Professor Corinne Bernemann who is a professor of marketing at ESC St Etienne (France) finds solace in a variety of interests, yet her current focus is on the business of arts.
What are you currently working on (area and medium (case, article, book, new course…))?
Arts management is one of my areas of interest. I am in the process of publishing a book on “City Marketing and Culture,” where we explore how cultural activities and cultural institutions foster cities’ economic development.
I am also conducting a study on how cultural organizations view corporate social responsibility. For example, many festivals in France and elsewhere, believe that the organization as well as the audience have a responsibility with respect to limiting the negative effects of the events on the environment. Actions such as recycling refuse (especially disposable cups), encouraging public transportation or selecting local suppliers for the food and beverages stands are more and more common. There are also actions to encourage people with disabilities to attend the events: access with wheelchairs or device for the hearing-impaired, etc.
A case study that you think is important (could be one you wrote or someone else wrote). Why?
Nespresso. It is definitely one of the best examples of a coherent marketing strategy and shows that customers are willing to pay a (high) premium for better quality but also for a certain image the product portrays.
A management book you think highly of (written by someone else). Why?
Although it is a bit dated, George Day’s book on marketing strategy is one that I have read and and re-read so many times I could almost quote it.
A very recent management title you read and/or one you would like to read. Describe.
On top of my reading list is The Green Museum by Sarah Brophy and Elizabeth Wylie, describing how American museums have taken the “green path.” It has been published recently and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.
What is one of your well-liked teaching moments (case, discussion topic,…)?
As I am teaching a quantitative data analysis course, I am thankful for the hardware and software improvements that have made it possible for students to perform sophisticated analyses with a few clicks of a mouse, and thus to find quantitative analysis relevant and enjoyable!
What was your most interesting consulting assignment? Why?
When I was working in Canada, I worked on finding a new positioning for the Canadian Fur Council in the midst of the “animal rights” debate. It was a terrific challenge as he the “animal rights” thing is totally out of line with reality. But the Fur Council took the bold step to try and attract young consumers with fashion and design.
If tomorrow you could occupy an executive function in any company, what function and company? Why?
Curiously enough, I think I would enjoy a human resources position. This is probably because that function involves helping staff in their careers, sometimes or often through education. So, in fact, close to what I am doing as a professor. It would be a medium-sized company (200-300 people at most) and probably in the industrial rather than the services sector.
If tomorrow an angel investor offered enough money to start up a company, what sort of new product or service would you like to offer?
A few years ago, I would have said some type of device that would allow shoppers in a supermarket to register the products that they buy as they put them in their shopping cart, but someone actually did think of it and put it in place.