Brian Sternthal
Brian Sternthal

Mondelez International Chair in Marketing
Professor of Marketing

Print Overview

Brian Sternthal holds the Mondelez International Professorship in Marketing

Professor Sternthal has published widely in marketing journals. His work focuses on understanding how people process the information presented in persuasive messages, and the consequences of this processing for brand judgments. He applies this understanding to the development of effective advertising strategies. He also investigates the strategies consumers use to self-regulate their behavior and how they might modify these strategies to enhance the attainment of their goals. His methodological interest centers on designing rigorous experiments to represent theory in data and using data in advancing theory.

Professor Sternthal is past editor of the Journal of Consumer Research and a Fellow of the Association for Consumer Research. He received his PhD from The Ohio State University.

Areas of Expertise
Consumer Behavior
Media Marketing

Print Vita
PhD, 1972, Ohio State University
MA, 1971, Ohio State University
BS, 1965, McGill University

Academic Positions
Mondelez Professor of Marketing, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Kraft Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1986-2013
Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1983-1986
Associate Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1978-1983
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1972-1978
Visiting Assistant Professor, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, 1971-1972

Honors and Awards
AAA Doctoral Consortium Member, American Marketing Association Doctoral Consortium, 2014
JCR Distinguished Service Award, Association for Consumer Research, Lifetime contribution to the Journal of Consumer Research
Fellow in Consumer Research, Association for Consumer Research, Lifetime contribution
ACR Fellow in Consumer Behavior Award, Lifetime Achievement Award for Consumer Research, ACR, 2009
Executive MBA Program Outstanding Teaching Awards, Kellogg School of Management, 2001, 2000, 1999
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 1995-1996
L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 1982

Print Research
Research Interests
Analysis of how communication strategies and audience characteristics influence the processing and impact of advertising messages

