Dear Diary: My Heart is Racing to Buy a Car
(2 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
Jaime has been looking for several weeks to buy his first car. After narrowing his choices down to two, he can’t decide which to purchase. Option A is to buy the Honda CRV, which meets many of Jaime’s functional criteria (e.g. all-wheel drive, large trunk space, plenty of seats). This Honda is quite appealing to Jaime because he could use the car for his work and road trips with his siblings, and could easily handle the Wyoming climate. Option B is to buy the Ford Mustang, a car that he has been in love with ever since he was a teenager. Even though the Mustang does not necessarily meet any of his functional criteria, Jaime loves the idea of driving his dream car. Given these two options, Jaime is struggling to make a decision. Should he go with the car that meets his functional needs or should he go with the car that meets his affective needs? That is, should he go with his mind or his heart? Jaime wants to buy his car tomorrow. Help him.
The case is intended for an introductory-level consumer behaviour course. This case is best taught as a small discussion as part of a full lecture. The objective of this case is to highlight some of the key issues consumers may face during the decision-making process. The case is designed to provide a supplemental support, or to act as a discussion piece, in a consumer behaviour course that involves discussions of buying behaviours and decision-making processes. This case will be suitable for class discussions that deal with evaluations based on attribute (utilitarian) versus affect (hedonic), and anticipated regret. The case is designed to reveal a unique quandary of what consumers may experience when presented with conflicting choices. This case requires students to balance their minds (attribute/utilitarian-based motivation) and hearts (affect/hedonic-based motivation). Students are required to analyze these two options and decide what will most suit Jaime. This case provides an opportunity for students to step into the consumer role and make decisions based on the information provided.
United States, 2011
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