BERNARD SIMONIN: PROFESSOR OF MARKETING AND INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
Professor Bernard Simonin wears two hats at The Fletcher School. While he is responsible for the marketing leg of the International Business Program, he also spearheads the Leadership in Management module of the GMAP distance-learning program.
Professor Simonin has recently embarked on two research projects. He will explore the role of branding in the non-profit sector and customer satisfaction in the public sector. Professor Simonin feels that these two areas are important because “the public sector is notorious for being customer unfriendly.” Professor Simonin feels that consumer satisfaction with public services is critical today due to increasing cross border competition. He feels that it has become necessary for citizens and taxpayers to be viewed in a more customer friendly way.
Regarding the role of branding in the non-profit sector, Professor Simonin noted an increasingly competitive and professionalised field. He noted the need to understand and use advanced management principles and techniques in non-profit organizations. This, according to Simonin, is “unchartered territory where a strong contribution is yet to be made.” Although an exciting field, Simonin acknowledges the difficulty in its pursuit, “It will not be easy, there is a lot of bad practices. There are also a lot of experiments that show it can be done. But the question is, should it be done and how?”
Professor Simonin explains that the target audience for his research is multi-faceted. He hopes to get the attention of institutions, governments and the public-at-large. He also envisages that his work will be useful to academic fellows, “and of course students.”
Professor Simonin has recently put Fletcher on map by writing two award-wining papers. In 2003, he won Best Paper Award by the Journal of Advertising for his work entitled “Brought to You by Brand A and Brand B”: Investigating Multiple Sponsors’ Influence on Consumers Attitudes toward Sponsored Events”. He was also awarded Honorable Mention by Marketing Science Institute/ International Journal Research in Marketing’s competition on global marketing.
Simonin, a native of France, also has an interest in Strategic Alliances, Symbiotic Marketing, and Knowledge Management. He has been lecturing at Fletcher for six years.
Because of its many different sub-domains, Professor Simonin feels that Marketing is a great fit at The Fletcher School. “Whichever field you are in, the key issues are those of understanding the needs and wants of various stakeholders, developing an appropriate offer or solution, communicating it convincingly to others, and delivering performance that meets or exceeds expectations. Marketing is not just about tangible products or services, it is also about ideas, causes, policies, institutions, country images, and, of course yourself.” According to Professor Simonin, “Marketing is everything and everything is marketing.”