Profile: Andre Crump, '91
it comes to romance, Andre K. Crump '91 means business
graduating from Kellogg, Andre K. Crump '91 has enjoyed a
successful marketing career, working for companies like Sun
and Apple, and most recently as a self-employed IT consultant.
Crump '91 knows what your romantic life needs a
But lately he's developed a successful sideline in consulting
of a different sort: dispensing dating advice to the unlucky
in love. His recent book, Everything I Know About Dating
I Learned in Business School, attempts to sort out the
complexities of dating through the application of basic business
principles. The results are surprisingly astute and often
"I wanted [the book] to be fun and tongue-in-cheek, but
also make some good solid points," Crump says. The result
reads like a biz textbook on lithium, deftly combining sound
analysis with zany anecdotes. If only all business school
reading were this entertaining.
The idea for the book sprang from a social event in 1996.
Crump and three friends - two other Kellogg School grads (Sancha
Huang '91 and Stephanie Green Crump '91, now Crump's wife)
and one University of Michigan grad - were talking about a
love-lorn mutual friend who needed, to be blunt, a makeover.
"We said, 'If she had better packaging, she'd be much
more effective.' And from that came the realization that a
lot of the advice we were giving could be compared to business
principles like packaging, product positioning, advertising
and even negotiation."
That initial rap session provided the underpinnings of the
book, which Crump wrote a few chapters at a time over a three-year
The chapter headings would be familiar to any MBA. In "Competitive
Advantage," Crump encourages readers to do a "SWOT"
analysis to discover their most appealing features and capitalize
Under the heading "Advertising," Crump points out
the importance of utilizing pets in ones "ad campaign":
"You take that dog out for one hour a day at least twice
a week, and you've got a new dating prospect every seven days."
"Finances and Promotions" includes "investment
tips" (maintaining perception of your stock's value by
keeping your shoes polished and doing a return-on-investment
analysis after dates).
Crump says the most common dating mistake is bad product positioning.
If you've ever let a friend set you up on a blind date and
afterward wondered, "What must my friend think of me?"
you're probably guilty of it too. His advice is to use social
situations to conduct "market research" and find
out what your target market is. Then tailor your product to
satisfy that demand.
Since the book came out in May, it has earned praise from
business and consumer publications from as far away as the
United Kingdom. The book was also featured on the Sept. 4
program of "Marketplace" produced by National Public
Radio. Its widespread appeal is due not just to its wit, but
also to the universality of the tried-and-true business principles
that provide the foundation for Crump's advice. In a world
where social norms and gender politics are in constant flux,
it's nice to have something you can count on.
Crump notes that his next book, a professional guide slated
for publication next year, has a decidedly less romantic subtitle:
"Effective, Proactive Product Marketing in a Technology-Driven
-- Chad Schlegel