Roland Rust

How Rio Officials Feed the Olympics Turmoil

Rio de Janeiro’s acting governor Francisco Dornelles recently warned that the Rio Summer Olympics are headed to a “big failure.” He also called his state’s health care system “calamitous” and said his government’s policy of paying workers’ salaries in installments “is a form of slave labor.” Smith School marketing professors Hank Boyd and Roland Rust suggest better ways to manage a crisis communications situation. Read more...

When Do Service Amenities Pay for Themselves?

Say you're a hotel manager trying to decide whether to build a pool: Will the additional reservations you bring in from that amenity offset the cost of construction and maintenance? Or say you offer free bottled water to all guests. If you stopped doing so, would you save money in the long run? New research from the Smith School offers some answers to these questions. Read more...

The 'Echoverse': A New Way to Think About Brand-Consumer Interactions

Most studies of the interactions between companies and consumers look at one piece of the puzzle: Advertising or social media or news coverage or consumer sentiment as measured in surveys. An ambitious new study from the Smith School examines how messages about brands across various channels interact in a complex set of feedback loops the authors call the "echoverse." Read more...

How to Pursue Successful Digital Strategies

Conventional wisdom in strategy holds that companies need to choose between cost-cutting or revenue growth. Pursuing both strategies at the same time can result in incoherence — or getting stuck in the middle. But that conventional wisdom is challenged by a new study from the Smith School, which suggests that firms can pursue dual-focus or "ambidextrous" IT strategies successfully. Read more ...

Volkswagen Scandal Opens Door for Hybrids

By now you’ve likely heard how the Environmental Protection Agency caught Volkswagen cheating its way to clean emissions tests. The world’s second-largest automaker admitted 11 million vehicles worldwide were rigged to mask the diesel engine’s true emissions — which contained up to 40 times more harmful gases than tests suggested. "It’s really unbelievable," says Smith School professor Roland Rust. "They have absolutely cheated their customers." Read more...

Flier Rewards Overhaul Might Backfire

United’s and Delta’s shift to reward customers based on spending instead of miles could set up the airlines to milk big corporate accounts. But Smith professor Roland Rust says the strategy could turn off a broader base of customers in the long-run, including smaller business clients. Rust told Buzzfeed Business that the changes signal that both airlines are honing in on the fliers who make them the most money. Read more...

Can Rams Head Tavern Survive Voyeurism?

Voyeurism charges can never be good for a company's reputation, but can Rams Head Group come back from allegations that its president secretly recorded women in the restroom? To assess the damage, Smith marketing professors Roland Rust and Hank Boyd draw comparisons in the Baltimore Sun to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the ValuJet crash into the Florida Everglades nearly 20 years ago. Read more...

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