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Douglas Holt

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Douglas Holt, Honorary Professor of Marketing at Royal Holloway

  • Date06 March 2019

Douglas Holt is one of the world’s leading experts on branding and innovation.

Douglas Holt

Prior to the launch of the Cultural Strategy Group, Douglas Holt was a professor at the Harvard Business School and then the L’Oréal Chair in Marketing at Oxford.

In 2004, Douglas pioneered cultural branding as a powerful new strategy tool in his international best-selling book How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding and two supporting articles in the Harvard Business Review. The book has influenced many companies, ad agencies, design firms and consultancies, which have adopted a cultural approach to branding.

As a consultant, Douglas has developed cultural strategies for a number of the world’s leading brands, including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Ben & Jerry’s, Sprite, Jack Daniel’s, MINI, MasterCard, Mountain Dew, and Georgia Coffee. He has also crafted cultural strategies for many smaller brands and start-ups including Clear Blue, Fat Tire, Cazadores, Qdoba, Planet Green, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Douglas Holt’s Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build Breakthrough Brands was published by Oxford University Press in late 2010. With his co-author Doug Cameron, Douglas does for innovation what How Brands Become Icons did for branding. He develops a systematic 6-step cultural framework for identifying new market opportunities, and then building new brand concepts to leverage these opportunities. In order to devote his full attention to cultural strategy work, Douglas decided to leave academia in the fall of 2010 to form the Cultural Strategy Group.

Douglas studied at Stanford (BA in economics and political science), the University of Chicago (MBA in marketing), and North-western (PhD in Marketing, specialisation in cultural anthropology and sociology). Prior to his academic career, he was a brand manager at The Clorox Company and Dole Packaged Foods and is the author of many highly influential articles in the top marketing journals, focusing on consumer culture and branding. He was the editor of the Journal of Consumer Culture, and former Associate Editor of the Journal of Consumer Research. Douglas has presented at over a hundred management and university seminars worldwide, including the Global Economic Forum and twice at the Skoll World Forum.

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