See attached

MAR 3211, Consumer Behavior 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VI

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

3. Explain how consumers interpret information about products and people.
3.1 Evaluate how consumers’ interpretation of a situation within a company affected buying.

5. Describe how self-perception influences consumers’ actions.

5.1 Explain how self-perception impacts the consumer decision-making process in a company.

8. Analyze how consumers evaluate product selections.
8.1 Describe how a consumer would evaluate product or service choices within an industry.


Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity


Unit Lesson
PowerPoint Presentation
Ayman and Kaya (2014) article
Fang, Wen, George, and Prybutok (2016) article
Haberstroh, Orth, Hoffmann, and Brunk, (2017) article
Schouten and McAlexander (1995) article
Case Study


Unit Lesson
PowerPoint Presentation
Fang, Wen, George, and Prybutok (2016) article
Haberstroh, Orth, Hoffmann, and Brunk (2017) article
Schouten and McAlexander (1995) article
Case Study


Unit Lesson
PowerPoint Presentation
Ayman and Kaya (2014) article
Schouten and McAlexander (1995) article
Case Study

Reading Assignment

In order to access the following resources, click the links below.

Click here to access the Unit VI PowerPoint presentation. (Click here to access a PDF version of the

Read pp. 1–2 and 5–8 in the article below.

Ayman, U., & Kaya, A. K. (2014). Consumption of branded fashion apparel: Gender differences in behavior.

Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 42, 1–8.


MAR 3211, Consumer Behavior 2


Read pp. 116–120 and 126–128 in the article below.

Fang, J., Wen, C., George, B., & Prybutok, V. R. (2016). Consumer heterogeneity, perceived value, and

repurchase decision-making in online shopping: The role of gender, age, and shopping motives.
Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 17(2), 116–131.

Read pp. 161–163, 167, and 170 in the article below.

Haberstroh, K., Orth, U. R., Hoffmann, S., & Brunk, B. (2017). Consumer response to unethical corporate

behavior: A re-examination and extension of the moral decoupling model. Journal of Business Ethics,
140(1), 161–173.

Read pp. 43–44 and 57–59 in the article below.

Schouten, J. W., & McAlexander, J. H. (1995). Subcultures of consumption: An ethnography of the new

bikers. Journal of Consumer Research, 22(1), 43–61.

Unit Lesson

Another impactful element on consumer buying is that of consumer culture. Think about your own culture and
how that affects your purchases. Culture can be defined as the societal beliefs that are tied to a certain social
group. Think about how Starbucks approaches countries where tea is the preferred drink over coffee (e.g.,
China). Starbucks’s strategy in these areas of China is to emphasize the idea of a gathering space with larger
stores while including tea on its menu.

Culture can actually provide meaning to certain objects and/or specific activities. Culture can also be tied to
expected activities and behaviors by certain groups, which varies from country to country. These are referred
to as cultural norms. These are unwritten but are known by all in the culture. Think about how Disney
experienced a cultural misstep when it opened a Disney park just east of Paris in 2002. It attempted to bring
Westernized family values of no alcohol being served to this location in France. Outwardly, this principle

(JerryUnderscore, 2013)

Starbucks sign

MAR 3211, Consumer Behavior 3


seems to align with its core mission, but it neglected to understand that it is culturally appropriate in France to
have a glass of wine with dinner. Disney quickly realized its mistake and modified these practices in France,
but consumer impressions were already formed, causing profitability numbers to be negatively impacted
(Karadjova-Stoev. 2016). These negative numbers are referred to as cultural sanctions or penalties
associated with culturally inconsistent behavior. From a strategic marketing standpoint, Disney could have
avoided these cultural sanctions with thorough research of the culture, customs, and practices within France
before opening its park doors. Global expansion should be a consideration of every company, but due
diligence is an important requirement to the successful expansion into global markets.

The root of culture can be drawn from traditions or even religious beliefs. One could argue that religious
practices create tradition or, conversely, that tradition creates religious beliefs. Whichever way you look at it,
religious practices provide a huge influence on consumer buying behavior. Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and
Christianity are four highly recognized religions. Religious beliefs can significantly affect diet and food
purchases. For instance, during Lent, Catholic Christians avoid meat, particularly on Fridays. Members of the
Jewish religion tend to eat kosher foods, and Islamic people avoid pork. Clothing is another area that marks
different religious cultures. For instance, some religious beliefs suggest that women should wear veils while in
public while others require certain styles or colors of clothing. Marketers need to understand these cultural
and religious differences, ensuring that they are adjusting their product offerings to align with these religious
beliefs. Many consumers are very passionate about their traditional cultural and religious beliefs and would be
offended if marketers went against these beliefs. Negative connotations such as this can have long-lasting
effects on consumer buying habits.

