“Marketing is an organized behavioural system of exchange”- Bagozzi (1974) A popular assignment in courses like this at leading business schools is the “Barter Exercise”. The assignment itself is relatively simple but the work involved can be large and the learning derived can be significant. Presenting and selling “value” is part of the entrepreneurial mindset! 1. At the first class you will be given a simple object with a value of about $1. In this class it will be a golf ball. 2. Over the Fall Semester of the course, you are expected to trade, barter, exchange the basic object for things of greater value and trade that for items of greater value, and so forth.
You cannot add any other items/services or money to the original product (or any product you acquire along the way) in order to increase the perceived value of the item being traded. For example, you could not trade the golf ball (and $20,000 in cash) for a used 2009 BMW Z4. However, you may accept items in exchange for your item that have objective cash value. For example, you could trade the golf ball for a $5 Starbucks gift card. In addition, you can do something to an item in order to increase the perceived value of the item as long as what you have done has a negligible cost and it can be recovered in a trade. For example, if you acquired an item that was dirty, you can clean/polish it to make it more presentable in the next trade.