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. Her research focuses on the strategic interaction and distribution of power between manufacturers and their distribution channel partners. She examines the impact of store brands, promotions, and brand equity on the performance of manufacturers and retailers, and studies consumer, competitor, and retailer response to major marketing-relevant policy changes. In a separate research stream, Ailawadi also studies the relationship between marketing actions, consumers’ health status, and the nutritional quality of consumers’ grocery food shopping.

She has published extensively in the top marketing journals, including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, and Marketing Science. She has won or been a finalist for several best paper awards and long-term impact awards from these and other journals. Her work has also been honored for excellence in collaborative research between academics and practitioners, and for outstanding application of marketing science methods to practice. In addition to her academic articles, she has written for practitioner audiences in publications like the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Advertising Age’s CMO Forum. She is co-author of “Getting Multi-Channel Distribution Right,” a 2020 book that distills lessons from academic research and practice for selecting and managing physical and digital distribution channels.

Ailawadi is the president of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science and an associate editor for Journal of Marketing. Previously, she has served as an associate editor for International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Journal of Retailing. She has also been an academic trustee of the Marketing Science Institute and AiMark, organizations in the United States and Europe that bring together academics, senior practitioners, and data providers to facilitate research and idea exchange. She is currently on the advisory boards of Better Marketing for a Better World and the AiMark Marketing Science hub.

She teaches a highly regarded elective on Multi-Channel Routes to Market. Previously, she taught the Statistics for Managers course in Tuck's MBA core and electives in Marketing Research and Marketing Strategy for many years. She has consulted with or conducted training programs for companies in the consumer goods, retailing, consulting, and financial services sectors and served as a consulting or testifying expert in legal cases related to distribution, brand equity, and promotions.



Getting Multi-Channel Distribution Right  //

Products reach today’s end consumers through an endless number of channels—digital and physical, independent and company-owned. This book provides the toolkit, illustrated with rich case studies, to manage this evolving distribution system. It is useful for digital natives who realize they must master physical channels, traditional marketers who must integrate digital and direct channels into the mix, and the intermediaries they partner with. View the book's website

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