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Team including Prof. Aksoy wins innovation award

Areas of Study , Faculty , Marketing Stories | Nov 09, 2011 |

Big ideas tend to shake things up. Hence the name of the Disruptive Innovation Awards given out to cutting-edge marketing ideas by Next Gen Market Research — the winners are people whose thoughts are groundbreaking enough to change the nature of the discussion.

Dr. Lerzan Aksoy, marketing

Among those winners is the Fordham Schools of Business’s own Professor Lerzan Aksoy of the marketing area.

Dr. Aksoy was a member of a multi-university/organization team that focused on the Wallet Allocation Rule, which posits that basic customer loyalty is not enough. Sure, customers might be satisfied with a certain company, patronize it repeatedly and even recommend it to their friends. But unless they commit to spending money with that company more than at its competitors — giving it a greater “share of wallet” — plain old customer loyalty means little.

What does determine how people allocate their “wallet”? To find out, the team that Dr. Aksoy served on did a two-year longitudinal study of more than 17,000 consumers, looking at purchasing across 12 industries and in nine countries. They discovered the two variables that affected decisions were the number of competitor brands within the set a customer typically uses, and the rank the customer would assign each brand. The Wallet Allocation Rule teaches companies that they should be focusing on customer perceptions of ranking order — because even if they are doing a good job, unless they earn “favorite” status among buyers, they may very well lose business to competitors. Happy but indifferent consumers are not what you want.

The group’s research was published in the Harvard Business Review and received the Next Gen Market Research award this week at that organization’s market-research conference in Florida. The award recognizes those who have “made significant contributions to harnessing disruptive innovation — technological, methodological or otherwise — to drive research industry progress.”

For shaking up the world of marketing, we congratulate Dr. Aksoy and her research colleagues: Bruce Cooil of Vanderbilt University and two members of the team at Ipsos Loyalty: Timothy L. Keiningham, global chief strategy officer and an executive vice president, and Alexander Buoye, vice president of analytics.

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