Lee, Angela Y., Punam A. Keller and Brian Sternthal. 2010. Value From Regulatory Construal Fit: The Persuasive Impact of Fit Between Consumer Goals and Message Concreteness. Journal of Consumer Research. 36(5): 735-747.
Hong, Jiewen and Brian Sternthal. 2010. The Effects of Consumer Prior Knowledge and Processing Strategies on Judgments. Journal of Marketing Research. 47: 301-311.
Sternthal, Brian and Andrea Bonezzi. 2009. Consumer Decision Making and Aging: A Commentary. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 19: 23-27.
Malaviya, Prashant and Brian Sternthal. 2009. Parity Product Features Can Enhance or Dilute Brand Evaluation: The Influence of Goal Orientation and Presentation Format. Journal of Consumer Research. 36: 112-121.
Wan, EchoWen, Jiewen Hong and Brian Sternthal. 2009. The Effect of Regulatory Orientation and Decision Strategy on Brand Judgements. Journal of Consumer Research. 35: 1026-1038.
Nam, Myungwoo and Brian Sternthal. 2008. The Effects of a Different Category Context on Target Brand Evaluations. Journal of Consumer Research. 35: 668-679.
Wan, EchoWen and Brian Sternthal. 2008. Regulating the Effects of Depletion Through Monitoring. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 34(1): 32-46.
Tybout, Alice M.Brian Sternthal, Prashant Malaviya, Giorgos Bakamitsos and Se-Bum Park. 2005. Information Accessibility as a Moderator of Judgments. Journal of Consumer Research. 32(1): 76-85.
Grant, SusanJung, Prashant Malaviya and Brian Sternthal. 2004. The Influence of Negation on Product Evaluations. Journal of Consumer Research. 31(3): 583-591.
Roehm, Michelle L. and Brian Sternthal. 2001. The Moderating Effect of Knowledge and Resources on the Persuasive Impact of Analogies. Journal of Consumer Research. 28(2): 257-272.
Malaviya, Prashant, Joan Meyers-Levy and Brian Sternthal. 1999. Ad Repetition in a Cluttered Environment: The Influence of Type of Processing.. Psychology & Marketing. 16(2): 99-118.
Malaviya, Prashant and Brian Sternthal. 1997. The persuasive impact of message spacing. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 6(3): 233-255.
Maheswaran, Durairaj, Brian Sternthal and Zeynep Gurhan. 1996. Acquisition and impact of consumer expertise. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 5(2): 115-133.
Meyers-Levy, Joan and Brian Sternthal. 1993. A two-factor explanation of assimilation and contrast effects. Journal of Marketing Research. 30(3): 359-368.
Anand, Punam and Brian Sternthal. 1992. The effects of program involvement and ease of message counterarguing on advertising persuasiveness. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 1(3): 225-238.
Anand, Punam and Brian Sternthal. 1991. Perceptual fluency and affect without recognition. Memory and Cognition. 19(3): 293-300.
Meyers-Levy, Joan and Brian Sternthal. 1991. Gender Differences in the Use of Message Cues and Judgments. Journal of Marketing Research. 28(1): 84-96.
Maheswaran, Durairaj and Brian Sternthal. 1990. The Eeffects of Knowledge, Motivation, and Type of Message on Ad Processing and Product Judgments. Journal of Consumer Research. 17(1): 66-73.
Anand, Punam and Brian Sternthal. 1990. Ease of message processing as a moderator of repetition effects in advertising. Journal of Marketing Research. 27(3): 345-353.
Kisielius, Jolita L. and Brian Sternthal. 1986. Examining the Vividness Controversy: An Availability-Valence Interpretation. Journal of Consumer Research. 12(4): 418-431.
Hannah, Darlene B. and Brian Sternthal. 1984. Detecting and Explaining the Sleeper Effect. Journal of Consumer Research. 11(2): 632-642.
Kisielius, Jolita L. and Brian Sternthal. 1984. Detecting and explaining vividness effects in attitudinal judgments. Journal of Marketing Research. 21(1): 54-64.
Roedder, Deborah L., Brian Sternthal and Bobby Calder. 1983. Attitude-behavior consistency in children's responses to television advertising. Journal of Marketing Research. 20(4): 337-349.
Tybout, Alice M.Brian Sternthal and Bobby Calder. 1983. Information availability as a determinant of multiple request effectiveness. Journal of Marketing Research. 20(3): 280-290.
Tybout, Alice M.Bobby Calder and Brian Sternthal. 1981. Using information processing theory to design marketing strategies. Journal of Marketing Research. 18(1): 73-79.
Calder, Bobby and Brian Sternthal. 1980. Television commercial wearout: An information processing view. Journal of Marketing Research. 17(2): 173-186.
Bagozzi, Richard P, Alice M. Tybout, C.Samuel Craig and Brian Sternthal. 1979. The construct validity of the tripartite classification of attitudes. Journal of Marketing Research. 16(1): 88-95.
Sternthal, Brian, Lynn W. Phillips and RubyRoy Dholakia. 1979. The persuasive effects of source credibility: A situational analysis. Public Opinion Quarterly. 42(3): 285-314.
Sternthal, Brian and RubyRoy Dholakia. 1978. Are Highly Credible Sources Persuasive?: Rejoinder. Journal of Consumer Research. 5(1): 67-69.
Sternthal, Brian, RubyRoy Dholakia and Clark Leavitt. 1978. The persuasive effects of source credibility: Tests of cognitive response. Journal of Consumer Research. 4(4): 252-260.
Dodson, Joe A., Alice M. Tybout and Brian Sternthal. 1978. Impact of deals and deal retraction on brand switching. Journal of Marketing Research. 15(1): 72-81.
Phillips, Lynn W. and Brian Sternthal. 1977. Age differences in information processing. Journal of Marketing Research. 14(4): 449-457.
Dholakia, RubyRoy and Brian Sternthal. 1977. Highly Credible Sources: Persuasive Facilitators or Persuasive Liabilities?. Journal of Consumer Research. 3(4): 223-233.
Craig, C.Samuel, Brian Sternthal and Clark Leavitt. 1976. Advertising wearout: An experimental analysis. Journal of Marketing Research. 13(4): 365-372.
Stern, LouisBrian Sternthal and C.Samuel Craig. 1974. Strategies for managing interorganizational conflict: A laboratory paradigm. Journal of Applied Psychology. 60(4): 472-482.
Sternthal, Brian and C.Samuel Craig. 1974. Fear appeals: Revisited and revised. Journal of Consumer Research. 1(3): 22-34.
Sternthal, Brian and C.Samuel Craig. 1973. Humor in advertising. Journal of Marketing. 37(4): 12-18.
Sternthal, Brian and Louis Stern. 1973. Conflict management in interorganizational conflict. International Journal of Group Tensions.: 68-90.
Stern, LouisBrian Sternthal and C.Samuel Craig. 1973. Managing conflict in distribution channels: A laboratory study. Journal of Marketing Research. 10(2): 169-179.
Craig, C.Samuel, Brian Sternthal and Karen Olshan. 1972. The effect of overlearning on retention. Journal of General Psychology. 87: 85-94.
