Conor Henderson is an associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Judy and Hugh Oliphant Research Scholar at the Lundquist College of Business. Professor Henderson teaches and researches marketing strategy with an emphasis on firms' strategies and tactics aimed at building enduring customer relationships. His research aims to uncover areas where firms go wrong and identify opportunities to increase customer value and financial performance. Through a multi-method approach, Henderson investigates the strategic trade-offs across customers and over time in service, sports, digital, and business-to-business marketing contexts. His research has been awarded the 2016 Robert D. Buzzell MSI Best Paper Award by the Marketing Science Institute and the 2019 and 2020 Paper of the Year in Sports Marketing by the American Marketing Association’s Sports Marketing SIG. His research has published in leading marketing journals journals including the Journal of Marketing, Marketing Science, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Professor Henderson is an Editor Review Board member for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and received the Best Reviewer Award in 2019.
Henderson received his PhD from the University of Washington in 2013. He has been a research fellow at the Sales and Marketing Strategy Institute since 2019.
The rise of conscientious consumption movements pushes brands, and brand managers, to concern themselves with societal issues that were previously considered outside of the business domain. As brand managers begin to venture into the social-political domain, risks and potential pitfalls are revealed. Recent research in top marketing journals finds that brands’ social-political activism results in wide swings in firm value, depending on a myriad of contextual factors (Bhagwat et al 2020). The Marketing Science Institutes’ 2020-2022 research priorities highlight manager’s concern with how best to navigate an increasingly relevant social-political context. In response, the research projects examine how consumers' evaluations of brands are altered based on the salience of economic inequality and political partisanship. We have merged and analyzed secondary data as well as conducted experiments across 10 countries and found that consumers’ evaluations of powerful seeming brands suffer when economic inequality is especially salient. Regarding political partisanship, our first set of experiments find that consumers’ evaluations of brands suffer when the brands advertise alongside political news content that reports on positive news for the political candidates that the consumer opposes. We believe the effects are united by a common concern for societal power and how brands can seemingly provide credence to others who might use power for purposes that the consumer opposes. This is an important, and dynamic, research agenda. Further research is required to fully understand this process underlying these effects.