Yale School of Management Opens New Research Center To Advance Study of Customer Behavior
New Haven, Conn., January 4, 2005—The Yale School of Management is opening a new research center devoted to the behavior of customers. The Yale Center for Customer Insights (YCCI) will bring together industry leaders and scholars from multiple disciplines to focus on joint research relevant to the marketplace.
Ravi Dhar, Professor of Marketing at Yale SOM and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and Dick R. Wittink, the George Rogers Clark Professor of Management and Marketing at Yale SOM and Editor of the Journal of Marketing Research, will co-direct the new center. William Pace, Chief Executive Officer of Kurt Salmon Associates, a global consulting firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, and healthcare industries, has been named Chair of the YCCI Advisory Board. Other board members include: David Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of Spencer Stuart; James A. Firestone, President, Xerox North America, & Senior Vice President, Xerox Corporation; Thomas E. Gage, founding contributor to the YCCI and Sr. Vice President & General Manager, Verisign Communications; John L. Lindsey, President, Thomas Publishing International; Tim Love, President, Global Clients & Co-Chairman of G1 Worldwide, TBWA World; Dr. Anil Menon, Vice President, Marketing Strategy and Worldwide Marketing Management, IBM; and Laura R. Walker, President & Chief Executive Officer, WNYC Radio.
“Research shows that the most critical dimension that separates the success and failure of new products and services relates to superior insights into customer needs and preferences, and putting this focus in the center of a firm’s strategic decision making,” said Professor Dhar. “Tapping into these complex areas requires the expertise of multiple disciplines. For example, psychology informs how emotion and reason influence purchase decisions. Sociology gives insight into shared values and perceptions. The Center is distinguished by its ability to draw on the breadth and depth of world class researchers throughout Yale and beyond to better understand how customers think and act.”
Current research by YCCI fellows, who include experts in economics, psychology, marketing and finance, examines how individuals choose among financial planning options, the effects of marketing activities on the demand for prescription drugs, shopping patterns on the Internet, and the link between customer satisfaction and purchase behavior.
The Center’s first major research project, in partnership with IBM, deals with the difference between selling products and selling solutions. “As product and service choices proliferate and information sources expand, the development of better tools for understanding shopping and purchase decisions is critical to successfully meeting and anticipating customer needs. The Center will be an important force in bringing these tools into practice,” said Mr. Pace.
According to Professor Wittink, the Center is committed to connecting researchers with practitioners. “We want to create a highly collaborative environment that encourages the interaction between researchers who are generating new knowledge about customers in an interdisciplinary manner and the users of that knowledge within companies, government agencies, non-profits, and institutions. To make this happen, YCCI wants to work with executives starting with the initial phase of a research project. We are interested in building a team of affiliates to partner with us.”
Organizations and individuals interested in becoming affiliates may contact YCCI Executive Director Eugenia Hayes regarding sponsorship opportunities and benefits at 203-432-6069. For more information about the Yale Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management, visit: http://cci.som.yale.edu