Jill J. Avery

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Dr. Jill Avery is a Senior Lecturer in the General Management Unit at Harvard Business School. Her research focuses on brand management and customer relationship management issues. Prior to her academic career, Professor Avery spent nine years in CPG brand management, managing brands for The Gillette Company, Braun Inc., Samuel Adams, and AT&T, and spent three years on the agency side of the business, as an account executive managing consumer promotions for Pepsi, General Foods, Bristol-Myers, and Citibank.  She remains close to practice by offering marketing consulting services to a range of brands and non-profit organizations, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she serves as a Trustee and the chairman of the Board of Overseers.

Her work has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, European Business Review, Business Horizons, and Journal for the Advancement of Marketing Education.  Her doctoral dissertation on online brand communities won the Harvard Business School Wyss award for excellence in doctoral research and the Marketing Science Institute’s best paper award for work published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing. Her branding insights have been cited in Advertising Age, The Economist, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Forbes and Bloomberg/Business Week.

She currently teaches two required courses in the first year of the MBA program, Marketing and Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD), a new, experiential field-based course. She also has taught Branding + Different, an elective course in the second year of the MBA program. In the past, she has taught marketing management, brand management, integrated marketing communications, and consumer behavior in the MBA and undergraduate programs at Simmons College, Boston University, and Northeastern University. She received the Simmons School of Management’s award for teaching excellence for her MBA teaching.  She was awarded a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching at Harvard University for her undergraduate teaching.  Her executive education teaching has included sessions in the “Taking Marketing Digital” and "Strategic Marketing Management" programs at Harvard Business School and in the "Strategic Marketing" and the "Digital Strategies" programs for arts and cultural organization leaders at National Arts Strategies. 

She has written a series of teaching cases on branding and social media.  Her case writing includes cases on J.C. Penney, Porsche, Pepsi, EMC, Tate Modern, Park Hotels, Eileen Fisher, HubSpot, Filene's Basement, and Better World Books.  She has also published a series of "Go to Market" quantitative analysis tools that are available from Harvard Business Review. Her HubSpot case was awarded The Case Centre Marketing Award in 2014.  

She holds a DBA (marketing) from Harvard Business School, a MBA (marketing and finance) from the Wharton School, and a BA (English and art history) from the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining the HBS faculty, she was an assistant professor of marketing at the Simmons School of Management from 2007-2013, where she was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor. 

Journal Articles

  1. The Upside to Large Competitors

    Large companies are often viewed as a major threat for startups and small companies; big companies have more financial resources and greater scale, market power and brand awareness than small ones. However, our research finds that a smaller brand can actually benefit if consumers can see the competitive threat it faces from a larger organization.

    Keywords: brands and branding; brand management; marketing; marketing strategy; competition; Marketing; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Paharia, Neeru, Anat Keinan, and Jill Avery. "The Upside to Large Competitors." MIT Sloan Management Review 55, no. 2 (forthcoming). View Details
  2. Making Charity Pay

    Companies are increasingly experimenting with the use of philanthropy to enhance consumer loyalty, brand awareness, and sales. But even highly creative approaches that garner a lot of buzz often fall short of sales goals, leading many companies to conclude, prematurely, that charity doesn't pay. Our research, in contrast, suggests that charity can drive engagement-when done right.

    Keywords: philanthropy; charitable giving; charity; marketing; marketing strategy; brands and branding; Advertising; Marketing; Brands and Branding; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Norton, Michael I., and Jill Avery. "Making Charity Pay." Harvard Business Review (forthcoming). View Details
  3. Unlock the Mysteries of Your Customer Relationships

    Consumers have always had relationships with brands, but sophisticated tools for analyzing customer data are finally allowing marketing organizations to personalize and manage those relationships. With this new power comes a new challenge: people now expect companies to understand what type of relationships they want and to respond appropriately—they want firms to hold up their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, many brands don't meet those expectations.

    Keywords: brand management; marketing; marketing strategy; customer relationship management; CRM; Brands and Branding; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Relationship Management; Consumer Products Industry; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, Susan Fournier, and John Wittenbraker. "Unlock the Mysteries of Your Customer Relationships." Harvard Business Review 92, nos. 7/8 (July–August 2014): 72–81. View Details
  4. Positioning Brands Against Large Competitors to Increase Sales

    We explore the effect of having a large dominant competitor and show the conditions under which focusing on a competitive threat, rather than hiding it, can actually help a brand. We demonstrate through lab and field studies that highlighting a large competitor's size and close proximity can help smaller brands instead of harming them. We find that support for small brands goes up when faced with a competitive threat from large brands, versus when they are in competition with brands that are similar to them, or when consumers view them outside of a competitive context. This support translates into purchase intention, real purchase, and more favorable online reviews in a study of over 10,000 Yelp posts. We argue that this "framing the game effect" is mediated by consumers' motivation to express their views and have an impact on the marketplace through their purchasing.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brands and branding; brand management; brand positioning; competitive positioning; Brands and Branding; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry; Retail Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Air Transportation Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Paharia, Neeru, Jill Avery, and Anat Keinan. "Positioning Brands Against Large Competitors to Increase Sales." Journal of Marketing Research (JMR) (forthcoming). View Details
  5. Leveraging Crowdsourced Peer-to-Peer Assessments to Enhance the Case Method of Learning

    Many marketing educators use the case method to help their students strengthen their decision-making skills. Rigorous class participation is essential to achieving learning objectives in case method learning. One challenge for case method instructors is the assessment of students' class participation, particularly in large classes. This article offers a solution that mines the practices of peer-to-peer feedback and crowdsourcing to enhance the assessment of learning and student-to-student interactions in face-to-face class sessions. The article outlines a technique used in an MBA marketing course for crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessment of class participation during case discussions and empirically validates how crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessment compares to students' self-assessment and to the instructor's assessment of class participation performance, based on five years of data (N=7,025) across ten sections. The article demonstrates that crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessment (unlike self-assessment) offers ratings that are highly correlated with instructor assessment and demonstrate strong inter-rater reliability. Results show that crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessments are perceived as fair and accurate. Educators can leverage peer-to-peer sharing to enhance the assessment of class participation during face-to-face case discussions.

    Keywords: marketing; Case method teaching; Marketing; Business Education; Teaching; Education Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill. "Leveraging Crowdsourced Peer-to-Peer Assessments to Enhance the Case Method of Learning." Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education 22, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 1–15. View Details
  6. In Search of a Second Act: Riding the Popularity of a Great First Product Is Easy; Finding the Next One Is Hard

    The article presents a fictional case study on new product development and improvement after the successful launch of a first breakthrough product. Topics include business planning for brand name products, finance and investment for the development of educational toys, strategies for product differentiation, and technological improvements to the original product.

