Johny K. Johansson

For a specialist in global branding, it helps to work for an institution with a global reputation. Johansson can sometimes gather field data without much effort at all. When he tells people he meets abroad that he works for Georgetown, “They think ‘Washington,’ they think ‘policy,’ they think ‘Jesuit’ and they think of a place that has a bit of a mystique.”

Travel is a key ingredient to Johansson’s research in international business and marketing. The author of Global Marketing and co-author of Relentless: The Japanese Way of Marketing, he is frequently sought after to present papers at international conferences and consult with colleagues abroad. Meetings with executives of global corporations are valuable opportunities to collect data for his next book, The Promises of Global Brands.

A Student-Centered Approach

Support from the McCrane/Shaker Professorship makes this mobility possible. It also enriches the classroom experience for Johansson’s students, enabling him to invite, for example, a senior executive from Sony-Tokyo to offer a real-world perspective. And it provides funds for students to conduct research of their own—under his direction, three students are currently studying why global brands did not hold up well during the 2008 worldwide economic collapse.

“The professorship confers on my work a mark of excellence for which I am very grateful. Many of us have options to go outside of academe but stay because a dedication to teaching and scholarship is more rewarding. Support from donors makes that choice even more attractive,” says Johansson.

This fall, the American Marketing Association honored Johansson for his contributions to teaching, research and branding with the Lifetime Contributions to Global Marketing Award.