July 31, 2012

Mark Thomas: My wife and I are spending 2012 with Nokia in the Berlin office. I am working on location based mobile services and leading the product marketing team in the location services division. I look forward to returning to San Francisco in 2013 and catching up with the Wharton community there.

Philip Wharton: This week I started my new position as SVP of development at Brookfield Office Properties (NYSE:BPO) working at their headquarters at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. Brookfield is an owner and developer of class A office buildings in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, and is part of a larger Brookfield enterprise that invests in power plants and infrastructure in addition to property investment for its own account and in managed funds.

I will have development responsibility for their US projects, but my primary focus for the immediate future will be the Manhattan West project, on 9th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets, which will be a 5.4 million square foot office, residential and retail development, part of the larger Hudson Yards development, which over the next 5-10 years will extend Midtown Manhattan west to the Hudson River. I’m delighted for the chance to join a great company and to be involved in a skyline-changing project like Manhattan West.

Chris Malone: Would you like to help write a book? Well, over the past two years, I’ve been collaborating with a renowned Princeton social psychologist, Dr. Susan Fiske. Together we’ve conducted customer loyalty research on over 40 companies and brands that challenges some of the business principles and ideas we were taught back at Wharton. In fact, our work was recently published academically in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

As a result, we’ve just signed a publishing deal with the Jossey-Bass division of John Wiley & Sons for our book tentatively entitled The Human Brand: Warmth, Competence and the Future of Success, scheduled for release in 2013. In addition to our research, we plan to share lots of stories and anecdotes about companies and brands that have both achieved and squandered outstanding customer loyalty.

While some of these stories are in hand, our editor has encouraged us to scour the business world for some lesser known instances of remarkable customer success and failure. If you know of a company, brand or organization with a customer loyalty story we might include, we would love to hear about it. Here’s a short overview of our book, in case you’re interested. Just email me with any ideas or suggestions. Thanks!