Blackwell, Roger, James Hensel and Brian Sternthal. 1970. Pupil dilation: What does it measure. Journal of Advertising Research. 10(4): 15-19.
Malaviya, Prashant, Jolita L. Kisielius and Brian Sternthal. 1996. The effect of type of elaboration on ad processing and judgment. Journal of Marketing Research. 30(4): 410-421.
Lee, Angela Y. and Brian Sternthal. 1999. Effects of Positive Mood on Memory. Journal of Consumer Research. 26(September): 115-127.
Keller, Kevin, Brian Sternthal and Alice M. Tybout. 2002. Three Questions You Need to Ask About Your Brand. Harvard Business Review. 80(9): 80-86.
Zaltman, Gerald and Brian Sternthal. 1974. Broadening the concept of consumer behavior.
Stern, LouisBrian Sternthal and C.Samuel Craig. 1973. A parasimulation of interorganizational conflict. International Journal of Group Tensions. 3: 68-90.
Working Papers
Sternthal, Brian. 2018. Explaining the Attraction Effect: An Ambiguity-Attention-Applicability Framework.
Sternthal, Brian. 2018. The Validity of Research Studies.
Sternthal, Brian. 2016. Positive Affect and Self-regulation.
Sternthal, Brian. 2016. Maximal and Minimal Goal Attainment Standards.
Wan, EchoWen, Alice Isen and Brian Sternthal. 2008. The Influence of Positive Affect on Regulatory Depletion.
Malaviya, Prashant and Brian Sternthal. 2008. The Effects of Locomotion, Assessment and Expertise on Judgments.
Wan, EchoWen and Brian Sternthal. 2011. Framing the Perception of Fatigue in Managing the Effects of Depletion.
Malaviya, Prashant and Brian Sternthal. 2011. The Effect of Fit on Persuasion: Regulatory Focus and Regulatory Mode.
Sternthal, Brian and Prashant Malaviya. 2010. The Persuasive Effect of Presentation Format and Recepient Expertise..
Book Chapters
Tybout, Alice M. and Brian Sternthal. 2010. "Creating a Compelling Brand Positioning." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Alice M. Tybout and Bobby J. Calder, 73-91. Wily Books, 2.
Rucker, Derek D. and Brian Sternthal. 2009. "Advertising Strategy." In Kellogg on Branding, edited by Alice M. Tybout and Bobby Calder, New York, NY: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Tybout, Alice M. and Brian Sternthal. 2005. "Brand Positioning." In Kellogg on Branding, edited by Alice Tybout and Tim Calkins, 11-26. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Sternthal, Brian and Angela Y. Lee. 2005. "Building Brands through Effective Advertising." In Kellogg on Branding, edited by Alice M Tybout and Tim Calkins, 129-149. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Sternthal, Brian and Alice M. Tybout. 2001. "Brand Positioning." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Dawn Iacobucci, 31-57. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Sternthal, Brian. 2001. "Advertising Strategy." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Dawn Iacobucci, 215-246. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Sternthal, Brian and Alice M. Tybout. 2001. "Segmentation and Targeting." In Kellogg on Marketing, edited by Dawn Iacobucci, 3-30. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Lee, Angela Y. and Brian Sternthal. 1998. "Putting Copy-Testers to the Test." In Financial Times Mastering Marketing, London, UK: Financial Times.
Calder, BobbyBrian Sternthal and Alice M. Tybout. 1994. "Experimental Design." In Principles of Marketing Research, edited by Richard Bagozzi, Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Sternthal, BrianAlice M. Tybout and Bobby Calder. 1994. "Experimental Research." In Handbook of Marketing Research, edited by Richard Bagozzi, 195-223.
Sternthal, Brian and Punam Anand. 1988. "Resource matching as an explanation for message persuasion." In Perspectives on the Affective and Cognitive Effects of Advertising, edited by P. Cafferata and A. Tybout, Lexington Books.
Craig, C.Samuel and Brian Sternthal. 1974. "Marketing experimentation." In Marketing Research: Fundamentals and Dynamics, edited by Gerald Zaltman and Philip Burger, Hinsdale, IL: Dryden Press.
Sternthal, Brian and Alice M. Tybout. "The Four Ds of Effective Positioning: Defining, Differentiating, Deepening, and Defending." Financial Times.
Sherry, John F. and Brian Sternthal. 1992. Advances in Consumer Research. Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research.
Sternthal, Brian and C.Samuel Craig. 1982. Consumer Behavior: An Information Processing Perspective. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Stern, LouisRobert DewarAllan Drebin, Lynn W. Phillips and Brian Sternthal. 1977. The Evaluation of Consumer Protection Laws: The Case of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.
Blackwell, Roger and Brian Sternthal. 1970. Laboratory Equipment for Marketing Research. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
Conference Proceedings
Tybout, Alice M.Bobby Calder and Brian Sternthal. 1978. "A Two-Stage Theory of Information Processing in Persuasion: An Integrative View of Cognitive Response and Self-Perception Theory." In Advances in Consumer Research, edited by Keith Hunt, vol. 5, Chicago, Illinois: Association for Consumer Research.
Sternthal, Brian. 2016. GoldieBlox.
Sternthal, Brian. 2016. Under Armour.
Sternthal, Brian. World of Warcraft.
Sternthal, Brian. 2014. Puente de la Mujer.
Sternthal, Brian. Philips Norelco.
Sternthal, Brian. 2014. Netshoes.
Sternthal, Brian. 2014. Oreo.
Sternthal, Brian. 2014. Light Beers.
Sternthal, Brian. 2014. Burger King.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Advertising Strategy (MKTG-454-0)
$250 billion is spent on advertising in the United States. Much of it has no effect--not because of an absence of creativity, but because the problem is due to an absence of a compelling ad strategy to serve as a foundation for developing creative executions and media plans. This course provides a balanced analysis of advertising strategy and execution. The first half focuses on selecting an attractive target for advertising and developing an effective brand position. This section stresses the importance of customer insight as a basis of creating coherence between target and position. Following the approach of the introductory marketing course, students examine in depth how planning is made operational in terms of advertising and other communication devices. The remainder of the course examines the execution of the strategy. We also examine ways to evaluate the likely impact of ad copy and review approaches to measuring the effectiveness of advertising as a vehicle for enhancing the impact of ad campaigns.

