Kusum Ailawadi

Charles Jordan 1911 TU'12 Professor of Marketing


Kusum Ailawadi is the Charles Jordan 1911 TU'12 Professor of Marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Kusum’s research focuses on the strategic interaction and distribution of power between manufacturers and their distribution channel partners. She examines the impact of store brands and promotions on the performance of manufacturers and retailers, and studies consumer, competitor, and retailer response to major marketing policy changes. Her most recent work also examines how marketing actions and consumers’ own characteristics drive the nutritional quality of their grocery food shopping.

Kusum’s work has been honored for excellence in collaborative research between academics and practitioners, and for outstanding application of marketing science methods to practice. She has examined the effectiveness of policy changes by packaged goods manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, assessed the profit impact of the strategies of retailers like Hannaford and CVS, and studied the reaction of incumbent retailers to a major entrant like Wal-Mart. She is a recipient of best paper awards from top marketing journals like Journal of Marketing, Marketing Science, and Journal of Retailing; the winner of the Marketing Science Institute/Journal of Marketing Research competition for academic-practitioner collaborative research; and a finalist for multiple awards from the Journal of Marketing Research as well as the ISMS Practice Prize.  Recently, her Journal of Marketing paper on store brands and store loyalty was selected as one of the 50 best papers of 2008 published in all management journals. Besides publishing extensively in the top academic journals, she has written for the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, the CMO Strategy Forum at Advertising Age, and the Harvard Business Review among others.

Kusum is an associate editor for two major marketing journals – Journal of Marketing and International Journal of Research in Marketing – and on the editorial boards of several others, including the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing, and Marketing Science.  She serves on the board of trustees of Southern New Hampshire University and as an academic trustee of the Marketing Science Institute and AiMark, organizations in the US and Europe respectively that brings together academics, senior practitioners, and data providers to facilitate research and idea exchange.

She currently teaches highly regarded electives on Managing the Marketing Channel and Marketing Research in Tuck's MBA program. Previously, she taught the Statistics for Managers course in Tuck's MBA core and an elective in Marketing Strategy for many years. She has also taught in several of Tuck's general and specialized executive programs to high acclaim, and consulted with or conducted training programs for companies like the Chubb Group, Doremus, Hasbro, Maxeda, Merial, The Parthenon Group, and Trinity Partners.

Kusum received her PhD from the University of Virginia and taught at the Darden School at the University of Virginia and the Wallace E. Carroll School of Management at Boston College before joining Tuck in 1993. Before entering the PhD program, she worked in marketing management for Computer Maintenance Corporation (CMC) Ltd. in India. Kusum received her undergraduate degree with honors in physics from St. Stephens College, Delhi University, and her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. More.


A Deeper Understanding of Brand Equity  //

Kusum Ailawadi studies the link between two common measures of brand equity. Read the article

Outsmarting the Marketers: Kusum Ailawadi at TEDx  //

It's not just you: we are getting fatter. That's why everything around us — our plates, cups, clothing, even La-Z-Boy recliners — is getting bigger. Worse, we're terrible at estimating serving sizes, we can't remember what we've eaten, and we trick ourselves into thinking it's okay to eat more of "healthy" foods. So what can we do? As Kusum Ailawadi explains, if we want to truly eat healthy, we have to learn to outsmart the marketers. Watch the video

How Companies Can Get Smart About Raising Prices  //

Kusum Ailawadi notes strategic ways in which retailers can raise prices. Read the article at the Wall Street Journal






  • PhD, University of Virginia, 1991
  • MBA, Indian Institute of Management, 1984
  • BSc (Honors), St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, 1982