Sandeep Dayal is a seasoned marketer and the author of the newly released book “Branding Between the Ears – Using Cognitive Science to Build Lasting Customer Connections.” In it, he gives a behind-the-scenes look at his work in applying behavioral science and consumer psychology to help his clients build some of the most iconic brands in the world. Sandeep is the managing director for his firm, Cerenti, a marketing strategy boutique in Chicago. He serves as a counselor to C-suite executives at Fortune 500 companies and has advised 50+ clients in more than 100 engagements around the world. He is regarded as one of the leading minds in marketing strategy and has co-authored articles in Marketing Management, McKinsey Quarterly, and Strategy & Business.
He recently took time to discuss what makes the Yale School of Management unique, the view from East Rock, the beauty of the Newberry Memorial Organ, the power of ideas, and more.
The Yale School of Management, where I went for my business degree, is unique in how it combines public and private management principles into a single management education. It forces you to think about the world in a different way. No other school does it quite in the same way. Not then and not now.
What is your most enduring memory of your time at Yale?
That would be like looking for a shape in the blur. Would it be the time that a bunch of classmates drove up a Harley in the midst of Sharon Oster’s microeconomics class to congratulate her on what was her 5th year anniversary at the school? Or the time the discussions in the IGB (Individual & Group Behavior) class got so intense that some people broke down? Or would it be when David Brown, the best-ever poli sci prof, reeled off every single student's name and bio in the very first class? Would it be the ice cream giveaway when Ben and Jerry showed up with tubs of their company’s ice cream? Would it be ...?
You decide, I give up!
If you could relive your time at Yale, what would you do differently?
I would have taken a few classes at Yale College. They have some fabulous profs there in the department of psychology and philosophy. All is not in vain, though; lots of those classes (Paul Bloom or Jane Gruber anyone?) are now online. So, I did take them. They're free!
What would you do exactly the same?
There is no doubt that the classroom experience is the one thing that makes SOM, well, SOM. That was evident to me from Week One. I made it a point to make the most of it – whether it was learning from my peers or checking in with the profs or diving into the debates. SOM is what you make of it. And what I made of it, in every class I took, and every day I sat in class, I would not change a bit.
What is your favorite place in New Haven, past or present?
East Rock. They say it was “formed about 200 million years ago as the continents were in the process of moving away from each other.” If that doesn't kick your tires, then, hey, just enjoy the view.