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Jennifer Aaker

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Jennifer Aaker
Born (1967-01-15) January 15, 1967 (age 57)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Occupation(s)Author, behavioural scientist, stanford business school professor
Board member ofAccompani
Brit + Co
California Casualty
Decarbonization + Acquisition Corp
Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation
Your Story
SpouseAndy Smith
Parent(s)David Aaker, Kay Aaker

Jennifer Aaker (born January 15, 1967, California) is an American behavioural scientist and General Atlantic Professor and Coulter Family Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is known for her research on time, money, and happiness.[1][2] Aaker also focuses on the transmission of ideas through social networks, the power of story in decision making, and how to build global brands across cultures.[3] She is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Society for Consumer Psychology and the Stanford Distinguished Teaching Award.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Aaker was born in Palo Alto, California to Kay Aaker[5] and David Aaker, a professor and brand consultant.[6] Aaker attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied under social psychologist Philip E. Tetlock and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1989. In 1990, Aaker began postgraduate work at Stanford Graduate School of Business, earning a PhD in marketing with a minor in psychology in 1995. Her dissertation on brand personality led to the publication of academic papers in Journal of Marketing Research and Journal of Consumer Research.[7]


Aaker began her academic career in 1995 as an assistant professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In 1999, she returned to the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 2001, and earned a full professorship in 2004. In 2005, Aaker was named General Atlantic Professor and Coulter Family Fellow, Stanford GSB.[8] Her work has been published in scholarly journals in psychology and marketing and has been highlighted in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes, NPR, CBS MoneyWatch, Inc., and Science. She serves as an advisory board member for several private and public companies.[verification needed]

In 2010, Aaker and her husband, startup advisor Andy Smith, wrote The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change.[9]

In a real world demonstration of the Dragonfly Effect, Aaker and her students founded 100K Cheeks, an organization dedicated to registering 100,000 South Asian donors in the National Bone Marrow Registry.[3] In addition to using social networks, Aaker ran the first ever cheek swab in India. As a result of these efforts, 100K Cheeks exceeded their goal by registering more than 115,000 potential donors.[10][11][12]

In 2021, Aaker published Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is A Secret Weapon in Business and Life with co-author Naomi Bagdonas.[13]


  • Aaker, Jennifer Lynn; Bagdonas, Naomi (February 2, 2021). Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life and How Anyone Can Harness It Even You (first ed.). New York: Penguin Random House. ISBN 9780593135280. OCLC 1157576080.
  • Aaker, Jennifer; Smith, Andy (September 2010). The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0-470-61415-0.[14]
  • Smith, Andrew; McCarthy, Barbara; Aaker, Jennifer (April 2013). Dragonfly Effect Workbook: The Power of Stories. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-4841-8438-7.
  • Aaker, Jennifer (November 2013). "Text". Keep Calm, Play Hard: One Player's Journey in New York City. By Smith, Cooper. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1494278342.
  • Aaker, Jennifer (December 2013). "Text". Tea Sloane's Adventure: A Sparkly Tale of Whimsy and Meaning Found in NYC. By Smith, Tea Sloane. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781494471064.
  • Aaker, Jennifer (December 2013). "Text". Devon Made It: One Boy's Journey in NYC. By Smith, Devon. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781494400811.

Selected publications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Millennial Searchers". The NY Times. November 30, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  2. ^ Cook, Nancy. "The Corporate Pursuit of Happiness". Fast Company. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "The Most Influential Women in Technology 2011 – Jennifer Aaker". 2011. Fast Company. January 10, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  4. ^ "Jennifer Aaker: Psychology Today". Psychology Today. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ Wake, Jennifer. "The Gift of Time: Skilled Volunteers Found in Local Retirees" (PDF). La Morinda Weekly. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 18, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  6. ^ "David A. Aaker, Author Profile". Simon and Schuster. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  7. ^ "Jennifer Aaker". Google Scholar. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  8. ^ "Jennifer Aaker". Stanford University. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  9. ^ "The Dragonfly Effect". Publishers Weekly. July 26, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  10. ^ "Jennifer Aaker: Pursuit of Happiness". Ink Talks. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  11. ^ Beth Kanter Katie Delahaye Paine, Katie Delahaye Paine (2012). Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World. New York: Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-13760-4.
  12. ^ "The Dragonfly Effect". Stanford Social Innovation Review. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  13. ^ "How to Laugh at Work". NY Times. March 6, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  14. ^ Aaker, Jennifer Lynn; Smith, Andy (2010). The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change. Carlye Adler. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 9780470614150. OCLC 460061966.

External links[edit]