NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2011

Instructor Details

Assael, Henry



Tues. & Thurs. 12:30-1:30 & 3:30-4:00

Tisch 810


Course Meetings

TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

KMC 4-60

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

Marketing involves two basic sets of activities.  The first is identifying customer needs and positioning the product or service to satisfy those needs.   (This requires rigorous analysis of the competition, the customer, the environment, and the company’s own capabilities.)  The second set of activities involves delivering value to customers based on their needs.  This requires (1) developing a product to meet customer needs, (2) letting the customer know about the product in an attention-getting, convincing, and motivating way,  (3) getting it to the customer through the best combination of distribution channels, and (4) pricing it effectively so customers perceive value in the product.  At any point along the way, failure to get one of these activities right may result in the failure of the product.  Positioning is the key to product success, but even a perfect product with brilliant positioning won’t last long if its benefits are not clearly communicated to the right people, if its price is too high or too low, if it is sold through the wrong retailers, displayed poorly, etc., etc. 

In this course, you will be introduced to marketing principles meant to define customer needs.  Course assignments will give you an opportunity to identify markets and formulate strategy.


Course Objectives

The objectives of this course are to:

  1. Introduce you to concepts of marketing that result in identifying and meeting customer needs
  2. Understand how firms identify customer value and marketing opportunities
  3. Understand how firms deliver value to customers
  4. In so doing, help you develop analytical skills to assess and solve marketing problems

Provide a foundation for other business courses and advanced marketing electives.


Required Course Materials

The following should be picked up from the marketing department(8th floor Tisch)

                  The text will be distributed for free. 

The following should be purchased from the bookstore:  

-  A packet of  five  Harvard Business School cases as follows:  (1) Apple Computer

   2006,  (2) Eastman Kodak: Funtime Film (3) Cola Wars: Coke &  Pepsi 2006,

   (4) Saturn: A Different Kind of Car Co. (5) Virgin Mobile USA: Pricing for the Very

    First Time.”


Assessment Components

Class Attendance and Participation (15%)

Class participation is based on the following:

  1. Attendance: Your attendance is an essential features for learning.  You are expected to attend all class sessions.  Missing  classes will adversely affect your participation grade.  Frequent lateness will also adversely affect the class participation grade.  Classes will start promptly at the designated time
  2. Participation in class discussions is highly desirable and encouraged. Before coming to class, you are expected to read the text, assigned readings, and cases.  My lectures will build on these.  The frequency, and the quality of class participation will count toward your grades. Volunteering comments and responding to questions is welcome at all times.  To insure broad-based participations, you may be occasionally asked to respond even though you do not volunteer a comment.

NOTE: Please turn in your information form on the last page of this syllabus

              by  Jan.  27.

Exams (50%)

  1. Two Mid-terms (30%)

There will be two  mid terms session 9 (Feb. 17) and session 19 (March 31.)  The mid-terms will be composed of quantitative assignments representing about 25% of the exam and essay questions representing the other 75%.  Each mid-term will cover approximately one-third of the course.  The exams will be based primarily on the power point slides. lecture materials and the two handouts in reading packet #1. 

2.  Final Exam (20%)

The final exam will cover the last third of the course and will be held during the normal examination period.    The final exam will be made up of essay questions. The date will be announced.  Like the mid-terms, the final exam will be based primarily on the power point slides. lecture materials.

You will be provided with “takeaways” for each class session that will serve as a study guide for the exams.  You will be allowed to bring in one page of notes, one-sided, to each exam.  Typed or hand-written notes should be no smaller than a 10 point font.

No make-up will be offered for the 3 exams except for certified medical absences.

Two Individual Cases:  15%

There will be two individually prepared cases of not more than three pages (double-spaced, one-inch margins).  Each case will represent 7.5% of the grade.  The cases are:

Cases are in the case packet you purchased from the bookstore.  The questions you should address for the two cases are in Appendix A.  Do not summarize material from the case or reproduce exhibits in the case as Appendixes.  Get right into the analysis of each question starting with the first paragraph.

Cases can not be submitted once they are discussed in class.  It is imperative you submit the cases prior to class discussion, otherwise you will receive no credit.

Group Case: Cola Wars: Coke & Pepsi 2006  (15%)  

You will analyze the Coke & Pepsi  case in groups of 4-5.  The write-up should be based on the questions in appendix B.  The case should be no longer than 6 pages excluding Tables and Exhibits.   The case is due March 10..  You should form your own groups by Feb. 3..   If you are not in a group by that date, I will randomly assign you to some group that has less than 4 members.  The case is in the packet purchased from the bookstore.  Late cases will not be accepted.

