Marketing Expert David Aaker to Talk on Threats to Brand Relevance, April 9

Branding guru and Haas Professor Emeritus David Aaker will return to the Haas School for his annual marketing lecture on April 9 at 12:30 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room.

The lecture, “Three Threats to Relevance—Strategies that Work,” is part of the David Aaker Distinguished Speaker Series and is sponsored by the Dean’s Speaker Series, MBA Marketing Club, and Undergraduate Marketing Club. Registration is required; more details on registration will be provided as the event approaches. Boxed lunches will be served at the event.

Aaker says creating brand relevance, not brand preference, is the key to developing competitive marketing strategies. His work on brand relevance relies on substantial or transformational innovation in new categories and subcategories that make competitors irrelevant.

“Brands today are facing the prospect of losing relevance because they are not making what customers are buying, because they have lost energy and visibility, or because they have developed a reason-not-to-buy,” explains Aaker. “As a result, customers, even some who still have a high regard for a particular brand, are no longer considering it. It is important to recognize these threats and deal with them before they damage the brand and business."

Since retiring from teaching in 2000, Aaker has returned to Haas every year to present the "David Aaker Distinguished Speaker Series in Marketing" and to speak to a new generation of marketing students. Aaker is also vice chairman of Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy firm, founded by Haas alumni based on his teaching.

Aaker's extensive research in brand building, portfolio strategy, and global brand management was honed during his 30 years at UC Berkeley.

He is the author of 15 books, including Spanning Silos (2008), Brand Portfolio Strategy (2004), and From Fargo to the World of Brands (2006). His latest book, Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, was published in 2011.  

Aaker's first of four brand books, Managing Brand Equity (1991), defined brand equity. His second, Building Strong Brands (1995), developed the brand identity model used by many firms. His third, Brand Leadership (2000), extended the brand identity model and discussed how to develop brand-building programs. The fourth, Brand Portfolio Strategy (2004), developed tools and concepts to create brand portfolios that are prioritized, clear, energized, and synergistic.