    Keywords: innovation; growth strategy; Consumer marketing; marketing; brand management; Market research; New Product Development; marketing management; marketing strategy; technology commercialization; technology; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Product Marketing; Consumer Products Industry; Electronics Industry; Technology Industry; North and Central America; United States;

    Citation:

    Ofek, Elie, and Jill Avery. "In Search of a Second Act: Riding the Popularity of a Great First Product Is Easy; Finding the Next One Is Hard." Harvard Business Review 91, no. 4 (April 2013): 133–137. View Details
  7. Building Brand Knowledge Structures: Elaboration and Interference Effects on the Processing of Sequentially Advertised Brand Benefit Claims

    Two experiments are reported that examine the effects of an ad campaign designed to link two different benefit claims to a brand. The findings indicated that recall for a subsequently advertised claim depended on the strength of existing brand-benefit links in memory. If prior advertising strongly established a benefit claim in memory, then proactive interference effects inhibited recall of subsequently advertised benefit claims unrelated in meaning. Additional analyses suggested that these interference effects appeared to be a result of difficulties with encoding the newly advertised claims. If the original benefit claim was not as strongly established in memory, however, unaided recall of the subsequently advertised benefit claims was actually higher than if there had been no prior advertising at all. In fact, less accessible and memorable claims, whether they preceded or followed more accessible and memorable claims, enhanced recall of the stronger claims. Additional analyses suggest that these elaboration effects occurred because prior or subsequent advertising improved brand awareness and thus later brand claim recall as a result.

    Keywords: marketing; marketing communication; brand building; brand management; Brands; advertising; consumer behavior; consumer psychology; Advertising Campaigns; Brands and Branding; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Advertising Industry; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Heckler, Susan E., Kevin L. Keller, Michael J. Houston, and Jill Avery. "Building Brand Knowledge Structures: Elaboration and Interference Effects on the Processing of Sequentially Advertised Brand Benefit Claims." Journal of Marketing Communications (forthcoming). (Published online: March 29, 2012.) View Details
  8. Defending the Markers of Masculinity: Consumer Resistance to Brand Gender-Bending

    I study the Porsche Cayenne SUV launch to ethnographically analyze how men consuming a gendered brand respond to perceived brand gender contamination. Consumers' communal gender work in a Porsche brand community is analyzed to uncover brand gender contamination's effects on the identity projects of consumers, the brand as an identity marker, and the prevailing gender order in the group. Through the promulgation of gender stereotypes, Porsche owners stratify themselves along gender lines and create an ingroup sharply defined by masculinity and an outgroup defined by femininity. The construction of social barriers limits access to Porsche's meanings to those who achieve masculine ideals and causes SUV owners to resort to hyper-masculine behaviors to combat exclusion. Consumers' gender work reverses the firm's efforts to gender-bend the brand, reinstates Porsche as a masculine marker, and reifies particular definitions of masculinity in the community.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brand building; Brand equity; brand management; brand positioning; brands and branding; consumer behavior; gender; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Product Marketing; Customer Focus and Relationships; Auto Industry; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill. "Defending the Markers of Masculinity: Consumer Resistance to Brand Gender-Bending." International Journal of Research in Marketing 29, no. 4 (December 2012): 322–336. (Article was awarded the Marketing Science Institute's Best Paper Award.) View Details
  9. Adding Bricks to Clicks: Predicting the Patterns of Cross-Channel Elasticities over Time

    The authors propose a conceptual framework to explain whether and when the introduction of a new retail store channel helps or hurts sales in existing direct channels. A conceptual framework separates short- and long-term effects by analyzing the capabilities of a channel that help consumers accomplish their shopping goals. To test the theory, the authors analyze a unique data set from a high-end retailer using matching methods. The authors study the introduction of a retail store and find evidence of cross-channel cannibalization and synergy. The presence of a retail store decreases sales in the catalog but not the Internet channel in the short run but increases sales in both direct channels over time. Following the opening of the store, more first-time customers begin purchasing in the direct channels. These results suggest that adding a retail store to direct channels yields different results from adding an Internet channel to a retail store channel, as previous research has indicated.

    Keywords: marketing; channels; channels of distribution; Distribution; e-commerce; retailing; channel management; channel migration; multichannel retailing; Framework; Customers; Marketing Channels; Sales; Internet; Demand and Consumers; Competency and Skills; Distribution Channels; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, Thomas J. Steenburgh, John Deighton, and Mary Caravella. "Adding Bricks to Clicks: Predicting the Patterns of Cross-Channel Elasticities over Time." Journal of Marketing 76, no. 3 (May 2012): 96–111. View Details
  10. Target the Right Market

    SparkPlace is a two-year-old business with a hot new product: software that manages and measures the effectiveness of permission-based marketing campaigns for social media. The company is in the process of deciding on which of two customer segments to focus its strategy. Each segment has demonstrable advantages, but developing the product for and marketing to both segments simultaneously could pose big challenges. Is the argument against being "all things to all people" a valid one? If so, which customer segment should SparkPlace target? Or is there a single strategy that can capture the potential value of both types of customers without draining the company's resources?

    Keywords: marketing; Market segmentation; customer defection; customer lifetime value; customer relationship management; CRM; market segmentation and target market selection; Marketing Strategy; Product Marketing; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Value and Value Chain; Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, and Thomas Steenburgh. "Target the Right Market." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 10 (October 2012): 119–123. View Details
  11. Underdog Branding: Why Underdogs Win in Recessions

    Underdog stories about overcoming great odds through passion and determination are particularly resonant during difficult times as they inspire us and give us hope when the outlook we face is bleak. They promise that success is still possible, a much needed message in challenging social, political, and economic times. In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, the economic challenges facing people have intensified due to the financial crisis of 2008, the collapse of the housing market, widespread job losses, rising health care costs, and crushing amounts of consumer debt. During recessionary time periods such as this, people feel increasingly disadvantaged, making them even more likely to identify with the struggles of underdogs. Firms can capitalize on this through the use of underdog brand biographies. Through the stories of brands ranging from Virgin, Lindt, and Adidas, we illustrate how effective underdog stories can catapult brands into the spotlight and sustain them as they grow.

    Keywords: marketing; brand building; brand management; brands and branding; brand positioning; competitive positioning; Brands and Branding; Economics; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Advertising Campaigns; Advertising Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Paharia, Neeru, Anat Keinan, and Jill Avery. "Underdog Branding: Why Underdogs Win in Recessions." European Business Review (May 2011): 53–56. (Invited Article.) View Details
  12. The Uninvited Brand

    Brands rushed into social media, viewing social networks, video sharing, online communities, and microblogging sites as the panacea to diminishing returns for traditional brand building routes. But, as more branding activity moves to the web, marketers are confronted with the stark realization that social media was made for people, not for brands. In this paper, we explore the emergent cultural landscape of open source branding, and identify marketing strategies directed at the hunt for consumer engagement on the people's web. These strategies present a paradox, for to gain coveted resonance, the brand must relinquish control. We discuss how web-based power struggles between marketer and consumer brand authors challenge accepted branding truths and paradigms: where short-term brands can trump long-term icons, where marketing looks more like public relations, where brand building gives way to brand protection, and brand value is driven by risk, not returns.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brand building; brand management; brands and branding; social media; digital marketing; Advertising Campaigns; Brands and Branding; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Internet; Advertising Industry; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Fournier, Susan, and Jill Avery. "The Uninvited Brand." Business Horizons 54, no. 3 (May–June 2011): 193–207. View Details
  13. Putting the 'Relationship' Back into CRM

    Many managers think that the way to capture value through relationship marketing is to focus on the 'good' customers and get rid of the 'bad' ones. But there is a lot more to best practice relationship management than maximizing revenues on individual customers and minimizing costs to serve. How can companies build better relationships with their customers? Findings include: 1.) Get to know who your customers really are and what they need and value. 2.) Be open to the different types of relationships that people form with your company and your brand. 3.) Recognize that relationships can't be one-sided; accept responsibility for difficulties.

