According to the list of topics given below, and using sources such as academic journals, Fortune, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, etc., you are to select a “real world” marketing or current consumer behaviour related issue that interests you. It could also be an organisation or company that interest you. You should also emphasise under what area the problem or focus is and make sure the issue addresses a specific topic or a specific area. For example, you may choose a topic related to middle-class consumers and look at a specific issue such as “Prestige Goods and Ostentatious Consumption” or “Consumer Motivation and the Phenomenon of Middle Aged Harley Bikers”. Some examples of consumer behavior issues include: (1) How Do Marketers Shape Young Consumers’ Self Concept?, (2) Which Type of Consumers Collect Certain Products? (e.g. Antique Cars), (3) Understanding the Psychology and Consumption Behaviour of Malaysians and (5) Experiential Marketing and Appealing to Consumers’ Senses. You should then analyse, evaluate, and critique the marketing issue in terms of the concepts and theories we have covered in class. Then, you are to provide your recommendations. The aim is to analyse the consumer behaviour inherent in some real-world situations and develop marketing recommendations based on that analysis. A. Introduction Provide a background of the topic and explain the purpose of the study. B. Consumer Behaviour Issues/Problem You should identify ONE specific consumer behaviour issue that is relevant to the marketing topic you have chosen. It is important to be quite specific in your problem definition (e.g., Are the issues related to consumer attitudes, cognitive decision making, or perception?). C. Consumer Analysis and Applications of Relevant Theories The heart of your project is your creative analysis of the basic consumer behaviour issues involved in your marketing problem. You should identify and apply any TWO (2) relevant concepts, models, and theories discussed during the semester (e.g. learning, perception, decision-making, learning, motivation, attitude formation, social influences, etc.). By using these concepts, study, understand and explain the issues you are focused on. D. Marketing Recommendations Be sure to discuss the marketing recommendations that you would make based on your analysis of relevant consumer behaviour phenomena. For instance, how would you package your product in a way that maximises impact given what you know about attention and perception? How would you promote your product given the level of involvement your target market has in your product and the decision-making process your target consumers follow? How should companies change their marketing strategies to improve product positioning, enhance the consumer experience with the product, and enhance their level of satisfaction? E. Conclusions and Marketing Implications Conclude by considering the implications of your analysis, discussion or recommendations for marketers and consumers. What does your recommendation imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, your recommendations may be unconventional and require further research by others. The conclusion might make a new but related point that the ideas, on the whole, suggest that such an integration is (or isn’t) possible for the problem identified. Avoid summarising your research paper. You will be evaluated on your choice of consumer behaviour issues being relevant to the marketing problem, the use of specific concepts from the textbook and class discussions, and the strategies that you recommend. Assume that the audience for your paper has read the textbook and other readings for this module and attended the class lectures/discussions.
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