time Management and Attendance

SNL's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SNL involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

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Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

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Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SNL welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SNL's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SNL can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SNL Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

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Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

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Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.

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Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

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DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the Incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

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Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SNL undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SNL students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:There are three SNL courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SNL courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SNL's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SNL offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

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For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Students seeking disability-related accommodations are required to register with DePaul's Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) enabling you to access accommodations and support services to assist your success. There are two office locations:

Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
Loop Campus: Lewis Center 1420. (312) 362-8002
Lincoln Park Campus: Student Center 370. (773) 325-1677

Students are also invited to contact their instructor privately to discuss your challenges and how the instructor may assist in facilitating the accommodations you will use in this course. This is best done early in the term and the conversation will remain confidential.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us.

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Protection of Human Subjects

For more information see:

Demonstrating the acquisition of competencies in this course can involve "interactions"—interviewing and or observing other people—discussing those interviews or observations with other class members and writing them up in one or more final report(s). As such, these activities qualify as "research" with "human subjects" and are subject to University and Federal guidelines. Because it takes place in the context of this course, your research is exempt from approval by the School for New Learning's Local Review Board only under the following conditions:

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Copyright and Student Privacy

In accordance with DePaul’s Acceptable Use Policy, commentary and materials within SNL Online classes shall not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without the express written consent of individuals involved.

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This course was designed and produced by Halina Cowin and staff at SNL Online of the School for New Learning of DePaul University.

©2010 School for New Learning, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SNL during contractual interval with the Author.

Printed in the USA.

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