    Keywords: marketing; CRM; customer relationship management; brand building; brand management; customer lifetime value; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Marketing Strategy; Brands and Branding; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Fournier, Susan, and Jill Avery. "Putting the 'Relationship' Back into CRM." MIT Sloan Management Review 52, no. 3 (Spring 2011): 63–72. View Details
  14. The Underdog Effect: The Marketing of Disadvantage and Determination Through Brand Biography

    We introduce the concept of an underdog brand biography (UBB) to describe an emerging trend in branding in which firms author an historical account of their humble origins, lack of resources, and determined struggle against the odds. We identify two essential dimensions of an underdog biography: external disadvantage, and passion and determination. We demonstrate that a UBB can increase purchase intentions, real choice, and brand loyalty. We argue that UBBs are effective because consumers react positively when they see the underdog aspects of their own lives being reflected in branded products. Four studies demonstrate that the UBB effect is driven by identity mechanisms: we show that the effect is 1) mediated by consumers' identification with the brand, 2) greater for consumers who strongly self-identify as underdogs, 3) stronger when consumers are purchasing for themselves vs. others, and 4) stronger in cultures in which underdog narratives are part of the national identity.

    Keywords: marketing; brand management; Brands; brand building; brand positioning; competitive positioning; advertising; marketing communication; Biography; Brands and Branding; Product Marketing; Emerging Markets; Network Effects; Demand and Consumers; Marketing Communications; Cost vs Benefits; Perspective; Advertising Campaigns; Marketing Strategy; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Advertising Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Paharia, Neeru, Anat Keinan, Jill Avery, and Juliet B. Schor. "The Underdog Effect: The Marketing of Disadvantage and Determination Through Brand Biography." Journal of Consumer Research 37, no. 5 (February 2011): 775–790. View Details
  15. Capitalizing on the Underdog Effect

    This article presents the results of a study that investigated the use of the underdog effect in marketing. The idea of triumphing over disadvantages by impassioned determination is said to be a powerfully positive image, which can lead consumers to choose a brand over its larger rivals. The results of research on this effect are presented, and exceptions to the rule are noted.

    Keywords: marketing; brand management; Brands; brands and branding; brand positioning; competitive positioning; Competition; Brands and Branding; Advertising Campaigns; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Advertising Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Keinan, Anat, Neeru Paharia, and Jill Avery. "Capitalizing on the Underdog Effect." Harvard Business Review 88, no. 11 (November 2010): 32. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Branding Next-Generation Products

    We study the effect of brand name selection on consumer evaluations of next-generation products. In four experiments, participants evaluated next-generation offerings whose brand names either continued or interrupted existing naming sequences. The first results show that while consumers anticipate enhanced performance on existing product features irrespective of the branding decision, a name change triggers significantly higher expectations of new features. This added layer of innovation led participants to believe they were exposed to greater risk and reward. As a result, the last two experiments demonstrate that situational and dispositional factors influencing the relative salience of these beliefs determine adoption intentions.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brands and branding; brand management; brand positioning; marketing strategy; Marketing; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry; Electronics Industry; Video Game Industry;

    Citation:

    Bertini, Marco, John T. Gourville, E. Ofek, and Jill Avery. "Branding Next-Generation Products." (invited for resubmission to the Journal of Consumer Psychology.) View Details
  2. Saving Face by Making Meaning: The Negative Effects of Brand Communities' Self-serving Response to Brand Extensions

    An ethnographic study of a brand community following the launch of the Porsche Cayenne SUV finds that brand extensions can negatively affect the value of their parent brands. By studying the collective response to brand extensions of existing consumers and by substituting a culturally situated and socialized view of consumers, I expose negative feedback effects which have been previously undervalued in existing branding theories. By tracing the processes by which brand extensions are dialectically negotiated in a brand community, I show that negative brand effects stem from consumers' self-serving meaning-making activities. The research highlights three discourses in which consumers debate the legitimacy of users of the brand extension, the brand extension itself, and the post-extension parent brand. These discourses shift the locus of the brand's identity meanings within the brand hierarchy rendering the brand extension and the parent brand less attractive as identity markers and reducing brand equity.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brands and branding; brand management; brand positioning; Brand equity; internet; social media; Customers; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Marketing; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill. "Saving Face by Making Meaning: The Negative Effects of Brand Communities' Self-serving Response to Brand Extensions." (Invited for resubmission at the Journal of Consumer Research.) View Details

Book Chapters

  1. The Strategic Use of Brand Biographies

    We introduce the concept of a brand biography to describe an emerging trend in branding in which firms author a dynamic, historical account of the events that have shaped the brand over time. Using a particular type of brand biography, "the underdog," we empirically show how managers can strategically use brand biographies in brand positioning, in this case to mitigate the curse of success. As brands grow and become successful, they are often marked by the negative stigma associated with size and power, which elicits anticorporate sentiment from consumers. An underdog brand biography can be strategically wielded to prevent or offset anticorporate backlash stemming from consumers' negative perceptions of firms' size and/or market power.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brand management; brand building; brand positioning; competitive positioning; marketing strategy; Brands and Branding; Managerial Roles; Strategy; Product Positioning; Consumer Behavior; Biography; Success; Perception; Markets; Power and Influence; Consumer Products Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Auto Industry; Fashion Industry; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, Neeru Paharia, Anat Keinan, and Juliet Schor. "The Strategic Use of Brand Biographies." Research in Consumer Behavior 12 (2010): 213–230. View Details
  2. Gender Bender Brand Hijacks and Consumer Revolt: The Porsche Cayenne Story

    Throughout history, marketers have created gendered brands, creating their brands and the stories they crafted about them in their advertising to appeal either to men or to women. Gendered brands deliver value to consumers, and therefore, deliver value to marketers. "Gender-bending," taking a brand that has historically been targeted to one gender and targeting it to the other gender, is becoming a more common occurrence. This can be a risky strategy. Consumers who rely on the brand's gender meanings feel threatened when the brand becomes associated with the opposite gender. This chapter traces what happens when brands traditionally used by one gender are targeted toward the other and shows the detrimental long term branding effects of gender-bending.

