E.T. Grether Professor Emeritus of Marketing and Public Policy
Hailed as the "father of modern branding"
Marketing Professor Emeritus David Aaker is widely considered the father of modern branding. His pioneering work focused on defining brand equity and detailed ways to build and manage brands and portfolios. He has published more than 100 articles and 18 books on the theory and practice of marketing—including eight on branding—that have sold more 1 million copies and were translated into 18 languages.
Aaker’s first brand book, Managing Brand Equity (1991), gained attention because it defined brand equity at a time when there was no accepted definition. His second book, the bestselling Building Strong Brands (1995), developed his brand identity model, The Aaker Model, which is used by hundreds of firms to build and strategically manage brands. Other influential books followed on brand leadership, portfolio strategy, and relevance. His latest book, “Creating Signature Stories,” was published in 2017.
Aaker serves as Vice Chair at Prophet, a global marketing and branding consultancy. In 2015, he was inducted into the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame for his lifetime achievements in marketing.
Expertise and Research Interests
- Brand and Brand Building
- Brand Portfolio Strategy
- Global Brand Management
- David Aaker. Aaker on Branding. New York: Morgan James.
- David Aaker. Find the shared interest: A route to community activation and brand building. Journal of Brand Strategy.
- David Aaker. Four Ways Digital Works to Build Brands and Relationships. Journal of Brand Strategy.
- David Aaker. Win the Brand Relevance Battle and Then Build Competitor Barriers. California Management Review.
- David Aaker. Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant. Jersey Boss.
- David Aaker. Brand Portfolio Strategy. The Free Press.
- David Aaker. From Fargo to the World of Brands. Iceni Books.
- David Aaker. Spanning Silos. Harvard Business Press.
- David Aaker. Winning by Creating New Categories. Wall Street Journal, The Journal Report.
- David Aaker. Innovation: Brand It or Lose It. California Management Review.
- David Aaker. Peeling Back the Layers on Innovation. BrandWeek.
- David Aaker and Christian Dorffer. Brands to the Power of Two. Brand Strategy.
- David Aaker. The Relevance of Relevance: Innovating Brands in Fast-Moving Markets. Strategy + Business.
- David Aaker. Brand Marketing in Slow Growth Markets: The Internet as Integrator. Strategy + Business.
- David Aaker. The Power of Branded Differentiator. MIT Sloan Management Review.
At Haas since 1968
1994 – present, E.T. Grether Professor of Marketing Strategy (Emeritus since 2000)
1999 – present, Vice Chairman, Prophet
1981 – 1994, J. Gary Shansby Professor of Marketing Strategy
1970 – 1981, Professor, Haas School of Business
1982 – 1986, Chair, Marketing Group
- Board of Directors, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County
- Serves on the following editorial boards : Journal of Strategic Marketing, Marketing Management, The Journal of Brand Management, Strategy & Leadership, and The Russian Management Journal
- Board of Directors, California Casualty Insurance Company
Innovative Contributions to Marketing, Marketing Management Association
American Marketing Association’s Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee for outstanding contributions to the field of marketing
MIT Buck Weaver Award for contributions to the advancement of theory and practice in marketing science
Vijay Mahajan Award for career contributions to marketing strategy
Paul D. Converse Award for outstanding contributions to the development of the science of marketing
Fellow, World Economic Forum at Davos
Pacific Telesis Award for best article in the California Management Review
Award for best article contributed to the Journal of Marketing
- How Asian businesses can improve their brand value, Eastern Eye, 02/01/2022
- Many Pluses, Zero Minuses, Some Division, The New York Times, 12/23/2021
- Growing Your Brand with Subcategories – With David Aaker, Project Ignite Podcast, 07/13/2021
- The future of branding: From slogans to stories-David Aaker, Brand Equity, 07/29/2020
- Why subcategories are the only way to grow, WARC, 06/18/2020
- David Aaker: Father of modern branding, Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People, 05/27/2020
- Rooftop video ads bring extra cash for Uber, Lyft drivers, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/06/2018
- Facebook’s Embattled Brand, Fox 2 KTVU, 10/12/2018
- How Prophet is still a visionary 20 years on, Marketing, 07/09/2018
- Equine equity: How mid-Missouri horses boost a global beer brand, Missouri Business Alert, 07/03/2018
- Why Brands Need Signature Stories, Forbes, 05/08/2018
- Some Uber, Lyft drivers have a side hustle: mobile billboards, San Francisco Chronicle, 04/06/2018
- There’s More to Naming a Company After Yourself Than Ego, The New York Times, 01/05/2018