Insights From

Kimberly A. Whitler

How to Write a Brand Essence Statement

To develop and manage a brand effectively, marketers start by defining it with a brand essence statement. In an excerpt from her book Positioning for Advantage, Professor Kim Whitler discusses the blueprint for building a brand from the bottom up, including the foundation, the support, the impact on a consumer and, ultimately, the brand essence.

What Western Marketers Can Learn From TikTok, Ocean Spray Reactions to Viral ‘Morning Vibe’ Video

Professor Whitler looks at Western executives of multinational brands who use traditional media and ad strategies, based on marketing theories and practices created largely in the West. This often leads to marketing campaigns that require months of planning, consulting with ad agencies, content creation and carefully allocating money.

The 4 Phases of Marketing Communication During Covid-19

With the onset of COVID-19, it was incredibly important for businesses to reach out to their consumers and preserve those consumers’ loyalty. Darden Professor Kimberly Whitler, an expert in marketing strategy and brand management, investigated how marketing teams were communicating with customers during the crisis.

Pandemic Pivoting: 4 Advertising Trends in Turbulent Times

How Jeep and Bill Murray responded to a pandemic: a popular Super Bowl commercial for an SUV reincarnated as a message encouraging consumers to stay home and off the road. Here are an expert marketer’s observations of how brands shifted when faced with an integral shift in the way the world did business and people lived their lives.

What to Read Now February 2020

Top stories from Ideas to Action in February 2020


Professor Kimberly Whitler shares five characteristics that better ads tend to have in common.

Fortune 100 CEOs: What We Can Learn From Their Stories About Making It to the Top

How did CEOs of Fortune 100 companies come to helm the world’s largest businesses? And is there anything we can learn from their stories that might suggest lessons about how they made it to the top? Professor Kimberly Whitler looked into the education and career choices of every Fortune 100 CEO and made some surprising discoveries.

Marketing in China: 6 Lessons

China’s marketing landscape is a different machine than Western companies may be accustomed to. How a country evolves impacts consumer habits — which, in turn, should impact marketing practice. Western multinational firms seeking to expand need to shift their strategies — and might find they can apply some lessons to other markets.

Principles and Purpose: A Statement on Stakeholders

A group of prominent CEOs recently issued a statement encouraging business to create value for all stakeholders, not limited to investors. Ed Freeman and his colleagues have been working with Stakeholder Theory for decades. Here, Darden professors across disciplines offer examples of how businesses can (or already are) prioritizing stakeholders.

Under the Influence: Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a key way to engage potential customers, build loyalty and drive a message to a larger market in an organic way. Darden marketing experts provide insights for aspiring influencers and marketers eager to analyze their effect.