Another area of ethnic distinction is that of ethnic microcultures. Hispanic, Asian, African American, and White
Caucasian are four of the most commonly referred. Hispanics are the fastest growing segment in the United
States, and the Asian group is the fastest growing based upon percentages (Perreault, Cannon, & McCarthy,
2014). The Hispanic culture tends to place a high value on family values and family social gatherings. A
marketer might use advertising themes that emphasize these family values, family gatherings, and the
wholesomeness approach. The African American culture is characterized by a growing level of affluence over
the last decade. A marketer might target this group with higher-priced prestige products. The Asian culture
tends to be highly educated and highly affluent, drawn towards prestige brands and expensive products. This
group emphasizes the importance of education. They also tend to be drawn toward their home Asian foods
more than other cultures (Perreault et al., 2014). A restaurant owner looking to open a restaurant specializing
in Asian foods might look at the demographics of the area in which he/she is looking to open the restaurant.
Conversely, home sellers might target this population as their culture encourages home-buying practices.

Cinderella’s castle at EuroDisney
(Abigaildavidsm, 2013)

MAR 3211, Consumer Behavior 4


Another example is that of your college, Columbia Southern University, which might benefit from targeting the
Asian culture because of its value on participating in higher education.

Age subcultures provide an automatic bond for consumers because this is the group with which consumers
most easily identify. The commonalities with others in the same age subculture change as they age, but
the group members remain the same. Marketers are constantly reviewing age cohorts, looking to target
certain products to each age cohort as they advance through life cycles. The chart below identifies the
age subcategories.

This grouping identifies each subgroup based on an approximate age breakdown. Each of these groups will
not be attracted to the same products/services, and the methods that marketers need to use to reach each
group should also be different. Of these groups, the Baby Boomers have held the most significant economic
impact through each stage of their lifecycles, simply because of their sheer numbers. Older adults prefer
autonomy or self-sufficiency, connectedness or bonds with friends, and altruism or wanting to give back to
the world.

Within the Generation Y subculture, tweens, teenagers, Millennials, and Echo Boomers are included. The
teenager stage is an important age segment for marketers to focus. Many of the products purchased by this
group are feel-good products such as cosmetics, posters, and fast food. As teenagers struggle to find
themselves, they are continuously looking for reassurance and cues from their peers within their subgroup.
Advertising can be particularly impactful for this group as the importance of fitting in is high. The Millennials
and Echo Boomers are characterized by optimism about the future with an eye on change and progress.
They tend to be multitaskers that are incredibly tech-savvy as they are the first generation that grew up with
technology. Marketers need to stand up and take notice of this generation. Generation Z is quite young right
now, but these individuals are characterized as having had technology in their cribs. The marketing method
used to reach each of these groups can also be different. For instance, Generations Y and Z have grown
up with technology and, therefore, might be more drawn to digital marketing techniques. Conversely, the
Baby Boomers are probably better reached by print advertising such as newspapers, flyers, or even direct-
mail pieces.

In previous units, we discussed self-concept, which is also referred to as self-perception. As a reminder, this
is defined as reflections of the consumers’ attitudes toward themselves. The products and services that

The illustration shows age subcategories.

MAR 3211, Consumer Behavior 5


individuals choose to purchase tend to align with their personalities or, minimally, their perception of their
personalities. Combining this idea of self-concept with the topics covered in this unit, including ethnic cultures,
age cultures, and religious cultures, will provide marketers with a deeper understanding of the consumer. The
self-concept ties directly into these cultural beliefs, significantly affecting consumer buying.

Two other important topics related to culture are those of enculturation and acculturation. Enculturation refers
to the process by which consumers learn their native culture while acculturation refers to the process by
which consumers learn a culture other than their own. Understanding these processes provides marketers
with additional insight on how adjustments to different cultures influence the overall consumer buying process.
Other trends that affect consumer buying behavior are declining birth rates, increasing affluence, increasing
life expectancy, and increasing cultural diversity. Each of these trends will understandably have varying
effects on overall consumer buying behavior. Thinking through each of these, declining birth rates will lead to
a decrease in overall population. Increasing affluence theoretically leads to higher discretionary spending
levels, leading to higher levels of overall spending. Increasing life expectancy leads to the need for different
types of products to be geared toward the over 65-year-old age group. An example of this is the expanding
elderly home options that have appeared over the last decade. Finally, an increasingly diverse population
suggests that more products appealing to this diverse population will need to be offered.

