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The Sheth Foundation Medal for Exceptional Contribution to Society is a bi-annual award designed to recognize a marketing thought leader who has made enduring and transformational contributions to society through academic scholarship, compassionate capitalism, public policy or the transformational leadership of a nation.
The Sheth Medal
David A. Aaker

About the 2020 Recipient | David Aaker

David Aaker, the Vice-Chairman of Prophet and Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business, is the winner of five career awards for contributions to the practice and science of marketing that include being named to the NYAMA Marketing Hall of Fame and receiving the Sheth Foundation Medal. He has published over 100 articles and 17 books that have sold well over one million copies and include Strategic Market ManagementBuilding Strong BrandsBrand Leadership (co-authored) Brand Portfolio StrategyFrom Fargo to the World of BrandsSpanning SilosBrand RelevanceAaker on Branding, Creating Signature Stores and his latest bookOwning Game-Changing Subcategories. Aaker has won awards for the best article in the California Management Review and (twice) in the Journal of Marketing. A recognized authority on brand strategy, he has been an active consultant and speaker throughout the world. He regularly blogs at and LinkedIn.


Ruth Bolton
President, Sheth Foundation
Ruth N. Bolton
Hotaka Katahira
Former Professor of Marketing Science, University of Tokyo
Hotaka Katahira
Rich Lyons
UC Berkeley
Rich Lyons
Kevin Lane Keller
Tuck at Dartmouth
Kevin Lane Keller
Jen Aaker
General Atlantic Professor, Stanford GSB
Jennifer Aaker
Joe Tripodi
Former CMO of Coca-Cola, Subway Restaurants, MasterCard, Seagrams and Allstate
Joe Tripodi
Jag Sheth
Founder, Sheth Foundation
Jagdish Sheth
Michael Dunn
CEO & Chairman, Prophet
Michael E. Dunn
Philip Kotler
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Philip Kotler
Scott Davis
Chief Growth Officer, Prophet
Scott Davis

Comments from Attendees

“Hearty congratulations on receiving the Sheth Foundation Medal! You and your work have been a source of much inspiration to me and many others for decades! I wish you the very best for continued success!”
~ Ajay Kohli

“It is really wonderful that the Sheth Foundation is honoring David Aaker and his really amazing career contributions to marketing., both in academia and in the world class business he built”
~ Bill Perreault

“David, such a stellar career advancing both in science and practice of our frield. Thank you for your contributions to my own thinking as well as that of countless colleagues.”
~ Jerry Zaltamn

“Congrats to the Father of Branding David Aaker”
~ Jacqueline Alexis Thng

Wonderful to get together around your most excellent insights, David!
~ Koen Pauwels

Fantastic!!! Couldn’t pick a more deserving person
~ Lou Stern

An honor to be invited to celebrate a great scholar who has taught us so very much… David certainly merits this distinction…
~ Ralph Olivia

So happy to hear the news! On behalf of all your admirers and fans here at Dentsu Tokyo, a big congratulations to you !! This is well worth for another Takarazuka show to celebrate 😊
~ Reiko Ogata

Very excited to be a part of this! Dave tried to give me my first job in academia, so we go back a looong way! 🙂
~ Richard Lutz

My heartiest Congratulations to my Mentor David Aaker in being recognized with a medal named after another mentor of mine. Can’t wait to join the celebrations!!
~ Kumar

Wonderful recognition for a wonder scholar and market leader
~ Margaret Campbell

Can’t wait to see our fearless leader recognized!
~ Megan Coffey

Thank you Dave for your contributions to the field through your academic scholarship, company leadership, and books. You have changed how the field thinks and acts in the important area of managing brands. We appreciate thought leadership—it has been transformational for all of us.
~ Christine Moorman, Duke University

It is an occasion to celebrate not only this moment of you receiving the Sheth Medal of Honor but your lifetime contributions to the academic and the business world.  You were kind enough to adopt me and bring me to your team of Aaker and Day and the rest is history. I am fortunate to have been associated with you all these years and your care and support even today is unmeasurable. It is tough to emulate you both but even trying to gives me tremendous fulfillment.
~ V Kumar (VK)

Aaker’s contribution to marketing and branding is an incredible lifetime achievement! Well deserved! See you SFO soon, Dave!
~ Martin Roll

I am so very excited and honoured to have the chance to witness this momentous occasion
~ Helen Rosethorn

Good to honor Dave’s extensive work in cultivating effective marketing while making the world a bit better.
~ Tom DeJonghe

Looking forward to the honor for a researcher and thought leader (and fellow TI’er) who has taught us so much.
~ Ralph Oliva

Past Recipients

Leonard Berry
2018 Recipient

Professor Leonard L. Berry

Dr. Leonard L. Berry is the University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, Regents Professor, and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. Furthermore, he is a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and a former president of the American Marketing Association. Dr. Leonard L. Berry’s research and teaching has been widely recognized with many honors for his contributions.

Michael E Porter
2016 Recipient

Professor Michael E. Porter

As the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School and one of the founders of the consulting firm, The Monitor Group, Dr. Michael Porter is known for his theories on economics, business strategy, and social causes. Along with being credited for the creation of Porter’s Five Forces Analysis, Dr. Michael Porter has founded three major non-profit organizations.

Gerald Zaltman
2015 Recipient

Professor Gerald Zaltman

Dr. Gerald Zaltman is the Joseph C. Wilson Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School and is the co-founder of the market research consulting firm Olson Zaltman Associates. Dr. Gerald Zaltman is also accredited with the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation technique and has received numerous awards for his academic work in innovation, social change, and deep metaphors.

John Little
2014 Recipient

Professor John D.C. Little

Dr. John D.C. Little is an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former visiting professor at Case Western Reserve and INSEAD (Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires). Dr. John D.C. Little is the recipient of many awards for his work in operations research and is the creator of the famed ‘Little’s Law’.

Philip Kotler
2013 Recipient

Professor Philip Kotler

As the S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Dr. Philip Kotler has received 20 honorary degrees from universities around the world. Along with receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Leaders International and being inducted to the Management Hall of Fame, Dr. Philip Kotler has authored over 60 marketing books.

Ratan Tata
2008 Recipient

Ratan Tata

As recipient of two of the highest civilian awards in India – Padma Vibushan and Padma Bhusuan, Ratan Tata is an Indian industrialist, investor and philanthropist. Ratan Tata is the former chairman of Tata Sons and the current chairman emeritus and continues to manage the Tata Sons charitable trusts. As a strong supporter of education, medicine, and rural development, Ratan Tata has supported many universities and programs.

Sam Palmisano
2006 Recipient

Sam Palmisano

Sam Palmisano is the former president, chairman, and eighth in chief executive office of IBM. In 2016, President Barack Obama appointed Sam Palmisano as the Vice Chairman of The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity to better protect against cyber attacks. Currently, Sam Palmisano is the Chairman of the Center for Global Enterprise, which is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution dedicated to the study of corporation and management science in a globally connect worlds.