    Keywords: marketing; consumer behavior; Brands; brands and branding; brand positioning; Brand equity; brand management; Advertising Campaigns; Customer Focus and Relationships; Marketing; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Auto Industry; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill. "Gender Bender Brand Hijacks and Consumer Revolt: The Porsche Cayenne Story." In Consumer Behavior: Human Pursuit of Happiness in a World of Goods. 3rd ed. by Jill Avery, Robert Kozinets, Arch Woodside, Banwari Mittal, and Priya Raghubir, 645–649. Cincinnati: Open Mentis, 2013. View Details
  3. The Relational Roles of Brands

    In contemporary culture, brands play important relational roles, linking consumers to others and serving as relational partners. This chapter provides an understanding of the relational roles of brands to illuminate why and how consumers connect with brands and how those connections enable consumers to relate to each other. Moving away from an economic definition of marketing relationships as exchange-based, the chapter provides a more nuanced understanding of consumer-brand bonds and highlights the core processes that drive customer relationship development. It cautions managers not to try to "manage" their customer relationships, but rather, to negotiate them with consumers, providing a fresh approach to CRM.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brands and branding; brand management; Brand equity; brand building; customer relationship management; CRM; Customers; Customer Focus and Relationships; Brands and Branding; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill. "The Relational Roles of Brands." Chap. 9 in Marketing Management: A Cultural Perspective, edited by Lisa Penaloza, Nil Toulouse, and Luca M. Visconti, 147–163. Routledge, 2012. View Details
  4. Firing Your Best Customers: How Smart Firms Destroy Relationships Using CRM

    With incidences in the 20%–25% range, the practice of firing customers has become increasingly attractive as firms try to maximize the lifetime value of their customer portfolios. This chapter traces the relationship trajectory of a 30-year customer of Filene's Basement, a retailer offering fashion goods at discounted prices, who was eventually fired by the firm. The case traces how company actions taken in the name of customer relationship management (CRM) contributed to the creation and demise of a particular type of commercial relationship: the best customer. Ironically, we find that firing the customer is often a case of blaming the victim: managers remain largely unaware of their own roles in creating the unprofitable customers they seek to shed. We reveal how CRM programs can transform best customers from highly profitable, loyal customers into high maintenance customers whose value stemming from their frequent purchasing is eroded by their increasing cost-to-serve. The case advocates a deeper appreciation of the two-way, reciprocating nature of customer relations and the dynamic processes whereby they should be nurtured and maintained.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brands and branding; brand management; CRM; customer relationship management; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customers; Marketing; Brands and Branding; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, and Susan Fournier. "Firing Your Best Customers: How Smart Firms Destroy Relationships Using CRM." In Consumer-Brand Relationships: Theory and Practice, edited by Susan Fournier, Michael Breazeale, and Marc Fetscherin, 301–316. Routledge, 2012. (Paperback edition published in 2013.) View Details
  5. Consumers' Relationships with Brands

    This chapter presents a brand management paradigm based on the foundational principles of relationships. (1) Brand relationships are a means to an end: brand relationship managers must consider the whole person and understand how the brand adds meaning into people's lives. (2) Brand relationships are diverse and multi-faceted: relationship management requires sensitivity to the operative contract and relationship form. (3) Brand relationships are process phenomena: savvy relationship strategies consider the dimensions on which relationships develop and address the causes that drive evolution and change over time. Our perspective enlightens current customer relationship management (CRM) practice by providing a deeper appreciation of the 'R' in CRM.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brands and branding; brand building; Brand equity; brand management; customer relationship management; CRM; Customer Focus and Relationships; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Fournier, Susan, and Jill Avery. "Consumers' Relationships with Brands." In Perspectives on Brand Management, edited by Mark D. Uncles, 225–248. Tilde University Press, 2011. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Relating to Peapod

    Explores the relationships formed between consumers and the Peapod consumer-direct grocery delivery service, as revealed through an ethnographic study of Boston-area Peapod shoppers conducted between the Summer of 1997 and the Fall of 1999. Three representative case histories are brought to life using extensive quotes from these selected longitudinal interviews. Closes with short vignettes describing the experiences of four additional service users so that students can offer relationship predictions using process insights derived from the detailed case studies. Together, the data-driven exercises are designed to deepen students' understanding of the development processes characterizing consumer-firm/brand interactions over time, toward the goal of more informed relationship marketing strategies and sharper brand relationship executions.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Service Industry; Boston;

    Citation:

    Fournier, Susan, and Jill Avery. "Relating to Peapod." Harvard Business School Case 314-142, June 2014. View Details
  2. Doing Business in Morocco

    This case examines the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Morocco. It highlights Morocco's ongoing economic transformation in the decades leading up to 2014 in the context of its historical, political, and cultural background. The case summarizes some of the main obstacles faced by businesses operating in the country – changing regulations and insufficient access to credit, infrastructure and talent constraints, and a large informal sector – contrasting these with the benefits of operating in a market that provides access to the African continent and proximity to Europe, has relatively low labor costs, and has created a series of investment incentives. Some of these challenges are illustrated through the discussion of an investment decision by French car maker Renault, which opened a new manufacturing facility in Morocco’s free trade zone near Tangier. Now a few years into operating the facility, the case zooms in on some of the obstacles that Renault encountered, such as scarcity of trained staff and of local suppliers, and on the progress that was made, in order to evaluate the potential of the investment going forward.

    Keywords: emerging market; emerging economies; Africa; business history; strategy; global strategy; operations management; Development Economics; Geographic Scope; Globalization; Business History; Emerging Markets; Market Entry and Exit; Operations; Strategy; Auto Industry; Africa; Morocco;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, Tonia Junker, and Daniela Beyersdorfer. "Doing Business in Morocco." Harvard Business School Case 315-007, September 2014. View Details
  3. The Tate's Digital Transformation

    John Stack was the visionary Head of Digital Transformation at the Tate, a collection of four major art galleries in the UK, including Tate Modern, the most visited gallery devoted to modern and contemporary art in the world. Stack was the architect of the Tate's "fifth gallery," its online presence. Stack had guided the Tate through two digital strategy planning processes and his team had experienced much success in developing the Tate's fifth gallery into a virtual place filled with immersive and engaging content, activities, experiences, and communities. Looking to the future, Stack was working to execute a new digital strategy, one that included digital as a dimension of everything the Tate did, both physically and virtually. This effort was raising important questions about organizational structure, marketing strategy, product and service design, and return on investment. What would it take to be a truly digital organization where digital was the norm?

    Keywords: marketing; digital; social media; marketing strategy; marketing communication; non-profit management; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Nonprofit Organizations; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Tourism Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill. "The Tate's Digital Transformation." Harvard Business School Case 314-122, April 2014. View Details
  4. The Park Hotels: Revitalizing an Iconic Indian Brand

    Priya Paul, chairperson of The Park Hotels, an award-winning portfolio of thirteen boutique hotels scattered across India, was in the midst of a brand revitalization program. Landor Associates, a leading brand consultancy had identified three areas of concern: the shrinking differentiation opportunity provided by the boutique hotel positioning, consumers' negative perceptions of The Park's properties, and a lack of consistency across the hotel properties in the brand portfolio. Competition was heating up and Paul had a goal to expand her hotel portfolio to twenty properties in the next ten years. Paul knew that she had to make some major changes to her brand, including changing her positioning, choosing a new logo, and selecting the right products and services that enhanced her revitalized brand. And, she had to decide where to site the new hotel properties to best compete against global behemoths, Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental. How could she best revitalize her brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace, while preserving its rich heritage? Which changes would best propel The Park Hotels into the future?

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Product Positioning; Competition; Brands and Branding; Accommodations Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, and Chekitan S. Dev. "The Park Hotels: Revitalizing an Iconic Indian Brand." Harvard Business School Case 314-114, April 2014. View Details
  5. Learning From Extreme Consumers

    Traditional market research methods focus on understanding the average experiences of average consumers. This focus leads to gaps in our knowledge of consumer behavior and often fails to uncover insights that can drive revolutionary, rather than evolutionary innovation. This note outlines a process for studying extreme consumers—consumers who fall in both tails of a normal distribution of customers—with needs, behaviors, attitudes, and emotions atypical of the average customer. Different tactics for leveraging the power of the fringe, product category virgins, customers with constraints, and lovers, haters, and opt-outers are presented.

