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New Ivey faculty: Zhe Zhang

Jul 6, 2022

Zhe Zhang

Zhe Zhang

Ivey is pleased to be welcoming numerous new faculty members to campus this school year! To help you get to know our new colleagues, we asked each of them a list of questions about their academic – and personal – interests.

Get to know: Zhe Zhang

Zhe Zhang is a new Assistant Professor of Marketing who will be teaching Marketing courses in the HBA as well as Business Fundamentals in both the Accelerated MBA and the Master of Management in Analytics programs. He holds dual doctoral degrees – a PhD in Marketing from C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Vermont. With his diverse background, Zhang is excited to bring his multidisciplinary perspectives to the classroom. Before Ivey, Zhang served as an Assistant Professor of Marketing at HEC Montréal, where he developed and taught a graduate course on Integrated Marketing Communications. Zhang’s research interests lie in branding and marketing communications. His work has appeared in premier academic journals, including the Journal of Marketing; and practitioner outlets, including Harvard Business Review.

Q&A with Zhe Zhang

What is the most important thing business executives can learn from your research/area of expertise?

Brand nicknames are common in the marketplace. Think about Timmies for Tim Hortons, Mickey D’s for McDonald’s, or Starbies for Starbucks. However, marketers do not have clear ideas about what to do, and, more importantly, what not to do with these popular nicknames in their branding and marketing communications. In my Harvard Business Review article, I summarize the insights from my research and suggest three Dos and three Don’ts regarding brand nicknames.

Where did you grow up and what was it like there?

I grew up in Nanjing, China. It is the capital of Jiangsu province and was China’s capital for six dynasties in history. The Yangtze River – the longest river in China – passes through the city. The city has a profound cultural heritage that combines with modernization to create a rich vitality. Don’t miss the food there – I may be biased, but it’s the best in my opinion!

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

My family members! I could not have possibly made it where I am without them.

What led you to your career?

I get this question quite often: What made me switch from Chemistry to Marketing? Long story short, I met a Marketing professor at a party when I was studying Chemistry in Vermont. I started to realize that Marketing is something I am passionate about!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Being outdoors and travelling with my family and my dog, Matt.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I cook really good pork ribs!

What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?

Air on the G String by Johann Sebastian Bach.

What book would you recommend to others on the personal side? On the business side?

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger for both. I think it’s an excellent book to read from both a personal and business perspective!

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