Kellogg World Alumni News, Winter 2000Kellogg School of Management
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Always learning
Scott Davis '89 shows what continuing education is all about

Scott Davis, a "purple-blooded" alum who never stops giving his time and energy to Kellogg  
Scott Davis, a "purple-blooded" alum who never stops giving his time and energy to Kellogg  

Scott Davis '89 takes the idea of "continuing education" very seriously. In fact, 11 years after graduation, Davis says he feels more connected to Kellogg than ever.

"I want to continue to give back to the institution that gave me so much," Davis says.

Consider that debt paid off, with interest. A self-described "purple-blooded" alum, Davis began guest lecturing at his alma mater his first year out of school. In 1996, Davis joined the faculty as an adjunct professor, team-teaching with some of the school's most distinguished alumni.

In addition to his work at Kellogg, Davis is a managing partner at Prophet Brand Strategy, a marketing consulting firm with offices in Chicago, San Francisco and New York. When he's not in the classroom, he's usually traveling the world leading marketing seminars or guest lecturing at schools like Harvard, Columbia or the University of Chicago.

Davis is also an accomplished author. His marketing column appears quarterly in Brand Week magazine, and his first book, Brand Asset Management: Driving Profitable Growth Through Your Brand, earned raves from some of the biggest names in branding when it was published earlier this year. Currently the book is one of Amazon's best-selling business titles.

The book's message? Brand should drive every revenue-generating strategy within an organization. To that end, companies must create a "customer branded relationship" to ensure that every interaction a customer has with a brand is good experience.

"There are so many elements in business that are out of our control," Davis says. "When you're able to embrace the concept of brand asset management, you're much more likely to control your company's destiny."

Davis came to Kellogg from the University of Illinois with a degree in marketing management. In between, he spent a little over a year at Procter and Gamble.

"If you want to learn the basics of brand building, that's the place to spend some time." Davis says. "It's almost like a university." Davis looked to Kellogg to round out his marketing. Following graduation, he spent 12 years at Kuczmarski & Associates, Inc. helping companies drive growth through branding. His experience there would form the underpinnings of his book.

In July, marketing guru David Aaker asked him to open Prophet's Chicago office. Davis jumped at the chance.

"David Aaker put marketing on the map." Davis says. "The opportunity to work with him in an organization that was growing by leaps and bounds and competing both in branding and in the digital space was perfect for me."

Of all of Davis' interests, it's teaching -- in any forum -- that is his true passion, and he returns to Kellogg frequently to teach as an adjunct professor. For the third year in a row, Davis has earned high marks from students.

"I really enjoy sharing what I know with others and having a good exchange with students in all of these different settings."

What Davis likes most about teaching at Kellogg is the opportunity to continue his own marketing education. He says he can test some of his hypotheses in the classroom, as well as develop new ones based on student-instructor discussion.

"When it comes down to it, there's no better place to talk about marketing that at the number one marketing school in the country."

--Chad Schlegel

©2001 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University