    Keywords: Market research; marketing; consumer behavior; ethnography; design thinking; innovation; New Product Development; Research; Marketing; Consumer Behavior; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, and Michael Norton. "Learning From Extreme Consumers." Harvard Business School Technical Note 314-086, January 2014. View Details
  6. J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Strategy (C): Back to the Future

    Rehired in April 2013, Myron E. "Mike" Ullman III was brought back to stabilize the retailer's business. Under Ron Johnson's "Fair and Square" program, sales had declined rapidly and quarterly losses and expensive capital investments had put severe pressure on cash reserves. Ullman decided to combine "Fair and Square" everyday low pricing and high/low pricing to reverse the negative trend. For example, to welcome people back to its stores, J.C. Penney ran deep discount sales for Mother's Day and Veteran's Day. By November 2013 the retail stores posted positive sales comparisons year over year, the first time since December 2011. However, margins remained low and Wall Street was wondering if J.C. Penney was sacrificing margin to drive store traffic. Would 2013 holiday sales be strong enough for J.C. Penney to begin building stronger margins? Would another strategy have been more effective? Did the board dispose of Johnson too quickly? Was it wise to bring back Ullman? Can J.C. Penney get back on its feet?

    Keywords: Decisions; Marketing Strategy; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Ofek, Elie, Jill Avery, and Jose B. Alvarez. "J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Strategy (C): Back to the Future." Harvard Business School Supplement 514-073, January 2014. View Details
  7. J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Strategy (B): Out with the New, In with the Old

    In his August 2012 earnings call, CEO Ron Johnson urged investors to be patient and stay the course with the revised JC Penney marketing strategy despite mounting negative financial indicators. The heart of the strategy was the "Fair and Square" approach to pricing. This was a switch from J.C. Penney's previous high-low pricing program to a new everyday low pricing policy that aimed to fit with a radical repositioning of the JC Penney business model and brand. However, with sales continuing to decline the Board fired Johnson in April 2013 and appointed Johnson's predecessor Myron E. "Mike" Ullman III as his successor. What would Ullman do to stop JC Penney's losses? Would he push forward with Johnson's "Fair and Square" vision; would he return to the former strategy; could he manage a hybrid strategy; or would he define a new path for the retailer to follow?

    Keywords: Decisions; Marketing Strategy; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Ofek, Elie, Jill Avery, and Jose B. Alvarez. "J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Strategy (B): Out with the New, In with the Old." Harvard Business School Supplement 514-085, January 2014. View Details
  8. Filene's Basement: Inside a Fired Customer's Relationship

    How, in a business climate in which building relationships with customers has dominated both managerial thought and marketing budgets, could Filene's Basement have fired a loyal customer, one who was formally and informally recognized as a best customer? This case allows students to reverse-engineer a fired customer's relationship with discount retailer Filene's Basement, from her perspective, to uncover the critical incidents and behaviors of each party that shaped their relationship trajectory. The company's customer relationship management (CRM) programs are analyzed to show how they influenced and encouraged unprofitable customer behavior.

    Keywords: marketing; CRM; consumer behavior; retailing; customer relationship management; marketing strategy; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Marketing Strategy; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, and Susan Fournier. "Filene's Basement: Inside a Fired Customer's Relationship." Harvard Business School Case 314-076, January 2014. View Details
  9. J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Strategy (Abridged)

    As he gets ready to release 2nd quarter 2012 results, Ron Johnson, the new CEO of department store J.C. Penney, is reconsidering the dramatic changes he initiated for the business model and brand image of his company. A new pricing scheme he put in place in February, dubbed "Fair and Square," was a central component of the new strategy. The scheme initially had three pricing tiers and eliminated typical sales promotions in an attempt to simplify the shopping experience for consumers, thus moving J.C. Penney off its previous high-low pricing practice. Other components of the new strategy included a new store layout, the inclusion of several well-known brands, and having special lines designed by well-known designers. However, troubling first quarter results that continued into the summer months seemed to indicate that J.C. Penney shoppers, accustomed to receiving JCP Cash coupons and circulars advertising the week's specials, were slow to embrace the new pricing format and began leaving the retailer in droves. Under enormous pressure to turn things around as the all-important back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons were imminent, Johnson decided to make adjustments to the initial pricing scheme that were set to go into effect August 1st. Were these changes enough to turn things around? Should Johnson stay the course on the other elements of his repositioning efforts? Is Johnson's experience in setting up Apple stores helping or hurting him as he tries to achieve his goal of making J.C. Penney "America's favorite store"? (This is an abridged version of the original case, "J.C. Penney’s "Fair and Square" Pricing Strategy," 513-036.)

    Keywords: Business Model; Change Management; Marketing Strategy; Price; Consumer Behavior; Decision Making; Management Teams; Brands and Branding; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Ofek, Elie, and Jill Avery. "J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Strategy (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 514-063, October 2013. View Details
  10. J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Pricing Strategy

    As a he gets ready to release 2nd quarter 2012 results, Ron Johnson, the new CEO of department store J.C. Penney, is reconsidering the dramatic changes he initiated for the business model and brand image of his company. A new pricing scheme he put in place in February, dubbed "Fair and square" was a central component of the new strategy. The scheme initially had three pricing tiers and eliminated typical sales promotions in an attempt to simplify the shopping experience for consumers; thus moving J.C. Penney off its previous high-low pricing practice. Other components of the new strategy included a new store layout, the inclusion of several well-known brands, and having special lines designed by well-known designers. However, troubling first quarter results that continued into the summer months seemed to indicate that J.C. Penney shoppers, accustomed to receiving JCP Cash coupons and circulars advertising the week's specials, were slow to embrace the new pricing format and began leaving the retailer in droves. Under enormous pressure to turn things around as the all-important back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons were imminent, Johnson decided to make adjustments to the initial pricing scheme that were set to go into effect August 1st. Were these changes enough to turn things around? Should Johnson stay the course on the other elements of his repositioning efforts? Is Johnson's experience in setting up Apple stores helping or hurting him as he tries to achieve his goal of making J.C. Penney "America's favorite store?"

    Keywords: Change Management; Consumer Behavior; Management Teams; Business Model; Marketing Strategy; Price; Brands and Branding; Decision Making; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Ofek, Elie, and Jill Avery. "J.C. Penney's 'Fair and Square' Pricing Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 513-036, September 2012. (Revised January 2013.) View Details
  11. EILEEN FISHER: Repositioning the Brand

    Well-established fashion brand Eileen Fisher has traditionally appealed to older women. However, to drive growth, Eileen Fisher's management team wants to target a younger demographic and has revamped its Fall product line to offer more fashionable styles to appeal to younger women. But, repositioning the brand has proven to be harder than expected. This case explores the challenges of appealing to new target markets, without alienating existing customers. The case follows Eileen Fisher's initial forays into social media as they chase a younger demographic, and demonstrates the opportunities and pitfalls that await big brands when they enter the world of Web 2.0.

