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Consumer Product Perceptions

Module Details
Audience: Senior Executives
Duration: 2-4 hours
Location: Miami Herbert Business School, University of Miami


Consumers are key to every business. Businesses start, grow, and survive as long as they understand what drives consumer demand to their products. One key issue in this process is to recognize the importance of how consumers perceive new and existing products.

For instance, every year, on average 30,000 new products are introduced to the market. 80% of these products fail. While there are many reasons of this astounding failure rate, we will approach this issue from the consumer perspective. Similarly, firms often improve their existing products. How are such improvements perceived by consumers? This question is important because product perceptions to a large extent determine product evaluations and, hence, purchase behavior. In addition, during the consumption stage, perceptions affect product experiences and satisfaction, resulting in repeat-purchases and positive word-of-mouth.

The objective of this module is to provide a framework to managers to use in their product development and marketing communications efforts to enhance consumer reactions to firms’ products. We will investigate via a series of case discussions and in-class activities:

The factors that influence consumers’ perceptions of products in a diverse set of industries such as:

What is common to all these industries when it comes to consumers’ product perceptions? What are the differences? How do we take lessons from the commonalities and differences so as to formulate better marketing strategies?

What do consumers pay attention to when:

How do consumers make inferences on product quality and effectiveness? How do these inferences affect purchase decisions and consumption experiences, including satisfaction?


Caglar Irmak

Caglar Irmak is Associate Professor of Marketing at Miami Herbert Business School. His research focuses on consumer behavior and how consumers make inferences about products and firms. More specifically, he conducts experiments to investigate how consumers make inferences about effectiveness and healthfulness of products such as pharmaceuticals, energy enhancers (e.g., coffee, energy drinks), and foods in bringing about the claimed effects. Further, his research investigates how consumers think about prosocial behavior and corporate social responsibility initiatives in helping a focal cause, which influences purchase decisions, firm perceptions, as well as consumption experiences. He teaches Consumer Behavior both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
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