Generally, people share an identification with subcultures, and these memberships influence their consumer
buying behavior. Gender roles; ethnic, racial and religious subcultures; and age all play important roles in
consumption decisions. It has been stated that birds of a feather flock together, referring to the common
feeling that people live and identify with people who share common consumption patterns. The idea for
marketers is to realize the increased efficiencies of their messages when they focus on the similarities among
consumers within their subgroups.


Abigaildavidsm. (2013). Disneyland, castle, Disney, Europe [Image]. Pixabay.

JerryUnderscore. (2013). Starbucks, coffee, sign, city [Image]. Pixabay.


Karadjova-Stoev, G., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2016). Strategic human resource management and global expansion

lessons from the Euro Disney challenges in France. The International Business & Economics
Research Journal, 15(3), 79–887.

Perreault, W. D., Cannon, J. P., & McCarthy, E. J. (2014). Basic marketing: A marketing strategy planning

approach (19th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Analyze the United Airlines events described in the timeline below with respect to its level of customer service. Take a look at the links below that will take you through a journey of brand issues for United Airlines around alleged mistreatment of its customers.

March 31, 2008—It all started when the Sons of Maxwell tour was travelling to Nebraska via Chicago’s O’Hare airport. David Carroll’s $3,500 guitar was damaged. United did not deny the damage, but after nine months it stated it could do nothing to compensate Carroll for the loss. Carroll promised to write and produce three songs about his experiences with United for everyone to view online. The first video was posted on July 6, 2009. Click here to access the transcript for the video, or click the following link to view the video below.
SonsofMaxwell. (2009, July 6). United breaks guitars [Video]. YouTube.

July 22, 2009—The Times of London wrote that this incident caused United Airlines’ stock price to plunge 10%, costing shareholders $180 million. Also, take a look at the number of hits the videos below received.

April 10, 2017—United Airlines reportedly overbooked a flight departing from Chicago’s O’Hare. Attempting to incentivize a passenger to give up his or her seat, it offered $800, but no volunteers came forward. United decided to randomly force four people to give up their seats. One of these four passengers refused, and United Airlines made the decision to have security forcibly remove this passenger from the plane. Videos of this event hit the Internet immediately. Click 
 to access the transcript for the video, or click the following link to view the video below.
Business Insider. (2017, April 10). Video shows a passenger forcibly dragged off a United Airlines plane [Video]. YouTube. 


April 11, 2017—The next day, United Airlines’ CEO responded. Click here to access the transcript for the video, or click the following link to view the video below.
CNBC. (2017, April 11). Social media ‘tears apart’ United’s response to removal of passenger | CNBC [Video]. YouTube.

April 11, 2017—Repercussions were significant with the general public and outcry was intense. Talk show hosts were having a field day, and stock prices plunged again. Click here to access the transcript for the video, or click the following link to view the video below.
TheEllenShow. (2017, April 11). Ellen on United Airlines’ latest headlines [Video]. YouTube.

April 12, 2017—Dave Carroll was contacted to compile a fourth video regarding United Airlines’ alleged disregard of customer service. Click here to access the transcript for his response, or click the following link to view the video below.
SonsofMaxwell. (2017, April 12). United breaks guitars 4? – Dave Carroll responds to customer service incident on United Flight 3411 [Video]. YouTube.

April 27, 2017—United Airlines’ response can be viewed below.
United Airlines. (2017, April 27). United Airlines announces changes to improve customer experience [Press release].

After reviewing these links, conduct your own research on the customer service issues United Airlines has had during the last 15 years. Applying what you have learned in this course, analyze its situation, and make recommendations going forward. Within your analysis, respond to the questions below.

How did the general population of consumers interpret the actions of United Airlines in each of these situations? Did these interpretations affect buying?
Do you agree or disagree with popular opinion on United’s level of customer service? Did United act unethically?
Assuming a potential customer knew about this series of events, discuss how the concept of self-perception might affect a potential customer’s decision to choose (or not choose) United Airlines for future flights.
After analyzing this case and your research, describe whether you personally would purchase a flight on United Airlines. Include your evaluation process and your rationale for choices in this industry. Hint: This also ties in with self-perception.
Your completed assignment should be double-spaced and should be a minimum of three pages in length. Besides the aforementioned sources, please use a minimum of two additional credible sources from the CSU Online Library to support your reasoning. Referenced sources must have accompanying citations to comply with APA guidelines.

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