Timothy Calkins
Timothy Calkins

Clinical Professor of Marketing

Print Overview

Tim Calkins helps people build strong and profitable brands.

He is clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He teaches courses including Marketing Strategy, Biomedical Marketing and Marketing Driven Growth, in the full-time, part-time and international executive MBA programs. He is co-academic director of Kellogg's branding program.

Tim has received numerous teaching awards. He 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 40 year history to have won it twice. 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.

He is the author of Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Expert Marketer Magazine name 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. He has published more than a dozen Kellogg case studies including Crestor, MedImmune: FluMist Introduction and Genzyme: the Synvisc-One Investment Decision.

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.

In addition to teaching at Kellogg Tim works with major corporations around the world on strategy and branding issues. His recent clients include Novartis, Eli Lilly, Baxter, Halyard Health 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 Francaise de Chicago. He completed two terms on the board of the Lycee Francais de Chicago, Chicago's French-International School.

Tim began his career at the consulting firm Booz Allen and Hamilton, where he worked on strategy and branding projects. He joined the marketing team at Kraft Foods in 1991. During his almost 11 years at Kraft, he led businesses including Miracle Whip, Taco Bell, Parkay, Seven Seas and DiGiorno. While at Kraft 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.

Areas of Expertise
Biomedical Marketing (Biotechnology)
Brand Management
Consumer Products
Marketing Management
Marketing Strategy/Planning/Policy
New Product Development

Print Vita
MBA, 1991, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration
BA, 1987, Yale University

Academic Positions
Clinical Professor of Marketing, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2006-present
Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2002-2006
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Marketing, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1998-2002
Faculty, Keller Graduate School of Management, DeVry University, 1996-1999

Honors and Awards
L. G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2006 and 2013
EMP Outstanding Teaching Award, Executive MBA Program Outstanding Teaching Awards, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
Faculty Impact Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2011
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2008
Gold EFFIE Award, EFFIES, 1998

Print Research
Research Interests
Research interests include branding, marketing strategy and marketing in the biomedical industry.

Calkins, Timothy. 2011. How to Reinvent a Brand. 4P's Business and Marketing.
Calkins, Timothy. 2009. A Marketing Plan for Turbulent Times. Ivey Business Journal.
Calkins, Timothy. 2004. Strategically Managing the Brand Portfolio. McCann Knowledge Quarterly.
Calkins, Timothy. "Googles Name Change Sounds Crazy But It's Been Done Before." Fortune, August 11, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy. "Houlihan's Shows Us How to Protect A Brand After A Stumble." Forbes, June 1, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy. "Why Starbucks Has No Business Talking About Race." Fortune, March 23, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy. "Walmart is Better Than Starbucks at Talking About Racism." Fortune, June 24, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy. "Positioning to Win." Professional Roofing, August 2015.
Calkins, Timothy. "Donald Sterling Fallout Supplies Brand Lesson." Chicago Tribune, May 4, 2014.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Why Super Bowl Spots Aren't Selling Fast." Forbes, December 18, 2014.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Not Too Late for a 2015 Super Bowl Spot." Forbes, January 8, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "How to Use Super Bowl Advertising as a Platform for Growth." Forbes, January 15, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Four Super Bowl Ads That Should Never Have Aired." Fortune, January 27, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Social Media and the Super Bowl: How Has Technology Changed Super Bowl Advertising?." Huffington Post, January 30, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Four Super Bowl Ads That Nailed It." Fortune, January 20, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "2015 Super Bowl Ads: The Best and Worst." Huffington Post, February 2, 2015.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek Rucker. "A Game Plan for Super Bowl Advertising." Chicago Tribune, February 2, 2014.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek Rucker. "Kellogg Profs: Why We Make Our MBAs Watch Super Bowl Advertising." BusinessWeek Online, January 31, 2014.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek Rucker. "Four Super Bowl Ads That Touched the Heart." Huffington Post, January 30, 2014.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek Rucker. "Kellogg School of Management's 10 Best Super Bowl Ads." Forbes, January 23, 2014.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek Rucker. "Five Super Bowl Ads that Never Should Have Aired." Huffington Post, January 23, 2014.
Rucker, Derek D and Timothy Calkins. "Super Bowl Advertising's New Game." Forbes, January 23, 2013.
Calkins, Timothy. "How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks." 4P's Business and Marketing, January 15, 2013.
Calkins, Timothy. "Tough Branding Questions for Turbulent Times." BtoB Magazine, April 2012.
Calkins, Timothy. "Profits are Apparent. Brand Health Is Not!." Strategic Innovators, March 8, 2011.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "GoDaddy and the Super Bowl." Financial Times, February 9, 2011.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Will Social Media Slay the Super Bowl?." Advertising Age, February 3, 2011.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Why Issue-Based Advertising Is Like Walking a Minefield." Advertising Age, February 8, 2010.
Calkins, Timothy. "Super Bowl in a Recession." Forbes.com, January 29, 2009.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Does a $3M Super Bowl Ad Make Sense in a Recession?." Advertising Age, January 12, 2009.
Calkins, Timothy. "Five Marketing-Plan Pitfalls to Avoid." Marketing ProfsToday, September 23, 2008.
Calkins, Timothy and Derek D Rucker. "Dont Overemphasize ROI as Single Measure of Success." Advertising Age, February 2008.
Calkins, Timothy. "Writing Great Marketing Plans." Kellogg Guide to Practical Leadership, July 2005.
Calkins, Timothy. 2012. Breakthrough Marketing Plans. Palgrave Macmillan.
Calkins, Timothy. 2012. Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks. Palgrave MacMillan.
Calkins, Timothy. 2008. Breakthrough Marketing Plans. Palgrave Macmillan.
Tybout, Alice and Timothy Calkins. 2005. Kellogg on Branding. New York, NY: Wiley.
Calkins, Timothy. 2011. Technical Note: Presenting Well. Case 7-110-001.
Calkins, Timothy and Ann Deming. 2010. Genzyme: The Synvisc-One Investment Decision. Case 5-110-001 (KEL439).
Calkins, Timothy and Ann Deming. 2010. Pedigree Growth Strategy (B). Case 5-110-010(B) (KEL498).
Calkins, Timothy and Ann Deming. 2010. Pedigree Growth Strategy (A). Case 5-110-010(A) (KEL497).
Calkins, Timothy and Rajnish Changrani. 2004. MedImmune: FluMist Introduction. Case 5-104-046 (KEL012).
Calkins, Timothy and Julien Dangles. 2009. Leclerc: The Growth Challenge. Case 5-109-001 (KEL407).
Calkins, Timothy and Lynn Harris. 2009. Genzyme: The Renvela Launch Decision. Case 5-308-506 (KEL412).
Calkins, Timothy and Joshua Neiman. 2006. Crestor. Case 5-306-506 (KEL245).
Calkins, Timothy. 2004. A1 Steak Sauce: Lawry's Defense. Case 5-104-045 (KEL010).
Calkins, Timothy and Matt Cobb. 2006. Carolina Lunker Sauce. Case 5-106-001 (KEL215).
Calkins, Timothy. 2005. Penfolds. Case 5-405-751 (KEL524).
Calkins, Timothy. 2005. Writing Great Marketing Plans. Case 7-405-750 (KEL146).
Calkins, Timothy and Karen White. 2004. Eli Lilly: Xigris (A). Case 5-104-047(A) (KEL014).
Calkins, Timothy and Joseph Harmon. 2007. Zimmer: The Gender-Specific Knee. Case 5-207-252 (KEL276).
Calkins, Timothy and Megha Vora. 2009. Merck: Pricing Gardasil. Case 5-308-505 (KEL400).
Calkins, Timothy and Nayna Aggarwal. 2011. Forecasting Denosumab. Case 5-111-004 (KEL531).
Calkins, TimothyKara Palamountain, Aniruddha Chatterjee, Robert Frantz, Elizabeth Hart, Sean Mathewson and Gabriela Perez-Hobrecker. 2015. Fighting Childhood Pneumonia in Uganda. Case 5-413-755 (KEL874).
Calkins, Timothy and Karen White. 2004. Eli Lilly: Xigris (B). Case 5-104-047(B) (KEL015).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

