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John Gerzema

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Name  John Gerzema

Role  Columnist
John Gerzema April 25 John Gerzema Executive Chairman Brand Asset
Books  The Athena Doctrine: How Wo, Spend Shift: How the Post, The Brand Bubble: The Loo

The athena doctrine john gerzema at tedxkc

John Gerzema is an American CEO and columnist who focuses on social sciences and the impact of leadership ethics and corporate culture on consumer behavior and financial performance. He has a particular focus on female leadership traits and competencies in modern-day leadership. He is CEO of Harris Insights & Analytics, one of the world’s leading public opinion, market research and strategy firms known widely for The Harris Poll®. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of WPP Group’s BAV Consulting, overseeing the BrandAsset Valuator, a consumer and brand survey. He was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Behavior 2014 by Trust Across America. and was one of Forbes’ Must-Follow Marketing Minds on Twitter 2014.


John Gerzema The Athena Doctrine39 KCUR

John gerzema at tedxwomen 2012

Book Author

John Gerzema The great unwind John Gerzema TEDxKC YouTube

Best Countries: Defining Success and Leadership in the Twenty-First Century

John Gerzema IWD 2014 Building Career Capital John Gerzema

Gerzema co-wrote the ebook Best Countries: Defining Success and Leadership in the Twenty-First Century with David Reibstein, Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The book explores how countries are assessed as brands based on the proprietary model they built, in partnership with U.S. News, to create the Best Countries Rankings. The rankings are hosted on U.S. News & World Report and updated annually.

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The Brand Bubble

Gerzema is the author of The Brand Bubble: The Looming Crisis in Brand Value and How to Avoid It (John Wiley & Sons, Oct. 13, 2008), written with Ed Lebar, which documented the $4 trillion overvaluation of brands in companies in contrast to their declining perceptions in the consumer data.

Spend Shift

Gerzema’s book, Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution Is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell and Live (Jossey-Bass, Oct 18, 2010), written with Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael D’Antonio, studied the strategies of companies to adapt to a consumer marketplace focused on ethics, integrity and values in post-recession America. Spend Shift appeared on the "best of" lists of The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fast Company and the WEEK Magazine. The book became a TED talk, “The Post-Crisis Consumer.”

The Athena Doctrine

Gerzema’s book, The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule The World, also written with D’Antonio, was published in April 2013. The book explores the rise of feminine traits and values in society, leadership, and business. The book is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller as well as a TEDx talk The book was the subject of an Inc cover story, "Between Venus and Mars: 7 Traits of True Leaders." In their research of more than 60,000 people in 13 countries, the authors found that “traditionally feminine leadership and values are now more popular than the macho paradigm of the past.” The research found that “two-thirds of people feel the world would be a better place if men thought more like women-including 79 per cent of Japanese men; 76 per cent of French and Brazilians and 70 per cent of Germans.”

Proceeds from the book benefit the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign.


Gerzema writes regular columns for the Huffington Post, Google Think Quarterly, Inc. (magazine), and PSFK. Gerzema has written and been featured in numerous articles, including in such publications and websites as McKinsey on Society, Harvard Business Review The Next Woman, The Daily Beast, Financial Times, Forbes, the Daily Mail, Inc. magazine, Fast Company, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report.


Gerzema received a bachelor's degree in marketing from The Ohio State University in 1983 and his master's degree in Integrated Marketing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1987. In 2014, Gerzema was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement.

Campbell Mithun

Gerzema worked as an account supervisor at Campbell Mithun from 1987 to 1992, providing account services and brand management to a diverse array of blue-chip marketers.

Fallon Worldwide

Gerzema joined Fallon Worldwide, an international marketing company, in 1992. While there, he co-founded account planning at Fallon Minneapolis, served as planning director and managing partner of Fallon New York (1997-2000) and then oversaw Fallon’s global network, which included founding offices and completing acquisitions.

Young & Rubicam

In 2004, Gerzema joined Young & Rubicam as chief insights officer, overseeing oversees account planning, research, and analytics.

Burson Marsteller: BAV Consulting

In early 2011, Gerzema became executive chairman of BAV Consulting, a division of Burson Marsteller and the company that is responsible for BrandAsset® Valuator, the world's largest global brand database and management tool.

Harris Insights & Analytics

In 2017, Gerzema became CEO of Harris Insights & Analytics (Ref), one of the world’s leading public opinion, market research and strategy firms known widely for The Harris Poll®.

Advisory Role

Gerzema is a board adviser for University of the People, an NGO tuition-free university, Girl Up, a United Nations organization empowering girls to become global leaders and raising awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls, and the National Kidney Foundation. He is also a fellow with the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College.


Gerzema is married and lives in New York with his wife, Mary, an executive at Shiseido, and daughter, Nina.


John Gerzema Wikipedia

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