Marketing Research Assignment/Subject Pool (5%)

Companies often need to learn more about their current and potential customers – who they are, what they want, how they make choices, how they use products, etc. One of the best ways for them to gather information is to design and conduct research studies themselves, or to engage an outside company to do it for them. We will discuss the marketing research process in class, during Session  8 (Chapter 21 in text).

The Marketing Research Assignment is designed to enrich your understanding of the value of research to the formulation of sound marketing strategy.  It consists of two options -- you can choose either one, or a combination of both.  That is, to satisfy the Marketing Research Assignment, you need a combined total of three experiments and/or Marketing Research Exercises.

Option 1: Subject Pool Participation.

The first option is participation in the Marketing Department Subject Pool. This gives you an opportunity to be part of marketing research in action and later evaluate it with the advantage of firsthand experience.  With this option, you will be a subject (participant) in three studies (under an hour each) currently being conducted by Marketing Department faculty. (Note that while the people running the studies are usually Ph.D. students, they are conducting the research for or with members of the Marketing Department faculty, who supervise them closely.) Once these studies are finished, you will receive written debriefings on each. 

Participation in the Subject Pool is easy and usually enjoyable for most students. All you have to do is show up for the studies and follow instructions. You may participate in one, two or three studies but you must participate in a combined total of three studies and/or Market Research Exercises (see Option #2 below for more information).  While the studies are usually fun, they are also serious.  Therefore, you should take them seriously and provide honest and careful responses to all questions you are comfortable answering. You will not be required to answer any question(s) that make(s) you feel uncomfortable. Sign-ups will occur on-line three times during the term (once for each study assigned to our class) and the sessions for that study will usually occur within the next week or two. You will be informed when sign-ups become available for each study.

At the beginning of each study, the experimenter will explain what the study is about, what your rights are as a participant in the study, and any risks or special benefits of participation. You will be asked to read and sign a consent form stating that you agree to participate in the study. You will be given one copy of the consent form to keep. If you prefer not to participate in the study, or if you withdraw from the study once you begin, you may complete one of the Marketing Research Exercises described below (see Option #2) and will receive the same credit as if you had completed the experiment.

[For students who are under 18 years of age:  If you would like to participate in the subject pool studies but are under 18 years of age, it is a Federal government and a University requirement that you must provide a signed consent form from your parent or legal guardian for each experiment you participate in. Please see me if you are under 18 and would like to participate in one or more experiments. I will provide you with a copy of the parental consent form for each experiment. Please ask your parent or legal guardian to read and sign the form. The form must then be returned to me prior to your participating in the experiment. Note that if you prefer to do the three marketing research exercises described as “Option 2” below, you do not need to have your parent or legal guardian complete these forms.]

Option 2: Marketing Research Exercises. 

As an alternative to participating in one, two or three Subject Pool studies (Option #1, above), a second option is to complete one, two or three Marketing Research cases. Each case involves a write-up no longer than one page and will give you additional experience with marketing research and its application to marketing strategy. These cases are due on April 23. 

If you choose this option, you should inform me and I will provide you with one or more of the three cases listed below.(Please make sure to let me know you want to select this option.)  The three case assignments that are alternatives to participating in the subject pool are as follows:

  1. Ford Consulting Group
  2.  Howlin' Coyote Chili

 Breathe Right Nose Strips


Professional Responsibilities For This Course

1.Attendance and Class Courtesy

  1. Attend regularly.  I expect you to approach the course the same way you would any other professional responsibility.  If you know you will be unable to attend, please e-mail the TA.  The TA will be recording attendance and tracking lateness.  You are expected to attend all class sessions with the exception of reasonable excuses e-mailed to the TA.
  2. Arrive on time.  As noted in the class guidelines, students are expected to arrive in class on time and stay until the end of the period. Please be in class at least one minute before the designated time.  Classes will start promptly.  .
  3. Please do not leave class during the session unless absolutely necessary.  I recognize that on occasion you may have to leave class but please minimize this.  Going in and out frequently is disruptive for both students and the professor.