    Keywords: marketing; brand management; brand positioning; market segmentation and target market selection; retailing; fashion; corporate social responsibility; social media; Brands and Branding; Product Positioning; Segmentation; Social and Collaborative Networks; Growth and Development Strategy; Retail Industry; Fashion Industry;

    Citation:

    Keinan, Anat, Jill Avery, Fiona Wilson, and Michael Norton. "EILEEN FISHER: Repositioning the Brand." Harvard Business School Case 512-085, April 2012. (Revised May 2012.) View Details
  12. The Pepsi Refresh Project: A Thirst for Change

    In 2010, for the first time in 23 years, PepsiCo did not invest in Superbowl advertising for its iconic brand. Instead, the company diverted this $20 million to the social media-fueled Pepsi Refresh Project: PepsiCo's innovative cause-marketing program in which consumers submitted ideas for grants for health, environmental, social, educational, and cultural causes. Consumers voted for their favorite ideas, and PepsiCo funded the winners in grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. The case highlights the benefits and risks of traditional branding and social media branding, including a discussion of how the Pepsi Refresh Project fits with Pepsi's previous brand positioning. The case discussion focuses on how the brand team should evaluate the initiative's return on investment (from sales to social media engagement), whether they should continue the initiative for 2011, and whether Pepsi is the right brand for this kind of initiative.

    Keywords: Risk Management; Marketing Strategy; Customer Focus and Relationships; Advertising Campaigns; Investment Return; Brands and Branding; Marketing Communications; Social Marketing; Cost vs Benefits; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Norton, Michael I., and Jill Avery. "The Pepsi Refresh Project: A Thirst for Change." Harvard Business School Case 512-018, September 2011. (Revised August 2013.) View Details
  13. Nanda Home: Preparing for Life after Clocky

    Gauri Nanda, the inventor of Clocky, the alarm clock that rolls off the bed stand and forces its owner to find it, has to make critical decisions regarding the future of her nascent company. As sales of Clocky show signs of declining, she must decide whether to continue her focus on the alarm clock category or to branch out into new categories. If the former, the question is which segments to pursue and what features to develop, and, if the latter, the question is whether the concept of "humanizing technology" is something consumers would value in other domains. In addition, Nanda must decide how to continue marketing Clocky and its successors, given the potential for cannibalization. Clocky's success was largely attributable to the media's intense interest and coverage, and it is not clear such attention would carry over to other new product endeavors. Students are presented with a number of new product concepts and the findings from both qualitative and quantitative market research. This allows for a rich discussion of how managers can think creatively about consumer experiences to inform their innovation strategies.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Management; Electronics Industry;

    Citation:

    Ofek, Elie, and Jill Avery. "Nanda Home: Preparing for Life after Clocky." Harvard Business School Case 511-134, May 2011. (Revised March 2012.) View Details
  14. EMC2: Delivering Customer Centricity

    This case introduces the concept of customer centricity and traces its development at EMC, the world's leading data storage hardware and information management software company. EMC's customers had historically relied on EMC salespeople to guide them through the complex, consultative buying process. However, with the rise of social media, prospective customers are getting more of the information they require earlier in the purchase process online. As they do so, their physical interactions with EMC salespeople are decreasing, while their digital interactions are increasing. Given the changing business environment, BJ Jenkins, senior vice president of Global Marketing, faces significant challenges as he tries to maintain EMC's culture of customer centricity. These include 1) translating EMC's platinum service levels, designed to appeal to the world's largest companies, to small businesses and B2C customers, 2) understanding how the replacement of physical interaction with digital interaction in the consultative selling process affects EMC's business, and 3) managing a VAR sales model that distances EMC from its customers.

    Keywords: Business Model; Interpersonal Communication; Customer Relationship Management; Knowledge Acquisition; Marketing Strategy; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Salesforce Management; Social and Collaborative Networks; Internet; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas, and Jill Avery. "EMC2: Delivering Customer Centricity." Harvard Business School Case 511-124, April 2011. (Revised May 2011.) View Details
  15. Better World Books

    Better World Books, a young start-up, provides a socially conscious alternative to Amazon, collecting and selling used books to keep them out of the waste stream, while donating a portion of their profits to support global literacy efforts. The case presents an emerging new business model: the for-profit "B corporation" designed to combine profits and mission. Founder Xavier Helgesen struggles with how to price his products to capture the value of their social good; how to manage multiple channels of distribution, including selling direct to consumers; and managing the social impact of negative public perceptions on the business once the company turns profitable.

    Keywords: Business Model; For-Profit Firms; Marketing Strategy; Social Marketing; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Public Opinion; Social Issues; Online Technology; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Norton, Michael I., Fiona Wilson, Jill Avery, and Thomas J. Steenburgh. "Better World Books." Harvard Business School Case 511-057, September 2010. (Revised April 2012.) View Details
  16. Better World Books Video

    This video contains an interview with David Murphy, CEO of Better World Books. Topics discussed include: the opportunities and constraints offered by having a social mission, an update on the company, and the future of Better World Books.

    Keywords: Growth and Development; Management Teams; Business Model; Social Enterprise; Publishing Industry;

    Citation:

    Norton, Michael I., Fiona Wilson, Jill Avery, and Thomas Steenburgh. "Better World Books Video." Harvard Business School Video Supplement 512-701, August 2011. View Details
  17. Porsche: The Cayenne Launch

    Can an online discussion forum supply insight into the evolution of brand meaning? In 2003 Porsche launched a sport utility vehicle, dividing Porsche purists from newcomers to the brand. Vocal members of online and offline Porsche communities ridiculed the Cayenne SUV and disapproved of the new breed of driver. Some opposed offering Porsche club membership to them, and some even refused to extend the fraternal Porsche 'wave' or headlight flicking to them on the road. Porsche's values of speed, luxury, and a certain masculine zeal resonated strongly with its devotees, while drivers of the Cayenne (which came to be known as 'the SUV for soccer moms') tended to be safety-conscious, family-oriented, and conservative. Evolving debates on forums allow a class to debate whether the brand had strayed too far from its core values and was at risk.

    Keywords: Knowledge Sharing; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Risk Management; Brands and Branding; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Social and Collaborative Networks; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Deighton, John, Jill Avery, and Jeffrey Fear. "Porsche: The Cayenne Launch." Harvard Business School Case 511-068, February 2011. (Revised December 2012.) View Details
  18. HubSpot: Lower Churn through Greater CHI

    HubSpot, a web marketing startup is under pressure from VCs to rapidly acquire new customers and to maintain a low level of customer churn. In the case, students explore the drivers of customer churn and uncover opportunities to increase customer retention across the customer selection, selling, and training processes. Students assess a metric, CHI (Customer Happiness Index) which HubSpot uses to predict which customers will churn, and suggest alternatives to improve the firm's predictions. Students develop programs to reduce churn post-hoc and then reengineer the company's marketing, selling, and customer relationship management processes to manage churn proactively through market segmentation and targeting, product design, and customer interactions.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Customer Relationship Management; Customer Satisfaction; Customer Value and Value Chain; Forecasting and Prediction; Consumer Behavior; Happiness; Consulting Industry;

    Citation:

    Martinez Jerez, F. Asis, Thomas Steenburgh, Jill Avery, and Lisa Brem. "HubSpot: Lower Churn through Greater CHI." Harvard Business School Case 110-052, January 2010. (Revised March 2013.) View Details
  19. HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0

    This case introduces the concept of inbound marketing, pulling customer prospects toward a business through the use of Web 2.0 tools and applications like blogging, search engine optimization, and social media. Students follow the growth of HubSpot, an entrepreneurial venture which, in its quest for growth, faces significant challenges including the following: developing market segmentation and targeting strategies to decide which customers to serve and which to turn away, configuring pricing strategies to align with the value delivery stream customers experience, and determining whether inbound marketing programs can generate enough scale or whether traditional outbound marketing methods need to be employed to accelerate growth.