Marketing strategy, branding and biomedical marketing.

Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Biomedical Marketing (HEMA-914-0)
The biomedical industry is beginning to appreciate that success in this industry comes from a combination of great science and strong marketing. Marketing in the biomedical industry poses unique challenges: marketers have to deal with a complex regulatory, competitive, scientific and ethical environment, while building strong businesses and brands. This course studies how core marketing concepts play out in the biomedical industry, through a combination of case studies, guest speakers, student projects and discussions. It is ideal for students who plan to go into the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, and for students with an interest in this fast moving arena.

Marketing Strategy (MKTG-466-0)
This course presents an integrative, dynamic view of competitive brand strategy. It focuses on understanding, developing and evaluating brand strategies over the life of a product market. A framework for developing marketing strategies that yield a distinctive competitive advantage based on customer and competitor analysis will be presented and applied in various situations throughout the course. Topics include strategies for pioneering brands, strategies for late entry, growth strategies, strategies for mature and declining markets, and defensive marketing strategies. Material is presented using a mix of cases, lectures and a computer simulation game called MARKSTRAT.

Executive MBA
Strategic Marketing Decisions (MKTGX-468-0)
The basic concepts of marketing are not complicated. It is easy to understand the importance of segmentation and customer research. Few people have gotten confused by the 4 Ps and almost everyone can remember the 3 Cs. Finance concepts are difficult but marketing concepts? Not so much. The challenge in marketing is applying the concepts. Every situation is different so leaders have to consider the best way to approach it. Making strategic marketing decisions isn’t easy; you have incomplete information, not enough resources, smart and driven competitors and changing conditions. You also have to work with a team of people to get agreement and alignment. Understanding the core marketing concepts is not sufficient; marketing leaders have to be able to apply the concepts in different and often challenging situations. The Strategic Marketing Decisions course is designed to help you make smart and strategic choices.

Executive Education
Business for Scientists and Engineers
Develop the business acumen to advance your life’s work. In this collaborative program, you will gain skills in marketing, leadership, finance and other management areas to build on your expertise in science or engineering. Covering topics such as taking innovation from bench to market, launching a startup, managing intellectual property and implementing negotiation strategies, this program will arm you with the tools and frameworks to face new challenges and embrace new opportunities.
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Executive Development Program
Equipping high-potential middle to senior managers with the business knowledge and leadership skills they need to succeed in general management. Explore theory-driven knowledge and concrete strategies across all business areas and return to your workplace equipped and energized to continue to advance as a leader, decision maker and change agent.
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Kellogg on Branding
From the people who wrote the book on branding, this program explores the power of brand management. Their latest thinking combined with hands-on experience will inspire and empower you to elevate your brand.
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Strategic Marketing Communications

This program incorporates both fundamental “roots” of strategic marketing communications, such as insight and positioning, and new “branches” of strategic marketing communications, such as digital and consumer engagement approaches.  Moreover, a fundamental goal of the program is to help attendees embrace, and look for, change in their marketing communications.

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