About

TC Photo 9 HRTim Calkins helps people build strong and profitable brands.

He is Clinical Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he teaches courses including Marketing Strategy and Biomedical Marketing in the full-time, part-time and international executive MBA programs. He is co-academic director of the Kellogg on Branding executive education program.

Tim won the Lawrence G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, the top teaching award at Kellogg, in 2006 and 2013, making him one of just four people in the award’s more than forty year history to have won it twice. In 2016, Poets & Quants included him on its list “Our Favorite MBA Professors of 2016.” He also received the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, two Kellogg Faculty Impact Awards and the Kellogg Executive MBA Program’s Top Professor Award four times.

Tim is the author of Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Expert Marketer Magazine named Defending Your Brand the 2013 Marketing Book of the Year. He also wrote Breakthrough Marketing Plans (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 and 2012). He was co-editor of Kellogg on Branding (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

Tim manages Building Strong Brands, a blog on brand strategy. Inc.com, the Web arm of Inc. Magazine, included the blog on its list of “Six Blogs That Can Teach You More Than an MBA.” He has published more than a dozen Kellogg case studies including Crestor, MedImmune: FluMist Introduction and Genzyme: the Synvisc-One Investment Decision. He has authored more than two dozen articles on marketing topics.

Tim is an expert on Super Bowl advertising. He created the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review in 2005 and has led the event ever since. Over the past ten years, the program has generated more than five billion media impressions.

He has served as a judge for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s WOMMY Awards, the Native Creatives Awards and the EthicMark Awards.

In addition to teaching at Kellogg, Tim works with major corporations around the world on strategy and branding issues. His recent clients include Pfizer, PepsiCo, Lifelock and AbbVie. He is managing director of Class 5 Consulting, a marketing strategy firm.

Tim is frequently cited by the media. He has been quoted in publications including Business Week, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has appeared on all of the major television networks.

He serves on the board of the Alliance Française de Chicago and recently completed two terms on the board of the Lycée Français, Chicago’s French-International School.

Tim began his career at the consulting firm Booz Allen and Hamilton, where he worked on strategy projects. He joined the marketing team at Kraft Foods in 1991. During his almost 11 years at Kraft, he led brands including Miracle Whip, Taco Bell, Parkay and DiGiorno. He was responsible for the launch of more than two dozen new products.

He received his BA from Yale and his MBA from Harvard. Tim lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.

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Conversation Across the Site

  • timcalkins { Balancing creativity and a product message is a huge challenge. You can see the framework we use at the Super Bowl Ad Review Site. Click... } – Five Remarkable Super Bowl Ads
  • Jeffrey S. Ball { I always find this an interesting struggle between creativity to cut through the clutter like most advertisers do for something like the Super Bowl vs... } – Five Remarkable Super Bowl Ads
  • Alex Butterman { For next year's competition, you should tackle the issue of getting Dominican Republicans to use seatbelts. From what I am hearing in the media, that... } – Notes from the Kellogg Healthcare Case Competition
  • Ted Morris { Interesting to see if these brands play out vis-a-vis the PIMS principles through to the end of 2017 } – Six Brands to Watch in 2017
  • timcalkins { This will indeed be interesting to watch. The presidency brings with all sorts of branding cues, which makes it very powerful. Brand Trump + Brand... } – 2017’s Brand to Watch: Donald Trump
  • Jill Carr { Hi Professor Calkins, What about the "brand" of the President of the United States? I feel as if there is also a brand image associated... } – 2017’s Brand to Watch: Donald Trump
  • Read more Comments »

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Tim helps companies around the world build great brands. To schedule a program or event click here. To learn more about Tim’s books, click here.