2.  Do Readings and Assignments in Advance of Class

Make sure that you have read the assignments for each class in advance.  This will insure you can actively participate in class discussions.  In addition to reading the text, make sure you do the following when required:

3.  Conform to dates for Quizzes and Exams

You are required to take exams on the dates scheduled.  The only basis for taking a make-up exam is for a certified  medical reason.   If you miss an exam due to illness or injury, a make-up will not be scheduled for you unless I receive a letter from your doctor (on letterhead) indicating the date and time of the medical problem that prevented you from taking the test.  You are responsible for contacting me concerning the missed exam as soon as possible, preferably before the exam.  If you have a letter from your doctor, I may choose to give you a substitute test or I may assign greater weight to another test. 

4. Hand in written assignments the day they are due

Case assignments will not be accepted once they are discussed in class.  There are no exceptions.  If you anticipate not being able to attend a class when an assignment is due, it is your responsibility to make sure I receive it before class.  You can do this by handing it to me in person, putting it in my mailbox in the Marketing Department (Tisch 8th floor), faxing it to me (212 995-4006), or e-mailing it as a Word attachment. 

5.   Grade Rebuttals

If you feel that a calculation or judgment error has been made in the grading of an assignment or exam, please write a formal memo describing the error and give it to me (in class or my mailbox) with the original graded document.  (You do not need to see me in personl to submit a rebuttal.)  Also include documentation in support of your opinion (e.g., a photocopied page from the textbook with the relevant information highlighted).  I will review it and get back to you as quickly as possible with an answer (usually within a week).  Please note that any request for reassessment of a grade usually results in a regrading the entire assignment or test.  (This means that as a result of my evaluation, grades could be revised upward or downward.

Students have one week after an assignment has been returned to them to submit a grade rebuttal.  After that date, no rebuttals will be accepted. 

6.  Check your e-mail regarding the course  

I will be e-mailing a summary and requirements for each class session, as well as reminders of class assignments due,  several days in advance of that session.  It is your responsibility to check your e-mail in advance of each class session.  If you miss a class, get copies of materials from classmates.  Do not ask the TA or me to reviewwhat happened in class.

The following pertains to your e-mail address, particularly for non-Stern students:  If you do not have a Stern e-mail account, please go to the Help Desk at UC69 to request a Stern e-mail account.  They will assist you.

7.  .Be an Equal and active participant in the group case

The great majority of teams work very well together.  But, if there are any problems regarding the course project,  you should try to resolve them before submitting the case..  A peer evaluation form will be distributed regarding effort on the group case/.  

8.  There is no Stern Curve

There is no official Stern curve. The following are guidelines only: 

                                    A  No more than   35% of students

                                    B  Approximately 50% of students

                                    C   and lower No more than 15% of students

9. Respect the Stern Honor code

Cheating and plagiarism will NOT be tolerated.  Either will result in the grade of “F” for the assignment, quiz, or exam for all parties involved. Violations of the Stern Student Code of Conduct (http://www.stern.nyu.edu/OSA/student.html) may result in referral to the Stern School Discipline Committee and legal action by the University. 

Since students in other sections of this course may have the same or highly similar assignments and exams,it will be considered a violation of the Stern Ethics Code if a student from one section that has completed an assignment or exam shares information with a student in another section that has not yet completed that assignment or exam.

10. Students with disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation during this course, please contact the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980) and provide me with a letter from them verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.

11.  The following can not be used in class:Laptops and other electronic devices. 

Make sure cellphones are shut off.

12. Extra Credit

Please note that there are no opportunities to improve your grade through the completion of work for extra credit.  Everyone in class is treated equally.

Fully Understand Your Responsibilities in the Course

Please be aware that the information sheet you are to hand in specifies that you have read this syllabus and fully understand the course requirements and ground rules for this course. The information sheet is due Jan. 27.   Once you sign the information sheet,  I will assume you have read the syllabus and are totally aware of all the requirements and guidelines stipulated for the course.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Course Outline












Assignments Due










Course Introduction



Chapter 1

Reading #1 in reading packet













Consumer Behavior




Chapter 22





Consumer &  Organi-zational Buyer Behavior

Chapter 23


Information form due



Brand Equity & Consumer Value

Handout #1 (In reading packet)





Developing Competitive Advantage

Chpt. 18

Reading #3

Form groups for Cola Wars case



A The Marketing


B. Company Analysis

Chpt.  19

Reading #4




A. Company Analysis &

     Marketing Math

B. Discuss Apple case

Handout #2 (in reading packet)

Case: Kodak Funtime

Readings #5

Apple Case due



Conducting & Using Marketing Research

Chpt. 21





















- Segmenting the Market  








Chpt. 2

Readings #7& 8

Take VALS survey (Instructions to be distributed.)














