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40: Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp provides a master class on global branding

Jan-Benedict Steenkamp

Jan-Benedict (J.B.) Steenkamp is the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Professor and Area Chair of Marketing at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. A highly regarded expert in his field, he specializes in global marketing, branding, and emerging markets and strategy. In addition, he is the author of three books, the latest of which is titled “Global Brand Strategy: World-wise Marketing in the Age of Branding.”

In this podcast, Steenkamp, while discussing topics and ideas from his most recent book, provides a sort of toolkit for marketers, including four key takeaways: (1) The need for diverse leadership teams in managing a global brand; (2) Clear accountability and quantifiable metrics; (3) The need for local flexibility within a common framework; and, lastly, (4) How Frank Zappa got it right — we’re only in it for the money.

When asked what draws him to marketing, he says, “Marketing is the interface between the company and the customers. And I’m interested in activities that span boundaries…and marketing is such a boundary-spanning activity.” He goes on to add, “I’m really interested in the combination of managerial relevance and academic rigor.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Living in the age of branding. (2:36)
  • How we define a global brand. (5:41)
  • “COMET” — Five ways global brands provide value to a company. (11:23)
  • Five underlying trends: The impact of the digital age on brand strategy. (19:06)
  • Brands reside in the minds of people: Whether or not to employ co-creation — and when. (26:37)
  • Steenkamp discusses key takeaways from his latest book. (32:53)