Carlson School of Management

Expert Alert Archives

For media inquiries, contact:

Steve Rudolph
612-624-8770

Memorial Day Weekend Gas Prices

May, 2010

Travel season officially gets underway with Memorial Day weekend, and the price at the pump is top of mind for many Americans. Will the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill affect the price of a tank of gas? Just how much will gas prices spike this summer?

Akshay Rao, professor of marketing, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. Rao says, that in addition to being a serious environmental threat, the Gulf oil spill will likely impact retail gasoline prices. “This disaster may lead to higher gas prices in part because some consumers expect it to,” says Rao. While prices at the pump will likely rise over the summer months, climbing past $3 a gallon, the reasons for price increases will include summer driving, which in turn will be impacted by expectations about the economy.

Akshay Rao's teaching, research, and consulting have focused on industries ranging from food and airlines to apparel and the Internet. His research and opinions have been featured in TIME, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN and other outlets. Professor Rao can be contacted about topics such as advertising, branding, gas prices, and decision making.

The Biz of the Minnesota State Fair

August 28, 2009

Over the next 10 days, approximately 1.7 million people will gather at the Minnesota State Fair grounds. Along with being entertained and overindulged, the "Great Minnesota Get Together" offers both consumers and producers a unique experience. A University of Minnesota professor who can speak about the Minnesota State Fair is Akshay Rao, General Mills Chair in Marketing and Director of the Institute for Research in Marketing at the Carlson School of Management.

"The state fair is not just an opportunity for people to get together, it is also an occasion in which consumers meet producers face to face," explains Rao. "With no intermediaries such as grocery stores and distributors present, consumption and production of food occurs virtually simultaneously in a sophisticated yet primitive marketplace."

Rao's teaching, research, and consulting have focused on industries ranging from food and airlines to apparel and the Internet.

Jerseys, Seats, and Stadiums: The True Impact of the Favre Effect

August 19, 2009

Brett Favre's headline-grabbing trip across state lines to join his one-time rivals, the Minnesota Vikings, also has a host of implications off the field. Akshay Rao, marketing professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, says that a high-profile athletics deal like the Favre hire has huge economic implications for everything from merchandise sales up to stadium funding. "Fans aren't alone - politicians, team owners, and merchandisers will all be watching when Favre puts on the purple," says Rao.

The Vikings-Packers face-off on November 1 will most likely break all sales records - if Favre plays. And if he not only sells tickets, but wins games, then the stage has been set for future stadium fights. "Team owners can make the argument that high sales are exactly what we need to stimulate the economy and enhance the quality of life here. Gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle will begin to take notice," Rao comments.

And what happens if this 40 year old can't recover from last season's injuries? Merchandisers may still win. "Retailers should get on the bandwagon quickly. In case his achievements don't last, you want to maximize your sales now. Further, if history repeats itself and Favre retires again quickly, you have memorabilia that's ripe for collectors," says Rao. "If he is successful, then, of course, Brett Favre merchandise will be popular. Either way, the new quarterback may be a good merchandise bet."

Akshay Rao's teaching, research, and consulting have focused on industries ranging from food and airlines to apparel and the Internet. His research and opinions have been featured in TIME, The Economist, NPR, and other outlets. Professor Rao can be contacted about topics such as advertising, branding, gas prices, and decision making.

Super Bowl Advertising Expert Available

January 30, 2009

When 30 seconds costs $3 million, it must be time for the Super Bowl. The game is on, and so are the ads. Which types of product will outdo the others? Why are some companies investing in 3D ads this year? Is the money worth it? Which types of ads do best in the Super Bowl? These questions are just a few that Rohini Ahluwalia, marketing professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, has commented about.

Professor Ahluwalia is a leading expert in the areas of negative advertising and decision making. Her research and opinions have been featured domestically and internationally in the New York Times, NPR, the Star Tribune, and other outlets.

Holiday Experts Available

November 21, 2008

This holiday season, manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and many others are playing a guessing game as a consequence of the economic downturn. When will the best sales occur and where? Which products are more likely to be discounted and why? Which brands are immune to price pressure and which ones aren't? These questions are just a few that University of Minnesota Carlson School experts will be able to answer; the marketing department is your one stop shop for holiday season questions.

It's a Wonderful Season to Shop!
Contact: Professor Mark Bergen
mbergen@umn.edu
612-624-1821

"The sales are good now and they are just going to get better," says Mark Bergen, marketing professor and pricing expert. "Consumers will naturally tighten their budgets when they are uncertain. So you may see big sales early. When budgets are smaller, retailers will try to capture part of that budget before it disappears." The best deals will be on products found in higher-end categories, such as plasma TVs and entertainment systems. Mark Bergen is a sought-after lecturer and professor with expertise on a multitude of topics related to pricing. Please contact Professor Bergen regarding bartering, gray markets, counterfeits, deflation, price wars, and marketing strategy this holiday season.

Uncertainty is the Name of the Game
Contact: Professor George John
johnx001@umn.edu
612-624-6841

"The whole process of adjusting to this economy will affect prices, inventory - everything. Consumers and retailers are all just guessing as to what is going to happen," says George John. "Right now, uncertainty is the name of the game. Retailers are concerned that everything may fall apart during the crucial end-of-year selling season, and consumers are just as worried."

George John is Chair of the Marketing Department and a leading expert on marketing channels, industrial marketing, and high-technology. Most recently his comments on pricing and branding issues have appeared in the New York Times, Business Week, and the Star Tribune. Please contact Professor John for questions regarding retailer response, branding, and price adjustment.

Giving the Gift of Certainty
Contact: Professor Akshay Rao
arao@umn.edu

612-624-8049

"There are more questions than answers this holiday season. Should I shop on-line or at the store? Should I shop now or wait for better sales? If I buy a gift card, what happens if the store goes out of business? These are some of the questions that are vexing consumers this year," says Akshay Rao, professor of Marketing and Director of the Institute for Research in Marketing. "The holidays will not be cancelled or postponed, but whether and how consumers celebrate the holidays with symbolic or utilitarian gift exchanges is the question that is keeping retailers up at night."

Akshay Rao's teaching, research, and consulting have focused on industries ranging from food and airlines to apparel and the Internet. His research and opinions have been featured in Time, The Boston Globe, NPR and other outlets. Professor Rao can be contacted about topics such as advertising, branding, gas prices and decision making.

Let's Get Social!

Give  Contact  Visit

A to Z Directory | Faculty Directory

321 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455 | 612-625-0027 | 877-625-6468