February 23

  • "How Culture Shapes Motivations that Feed into Cultural Ideals: Driving Emotional Connections to Build Brand Equity" - Associate Professor Carlos Torelli

    In the hyper-competitive markets of the 21st century, it is not enough for a brand to be competitive by means of delivering functional benefits to consumers, as brands across product categories are pushed to also deliver emotional and symbolic benefits to successfully differentiate from national and global competitors. Although many brands can succeed at creating symbolic meanings, only a few brands can embody the cultural ideals that set them apart to become cultural icons. Because iconic brands inspire an enduring emotional and affective connection, building such brands is the ultimate brand building objective. This talk discusses a theoretical framework to help managers build brands that resonate with the cultural ideals of consumers from different cultures.



  • “The New Science Of Customer Emotions: Using Customer Emotions to Drive Growth and Profitability” - Dan Leemon, Senior Executive Advisor to Motista

    Senior Executive Advisor to Motista, a predictive intelligence company, and Lead Independent Director at CEB, a best practice insights and technology firm.  He served as Chief Strategy Officer of the Charles Schwab Corporation for nearly 10 years, prior to which he spent 12 years with The Boston Consulting Group, ultimately as the partner in charge of the west coast Financial Services and Consumer Goods and Retail practices.  Dan has also advised or served on the boards of a wide range of smaller companies in sectors as diverse as small business lending, retail realty, music technology, enterprise pricing, exchange-traded funds, and print media.  Dan holds a BS from MIT in Management Science, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  Dan recently co-authored two articles for the Harvard Business Review: The New Science Of Customer Emotions (November, 2015), and What Separates The Best Customers From The Merely Satisfied (December, 2015).  



December 15

  • Applications and implications for pricing strategy - Professor Akshay Rao
    “Combining research from behavioral science, neuroscience and information economics, Professor Rao will discuss applications and implications for pricing strategy and tactics in a range of industries and settings"
    Professor Rao holds the General Mills Chair in Marketing at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, where he has taught for three decades.  He currently     serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Consumer Research, and is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Marketing Research. He has received several awards for teaching excellence including the Curtis Cup Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Executive MBA program in 2012.  He has served as a consultant to numerous organizations including Abbott Laboratories (Germany), Ambrosetti (Italy), Boston Scientific, the Carlson Companies, Jostens, McQuay International, and Osservatorio Asia (Italy).