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Selling Status

When it comes to understanding how to sell status, Joe Nunes is an expert

February 13, 2019
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Joseph Nunes received a B.S. in journalism and economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in marketing and statistics plus a Ph.D. in marketing and behavioral decision research from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He has been at USC Marshall since 1998. In 2016, he became chair of the Department of Marketing, and in 2017, he became the holder of the Joseph A. DeBell Endowed Professorship in Business Administration after having been an assistant, associate, and full professor of marketing.

With his focus on consumer behavior, Nunes has examined cultural goods from music to fashion to luxury goods, loyalty programs, signaling, and customer retention.

Nunes is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. In both 2006 and 2011, he received the USC Marshall Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. From 2010-2014, he received a U.S. Department of Education CIBER Grant for Social Entrepreneurship that provided funds for MBA students to travel to Cambodia to work with NGOs working to end human trafficking. He has also received three Marketing Science Institute Research Awards.

Nunes’ impact goes beyond the academic realm. He has consulted for many different companies including Southwest Airlines, Nestlé, Abbott Laboratories, and Kampgrounds of America. He has also taught branding, marketing strategy, and marketing communications in entertainment among other topics in several executive education programs for students from Italy, Korea, Thailand, and the US.

At USC Marshall, Nunes has led both undergraduate and graduate students to Brazil, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam with the Global Social Impact (GSI), PM GLOBE, ExPORT, and PRIME programs, exposing students to international business and broadening their perspectives. From 2014-2016, he served as academic director for Marshall’s innovative World Bachelor of Business (WBB) Program. And since 2012, he has also held positions at the marketing department at Università Bocconi in Milan, Italy.

Nunes’ research looks beyond customer behavior associated with status to how other elements compete or complement the products and services that companies have to offer. Nunes is an established expert on social status and consumer behavior. He has published numerous articles in such top journals as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science. With his focus on consumer behavior, Nunes has examined cultural goods from music to fashion to luxury goods, loyalty programs, signaling, and customer retention. He has developed a broad research agenda focusing on representations of status, looking at how luxury goods, intensity of work, and social media followers signal status. In more recent work, he has looked at pop music and how details such as instrumentation and repetitive lyrics can influence a song’s success in the charts.