Field Study (MKTG-498-0)
Field Studies include those opportunities outside of the regular curriculum in which a student is working with an outside company or non-profit organization to address a real-world business challenge for course credit under the oversight of a faculty member.

Theory Building in Consumer Behavior Research (MKTG-531-1)
The purpose of this course is to acquaint you with the principles of theory building in social science research, to help you distinguish between theory-building research and research with other aims, and to provide you with an opportunity to develop your ability to conceptualize and develop research that builds theory. While this course focuses primarily on research in consumer behavior and psychology, the learnings are applicable to any research in the social sciences. This course addresses questions such as (a) what counts as "theory" and how is it developed, (b) what is a nomological net of constructs and how it is built, and (c) how evidence for and against a theory is weighed.

Psychological Theory in Consumer Behavior (MKTG-541-0)
This course exposes students to psychological concepts and experimental methods that are useful in conducting rigorous consumer behavioral research. The course examines the processes by which individuals make judgments and regulate their behavior. This entails an analysis of how information is represented in memory, and how it is subsequently retrieved and used to make judgments. Issues related to consumer decision making is further explored by examining the moderating effects of decision maker characteristics such as gender and expertise, message factors such as repetition and source credibility, as well as situational factors such as the context in which information is presented. The processes by which decisions are made, how much effort to allocate to making judgments and engaging in various behavior are also discussed.

Executive Education
Consumer Marketing Strategy

Learn how to win in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace by gaining and translating insights about consumers’ goals, beliefs and behaviors into an effective marketing strategy. Go home equipped to segment, reach and convert customers more effectively.

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