    Keywords: Customer Relationship Management; Entrepreneurship; Price; Growth and Development Strategy; Marketing Communications; Social and Collaborative Networks; Segmentation; Web;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., Jill Avery, and Naseem Ashraf Dahod. "HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0." Harvard Business School Case 509-049, May 2009. (Revised January 2011.) View Details
  20. HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0 (TN)

    Teaching Note for 509-049.

    Keywords: Customer Satisfaction; Technology Adoption; Search Technology; Blogs; Media; Markets; Segmentation; Price; Decision Choices and Conditions; Marketing Strategy; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0 (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 510-043, September 2009. View Details
  21. UnME Jeans: Branding in Web 2.0

    This case introduces emerging Web 2.0 social media in virtual worlds, social networking sites, and video-sharing sites and encourages students to explore the opportunities and risks they present for brands. The case allows students to grapple with the strategic and tactical decisions that accompany marketing communications strategy and to combine information on consumer behavior with an understanding of brand objectives in order to assess and evaluate new social media options. Brand manager Margaret Foley is facing an increasingly complex media environment in which her traditional media plan, focused on television, print, and radio advertising, has become less effective due to declining audiences, increased advertising clutter, and consumers tuning out. She is exploring emerging Web 2.0 social media options to determine if they can better achieve her branding and advertising objectives. Her challenge is to cut through all of the hype surrounding Web 2.0 and to analyze the social media's potential for her brand by delving into the consumer needs and behaviors underpinning Web 2.0 technologies.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Brands and Branding; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Behavior; Risk and Uncertainty; Social and Collaborative Networks; Web; Apparel and Accessories Industry;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "UnME Jeans: Branding in Web 2.0." Harvard Business School Case 509-035, November 2008. (Revised August 2011.) View Details
  22. Understanding Brands

    For many firms, the brands associated with their products and/or services are their most valuable assets, and, hence, much management attention is given to designing, communicating, nurturing, and protecting them. This note is designed to provide an understanding of brand management strategies firms use to build, sustain, and leverage their brands.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Value;

    Citation:

    Keinan, Anat, and Jill Avery. "Understanding Brands." Harvard Business School Module Note 509-041, November 2008. View Details
  23. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Situation Analysis

    Before managers can begin to formulate marketing strategies for their businesses, they must have a strong understanding of the internal and external marketing environments in which they are operating. In this note, we present three methods for collecting and analyzing information about the internal and external marketing environments firms face: Five C's Analysis, Porter's Five Forces Industry Analysis, and SWOT Analysis. These analyses help students understand the analytical processes by which managers understand themselves, their consumers, and the marketplaces in which they compete. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing the situation analysis section of a marketing plan.

    Keywords: Five Forces Framework; SWOT Analysis; Marketing Strategy; Demand and Consumers; Industry Structures; Strategic Planning;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Situation Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 510-079, February 2010. View Details
  24. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Customer Lifetime Value Analysis

    Customers are increasingly being viewed as assets that bring value to the firm. Customer lifetime value is a metric that allows managers to understand the overall value of their customer base and relate it to three customer strategies firms employ: asset acquisition—attracting new customers to the firm; asset maximization—maximizing the value the firm extracts from each customer; and asset retention—retaining existing customers for the long-term. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing a marketing plan. The note is accompanied by a free Excel worksheet that contains sample problems, prebuilt Excel models to calculate customer lifetime value, and charts and graphs that help visualize the results.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Value and Value Chain; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Measurement and Metrics; Strategic Planning; Value;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Customer Lifetime Value Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 511-029, July 2010. (Revised August 2011.) View Details
  25. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Customer Lifetime Value Analysis (CW)

    Customers are increasingly being viewed as assets that bring value to the firm. Customer lifetime value is a metric which allows managers to understand the overall value of their customer base and relate it to three customer strategies firms employ: asset acquisition - attracting new customers to the firm, asset maximization - maximizing the value the firm extracts from each customer, and asset retention - retaining existing customers for the long term. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing a marketing plan. The note is accompanied by a free Excel worksheet which contains sample problems, prebuilt Excel models to calculate customer lifetime value, and charts and graphs which help visualize the results.

    Keywords: Competency and Skills; Customer Relationship Management; Customer Value and Value Chain; Decisions; Framework; Management Practices and Processes; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Strategic Planning; Mathematical Methods; Value;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Customer Lifetime Value Analysis (CW)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 511-702, July 2010. View Details
  26. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Pricing and Profitability Analysis

    Pricing is one of the most difficult decisions marketers make and the one with the most direct and immediate impact on the firm's financial position. This toolkit will introduce the fundamental terminology and calculations associated with pricing and profitability analysis. Users will learn how to produce and interpret demand curves and calculate the price elasticity of demand. The concepts of revenue, costs, contribution margin, gross margin, and net income will be introduced to inform profitability analyses. Finally, retailer profitability metrics including retailer margin and penny profit are discussed. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing a marketing plan. The note is accompanied by a free Excel worksheet that contains sample problems; prebuilt Excel models to calculate demand curves, price elasticity, and profitability metrics for firms and their channel partners; and charts and graphs that help visualize the results.

    Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Price; Profit; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Demand and Consumers; Measurement and Metrics; Strategic Planning; Mathematical Methods; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Pricing and Profitability Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 511-028, July 2010. (Revised December 2011.) View Details
  27. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Pricing and Profitability Analysis (CW)

    Pricing is one of the most difficult decisions marketers make and the one with the most direct and immediate impact on the firm's financial position. This toolkit will introduce the fundamental terminology and calculations associated with pricing and profitability analysis. Users will learn how to produce and interpret demand curves and calculate the price elasticity of demand. The concepts of revenue, costs, and contribution margin, gross margin, and net income will be introduced to inform profitability analyses. Finally, retailer profitability metrics including retailer margin and penny profit are discussed. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing a marketing plan. The note is accompanied by a free Excel worksheet which contains sample problems, prebuilt Excel models to calculate demand curves, price elasticity, and profitability metrics for firms and their channel partners, and charts and graphs which help visualize the results.

    Keywords: Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Decisions; Strategic Planning; Price; Partners and Partnerships; Cost; Demand and Consumers; Revenue; Profit; Mathematical Methods; Measurement and Metrics;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Pricing and Profitability Analysis (CW)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 511-701, July 2010. View Details
  28. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Market Size and Market Share Analysis

    Marketers frequently need to estimate the size of their markets—both for existing products so that sales forecasts can be developed and for new products so that market opportunities can be assessed. This toolkit enables students to size a market and generate a sales forecast using a market build-up methodology. Students learn to measure market demand and company demand and calculate market and product penetration rates and market share. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing a marketing plan. The note is accompanied by a free Excel worksheet that contains sample problems, pre-built Excel models to calculate market size, market penetration, and market share, and charts and graphs that help visualize the results.

    Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Markets; Demand and Consumers; Size; Strategic Planning; Sales;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Market Size and Market Share Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 510-081, February 2010. View Details
  29. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Market Size and Market Share Analysis (CW)

    This Excel worksheet contains sample problems, prebuilt Excel models to run market sizing and market share analyses, and charts and graphs which help visualize the results. It is designed to accompany Marketing Analysis Tookit: Market Size and Market Share Analysis. The toolkit enables students to size a market and generate a sales forecast using a market build-up methodology. Students measure market demand and company demand and calculate market and product penetration rates and merket share.

    Keywords: Mathematical Methods; Marketing Strategy; Decisions; Strategic Planning; Market Participation; Sales; Forecasting and Prediction; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Market Size and Market Share Analysis (CW)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 510-714, February 2010. View Details
  30. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Breakeven Analysis

    Marketing managers are often called upon to make recommendations for or against programs that cost money to implement. Before expenditures are made, managers want to be sure that they will be getting a return on their investment. One way of assessing this is by calculating the breakeven point. In this note, we introduce the concept of breakeven analysis and show how it is used to guide marketing decision making. This analysis helps students assess the feasibility of proposed fixed and variable marketing expenditures, the feasibility of permanent pricing changes, and the feasibility of a new product introduction. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing a marketing plan. The note is accompanied by a free Excel worksheet that contains sample problems, pre-built Excel models to calculate breakeven, and charts and graphs that help visualize the results.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Investment Return; Spending; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Strategic Planning; Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Breakeven Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 510-080, February 2010. (Revised July 2011.) View Details
  31. Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Breakeven Analysis (CW)

    This Excel worksheet contains sample problems, prebuilt Excel models to run breakeven analyses, and charts and graphs which help visualize the results. It is designed to accompany "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Breakeven Analysis."

    Keywords: Mathematical Methods; Marketing; Decisions; Planning; Marketing Strategy; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Breakeven Analysis (CW)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 510-713, February 2010. View Details

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Harvard Business Review's Go to Market Tools: Customer Lifetime Value

    How much are your customers worth? Has your marketing budget been slashed? Need to figure out the best place to invest your time and effort to reach your growth target? HBR's Go to Market Tool helps calculate your customer's lifetime value, allowing you to prioritize your marketing and product development resources on the customers that will provide the biggest returns. This tool allows you to play around with the levers that determine a customer's lifetime value—providing insight into how to maximize the value each type of customer delivers to your company. The relationships a company has with its customers are one of its most valuable assets, and understanding the value of those customer relationships is key to managing them well over time. But not all customers are created equally, and figuring out how much value each customer adds to your bottom line allows you to be most efficient with your marketing and product development investment. Enter your own data into HBR's Customer Lifetime Value tool to figure out: (1) How much to spend to acquire a new customer, or retain an existing one, (2) What levers you could pull to increase a customer's lifetime value, and by how much, (3) Which customer segments you should target to maximize profits, (4) Which customer segments are dragging down your profitability, and (5) How to increase the value of the customers you already have. HBR's Customer Lifetime Value tool includes: a brief tutorial that walks you through the concepts and calculations; guidance for gathering your own data to plug into the tool; and a pre-designed, yet fully customizable PowerPoint presentation to share your results with your colleagues.

    Keywords: marketing; Quantitative analysis; Tools; customer lifetime value; customer defection; CRM; customer relationship management; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Customer Focus and Relationships;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas, and Jill Avery. Harvard Business Review's Go to Market Tools: Customer Lifetime Value. Tool. Harvard Business Review Press, 2013. Electronic. View Details
  2. Harvard Business Review's Go to Market Tools: Pricing for Profit

    What price is right? Figuring out the best price for your product or service can be nerve-wracking. Your new product launch or marketing campaign's success—perhaps even your career advancement—may hinge on the price you choose. So how do you select a price that's attractive to customers and profitable for your company? This tool will help you confidently arrive at the most profitable price—by guiding you through a series of questions: How much does it cost to produce each product you sell? How are your competitors' products priced, and how valuable is your product or service relative to those competitors? How many customers will buy your product at various price points? What price maximizes your profitability? HBR's Pricing for Profit will help you turn your raw data into a clear analysis that will inform your pricing decisions. HBR's Pricing for Profit tool includes: a brief tutorial that walks you through the process and calculations; instructions for gathering your own pricing data to plug into the tool; and the results of your data analysis in a PowerPoint to share with your colleagues. The tool provides a systematic approach to determining the most profitable price for your product or service.

    Keywords: marketing; Quantitative analysis; Tools; pricing; Profitability analysis; Pricing strategy; Marketing Strategy; Marketing;

    Citation:

    Steenburgh, Thomas, and Jill Avery. Harvard Business Review's Go to Market Tools: Pricing for Profit. Tool. Harvard Business Review Press, 2013. Electronic. View Details
  3. Harvard Business Review's Go to Market Tools: Market Sizing

    Market size matters. On the hook to launch your division's next great product or service? Need to convince higher ups that your product will fit that gaping revenue hole—and is worth the team's scarce marketing and product development resources? You need hard data to make your case: How many customers will buy it? How much will they pay? What are your competitors' strategies? We can help. Use HBR's Market Sizing tool again and again, to turn your raw market data into a clear analysis that will inform your product development and marketing plans. It will help you (1) gather the data you need to size your own market, (2) use your data to make confident projections, (3) turn your results into a game plan. HBR's Market Sizing tool includes: a brief tutorial that walks you through the process and calculations; instructions for gathering your own market data to plug into the tool; and the results of your data analysis in a PowerPoint to share with your colleagues. The tool will help you turn your own market data into a compelling business case for your great idea.

    Keywords: marketing; Quantitative analysis; Tools; go to market strategy; marketing strategy; Marketing Strategy; Marketing;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill, and Thomas Steenburgh. Harvard Business Review's Go to Market Tools: Market Sizing. Tool. Boston, MA, USA: Harvard Business Review Press, 2013. Electronic. View Details
  4. Brands Are People Too! Harnessing the Power of Brand Warmth and Competence

    Research in customer behavior has revealed that the way humans respond to brands is simply an extension of the way they instinctively perceive, judge, and behave towards one another. Understanding how consumers judge brands using social processes akin to those used in human interaction allows us to unlock the social psychological power of our brands, making them more compelling and attractive as relationship partners for consumers.

    Keywords: marketing; Brands; brands and branding; brand management; customer relationship management; CRM; brand positioning; Brand equity; Customers; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Brands and Branding; Marketing; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Malone, Chris, Jill Avery, and S. T. Fiske. "Brands Are People Too! Harnessing the Power of Brand Warmth and Competence." White Paper Series, Relational Capital Group, Newtowne Square, PA, 2011. View Details
  5. Marketing in the Age of Web 2.0

    Web 2.0 technologies empower consumers to create their own personalized experiences on the web, and to share them with others. Hence, web content is democratized and consumers' experiences online are largely social rather than individualistic.

    Keywords: marketing; digital marketing; social media; brands and branding; internet; Brands and Branding; Marketing; Marketing Communications; Internet; Consumer Products Industry; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Avery, Jill. "Marketing in the Age of Web 2.0." Simmons Magazine, SOM Edition 90, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 21. View Details