Guest Lecturer – 12:30

Schimmel Auditorium






Reading 9





Targeting & Positioning

Readings #10 & 11










**NOTE: Readingsfor




New Product  


Sessions 13-25 to be announced





Chpt. 3





Product/Service Management

Chpts. 4 & 5





Case: Cola Wars


Group case due



No session

Credit for guest lecturer 2/24













Guest Lecturer – 12:30





Chpt. 6

Saturn Case (skim 1-7; read 8-15)






Chpt. 7















Advertising & the Promotional Mix

Chpt. 9 pp. 1-19













Guest Lecturer – 12:30


Media Selection & Ad


Personal Selling & Relationship Marketing



Chpt. 9 pp. 19-36,  


Chpt. 11, 








Pricing Methods

Chpt. 13





Pricing Strategies

Chpt. 10














  1. Discuss Virgin Mobile USA case
  2. Strategic

   Marketing Planning



Chpt. 15


Virgin Mobile USA case due





Global Marketing

Chpt. 20,   


Mkt. Research. Ass’t in lieu of subject pool







No session___________  

No Session___________


Credit for guest lecturere 3/24___

Credit for guest lecturer 4/7____




Summary of Dates for Assignments

-  Jan. 29:       Information form due

            -  Feb. 10:      Apple case due

            -  Feb. 17:      First mid-term

            - March 10:   Group case – Cola Wars

            - March 31:   Second mid-term

            - April 21:     Virgin Mobile USA due 
            - April 23:    Marketing Research assignments due for those who did not

                                 participate in one or more of the three subject pools

      - Final exam: Date to be announced.


Guidelines for Written Assignments






Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


Case Questions for Class Discussions

APPLE COMPUTER 2006:  To be submitted Feb. 10

  1. What were Apple’s original competitive advantages
  2. How did Apple lose its competitive advantages in the computer market
  3. How did Apple redefine itself to insure its survival

KODAK FUNTIME CASE: Class discussion in context of Marketing Math

  1. Read the case carefully including footnotes.  The case will be the basis for discussion of  handout #2.
  2. Consider the strengths/weaknesses, and opportunities/threats (SWOT analysis) facing Kodak in the film market as of 1994.
  3. Formulate  a SWOT analysis of Kodak in the digital imaging market for class discussion based on readings 5 in the reading packet.

SATURN CASE:  Class discussion

  1. Why was Saturn able to build much stronger relationships with dealers compared to other GM Divisions
  2. A stronger dealer network increased product value to consumers.  How?
  3. GM brought Saturn more closely under its control for cost-saving purposes. What were the risks of this move.

VIRGIN MOBILE USA:  To be submitted April 21

  1. Develop a pricing and marketing plan for Virgin Mobile that would effectively target the 15-29 year old group.
  2. In what ways might your plan impact negatively on Virgin Mobile’s profitability.
  3. How can Virgin Mobile reduce the costs of acquiring a 15-29 year old customer to make your plan profitable


Specifications for Cola Wars 2006 Case





  1. Philip Morris (now Altria), the second largest food company in the world, bought Seven-Up in 1978 to determine if it could be a player in the carbonated soft drink (CSD) market given Coke’s & Pepsi’s dominance. It racked up huge losses and sold Seven-Up in 1985.  Despite Philip Morris’s tremendous clout and marketing savvy, what barriers did it face in entering the soft drink market?

       2.   Why, since 1975, did Coke & Pepsi’s rivalry seem to benefit both

             companies. In answering, consider whether and how they copied each other, and

             if so, whether such imitation benefited both of them.

3.    Given the lower profitability of bottlers, why did both Coke and Pepsi begin to

       acquire them in the 1980s. 

           Carbonated Soft Drink market in the last ten years?

 b) Who do you think has done a better job in dealing with these

      threats, Coke or Pepsi?  Why?

5.    What competitive advantages do Coke & Pepsi bring into the future in

competing  with each other?  In answering, consider who is gaining a stronger  competitive  position and why.  Please note,  you will be expected to search for current  sources outside the case  and cite these sources in answering this question,  since  it asks  you to refer to the time period beyond the case.

   Each question represents 20 points.  There will be an additional five point bonus  

   (from zero to five) assigned to the quality of outside references and exhibits.


Printer Friendly Version