The 'Global Kellogg' strategy
Kellogg School brand keeps growing in influence and reputation
world stage. Here�s Dean Dipak Jain�s plan
to keep it that way
business is more than an academic pursuit at the Kellogg
also a strategic focus for Kellogg itself.
takes new steps to enhance its reach and reputation, brand
management becomes especially important — and presents
|© Nathan Mandell
C. Jain recently shared his insights with Kellogg World
regarding brand and the strategies being employed by the Kellogg
School as it extends its global footprint.
World: What is your global vision for the Kellogg
School going forward?
Dipak C. Jain: There are three fairly integrated priorities
for the Kellogg School: to build the Kellogg brand and
continue differentiating ourselves as a management school;
to keep our alumni engaged with us — not only socially,
but also intellectually with cutting-edge management concepts;
and to build our global reputation.
Our vision is to have a presence in key markets, including
Asia, Europe and Latin America. Our model of globalization
was to identify regional partners with whom we could collaborate
and develop programs jointly. My view of a global organization
is one that operates on a global level, but in each market
it's also perceived as a local organization.
KW: That seems quite challenging. On the one hand you have
to adopt a specific approach that is effective for a particular
market, yet you want to keep the brand identity intact and
consistent across a wide geography. How do you do that?
DJ: You go with the local partner who understands the needs
of the local market. For instance, we identified partners
such as the Hong Kong
University of Science and Technology (HKUST), which has a strong presence in Hong Kong and worldwide.
Partnering with them, we bring state-of-the-art education,
curriculum and faculty, and they bring their faculty and
insights to jointly create a world-class executive MBA program.
we focused on the Western European segment, picking a partner
in Germany with WHU-Otto
Beisheim Graduate School of Management. We were looking
for a private institution because they seem slightly more
entrepreneurial. That's important, because Kellogg's strength
is working with an entrepreneurial spirit. We also wanted
to pick an institution on the upward slope, rather than one
with a rigid culture already in place, because for those institutions
change is often more difficult. If the objectives of the two
institutions are aligned — they want to grow,
Kellogg wants to have a regional presence — the
sum is then greater than the parts. This is the case with
HKUST. We see a similar dynamic with other Kellogg partnerships,
such as in Tel Aviv with the Leon
Recanati Graduate School of Business, and in Toronto at
School of Business.
||© Nathan Mandell
For Kellogg, the heart of the brand is an unparalleled educational
experience, and so this element must always be central, regardless
of where in the world Kellogg partners. How do we maintain
brand strength and consistency on a global level?
essential to remember that brand is not just a name or
the logo or
the physical structure. The brand is
the quality of students we attract and the faculty who teach
these students in these global programs. If you look at the
profile of the people we have attracted, they are absolutely
first rate, and these students eventually will build the
brand by becoming distinguished alumni. Brand reputation
in our business is about thought leadership, and we are expanding
our global footprint in ways that ensure our moves are consistent
and the results top quality. The brand should only get sharper
and brighter over time.
KW: This sounds fine on paper, but are there examples where
the approach encounters special difficulties?
take Latin America as an example. You have Brazil, Argentina,
Chile, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, and Mexico as
the major players. But these markets can be divided into
the Spanish part and the Portuguese part. The moment you
enter one, there may be repercussions in another because
you have segments and subsegments. Also, given the economic
environment in that market it's not clear if you want to
establish one partner or multiple partners. There are advantages
to multiple partners, because you integrate the region better.
But we also know how difficult it would be to work with multiple
KW: What are the special challenges of managing and extending
the Kellogg brand globally, compared to some of the traditional
packaged goods brands?
DJ: The similarity between the Kellogg School brand and
other well regarded products or services is that the brand
is a promise you make to your audience. Our promise to our
students is to deliver the best intellectual experience they
will ever have, not only while they are here, but after they
leave, when they have the opportunity to tap into the resources
of their colleagues as part of the expansive Kellogg network.
Academically, also, over the course of their life, we intend
to continue delivering valuable learnings to our alumni through
executive education programs and other intellectual offerings.
With a typical product, a cola, for instance, you consume
it, then discard the can. Our product is not just a one-time
consumption. The value of our product emerges time and again,
in many situations, where our graduates use what they have
learned. The taste of a carbonated beverage may last two
hours; our taste lasts for 50 years or more.
KW: Kellogg School — the
brand that refreshes, renews and remains in perpetual motion.
DJ: Exactly. Our brand is really our students and faculty.
We try to shape a consistency in the way our people work
not only in the classroom, but in the world with others.
We have a bigger challenge than a cola company, because every
person who uses our product has a way to influence our brand.
That person, in a sense, becomes part of the brand. And with
every class adding to the brand, it thrives like an amazing
plant that continually rejuvenates itself and keeps growing.
So the challenge is how to manage this large, living brand.
KW: What is the way to manage under these circumstances?
Engagement with our alumni is key, and that is what we continue
to do, finding innovative ways to build deeper relationships
with all our valued alumni worldwide. This effort includes
our broad variety of global offerings in non-degree Executive
Education (special topics and general management) that
provides senior executives with flexibility in terms of course
choices and timing.
|© Nathan Mandell
Why is it important for Kellogg to think globally?
DJ: We are in the business of knowledge creation, knowledge
dissemination and knowledge certification. We
need to ask ourselves how best to draw the right talents
to help in this initiative. To us, talent is global and
we must draw upon that global talent.
if it hasn't become so already, it will be redundant to
say "global market." If you want to be in management leadership
education, will you have to think globally as part of your
normal strategic initiative?
DJ: Absolutely, because you cannot say that the market
is only what we find in the U.S. Look at what is happening:
A product may be sold in the U.S., made in China, packaged
in Thailand, distributed through a holding company in Europe,
with some of the back-office work outsourced to India. It
has all these global footprints. So what is its true brand
KW: How does Kellogg prepare students for such a complicated
DJ: We are meeting these realities with our best-kept secret: Kellogg
Global Brand. Our brand essence distinguishes itself
by our long-standing commitment to teamwork, but also in
the way we create a strong community for our students and
alumni. In addition, our brand is constantly on the go,
making new discoveries and adapting artfully to an ever-changing
global business environment. Finally, the soul of the Kellogg
brand is our dedication to providing a consistently unparalleled "total
student experience" by ensuring that our thought leadership
remains absolutely world-class.
So we have employed a partnership model in extending our
footprint through our international programs and alliances,
yet with all these partners, we have created the power of
a single global Kellogg community rooted in the excellence
of the Kellogg School here. This is no easy task, but we
have done it, and we look forward to enriching our brand
further over the coming years.