Portrait image for Sanjay Sood

Sanjay Sood

Professor of Marketing and Behavioral Decision Making
"Anderson is nimble. We take risks in reinventing the classroom."
(310) 825-1250
Areas of Expertise:
  • Advertising
  • Brand management
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Marketing Management


Professor of Marketing Sanjay Sood, who holds both an MBA from Kellogg and a Ph.D. from Stanford, says that incorporating real-world experience can dramatically improve the classroom experience. That’s why for the last decade he has been teaching his classes with C-suite industry executives from MGM, P&G and Google, assigning live projects with real companies — like NBC, Universal Studios and the TED brand — and taking his students on field trips to startups, major corporations and ad agencies.

“The co-teaching model of having faculty paired with seasoned executives in the classroom for the entire 10 weeks is a differentiator for Anderson,” says Sood. “We’re one of the few business schools that emphasizes a joint classroom model of practitioners with faculty for the entire quarter. It provides extra depth to the content as well as a unique combination of academic rigor plus managerial relevance.”

Sood’s academic research focuses on two areas, brand management and behavioral decision making. “As a doctoral student I was excited by the relatively new field of branding in consumer behavior and also was fortunate to be exposed to some of the pioneers of choice architecture,” he says. “The faculty at Anderson are adept at bringing research into the classroom and I have tried to follow that lead. Academic frameworks in branding can be applied across industries, and behavioral decision making is becoming increasingly relevant to senior managers and policymakers.”  

Sood helped develop what is now UCLA Anderson’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports, at a time when Dean Judy Olian established entertainment and media as a strategic priority for the school. Currently, between 10 and 15 percent of Anderson classes enter media and entertainment careers. In his classes, Sood looks at movies as brands going in the same direction as other products: Whereas Hollywood used to launch a new brand weekly, the trend now is toward brand franchises.

Using psychological principles in his research, Sood examines how firms can best build, manage and leverage strong brand names. This includes investigating what brand names mean to consumers, how to manage brand portfolios, how to use brand naming strategies to launch new products and how to protect brand names from becoming diluted over time and across geographical boundaries.

In his latest work on decision making he studies the differences between how people make decisions about products versus how they make decisions about experiences — like buying a DVD versus going to see the movie in a cinema. “Experiences generally make us happier and we’re willing to pay more for an experience. We define ourselves more based on the experiences that we have in life rather than on the products that we own.

“We don’t really have strong preferences among products, typically,” he continues. “Depending on how many options are presented or the ways those options are described, it can flip us from one option to another. We really are quite fungible in terms of our preferences over time. This is important to marketing but also in the area of public policy.”



Ph.D. Marketing, 1999, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

MBA, 1992, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

B.S. Electrical Engineering (with honors), 1987, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Published Papers

Simonson I., Sela A., Sood, S. (2017), "Preference-Construction Habits: The Case of Extremeness Aversion," Journal of the Association for Consumer Research

Gallo I., Sood, S., Mann T., and Gilovich T. (2017), “The Heart and the Head: On Choosing Experiences Intuitively and Possessions Deliberatively,” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

Townsend, C. and Sood, S. (2015), "The Inherent Primacy of Aesthetic Attribute Processing," The Psychology of Design, Batra, R., Seifert, C., Brei, D. (Eds.), University of Michigan press.  

Hadar, L. and Sood, S. (2014)  "When Knowledge is Demotivating: Subjective Knowledge and Choice Overload," with L. Hadar, Psychological Science 25(9), 1739-47  

Hadar, L. , Sood, S., and Fox, C. (2013)  "Subjective Knowledge in Consumer Financial Decisions," Journal of Marketing Research 50 (3), 303-316  

Sood, S. and Keller, K. (2012) "The Effects of Brand Name Structure on Brand Extension Evaluations and Parent Brand Dilution" Journal of Marketing Research: Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 373-382.

Townsend, C. and Sood, S. (2012) "Self Affirmation Through the Choice of High Design" with C. Townsend, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 39, (2).  

Moody, H.R. and Sood, S. (2010), "Age Branding" in Drolet, A., Schwarz, N. and C. Yoon (eds), The Aging Consumer: Perspectives From Psychology and Economics, part of Marketing and Consumer Psychology Series, USA.   

Sood, S. and S. Zhang (2008), "The Role of Brand Naming in Branding Strategies:  Insights and Opportunities" in Schmitt, B.H. And D.L. Rogers (eds), Handbook on Brand and Experience Management, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar.  

L. Brenner, Y. Rottenstreich, Sood, S., and B. Bilgin (2007), "On the Psychology of Loss Aversion:  Possession, Valence, and Reversals of the Endowment Effect," Journal of Consumer Research.  

Y. Rottenstreich, Sood, S., and L. Brenner (2007), "Feeling and Thinking in Memory-Based versus Stimulus-Based Choices," Journal of Consumer Research.  

Sood, S., and X. Dreze (2006), "Brand Extensions of Experiential Goods:  Movie Sequel Evaluations," Journal of Consumer Research.  

Sood, S. and M. Forehand (2005), "On Self Referencing Differences in Judgment and Choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, v98, n2, p. 144-154.  

Sood, S., Y. Rottenstreich, and L. Brenner (2004), "On Decisions that Lead to Decisions:  Direct and Derived Evaluations of Preference," Journal of Consumer Research, v31, n1, p. 17-25.  

Keller, K. and S. Sood (2003), "Brand Equity Dilution:  Your Brand May Be Less Vulnerable Than You Think," Sloan Management Review, v45, n1, p. 12-15.  

Zhang, S. and S. Sood (2002), "Deep and Surface Cues: Brand Extension Evaluations by Children and Adults," Journal of Consumer Research, v29, n1, p. 129-141.  

Keller, K. and S. Sood (2001), "The Ten Commandments of Global Branding," Asian Journal of Marketing, 8 (2), p. 97-108.   

Bridges, S., Keller, K., and S. Sood (2000), "Communication Strategies for Brand Extensions:  Enhancing Perceived Fit by Establishing Explanatory Links," Journal of Advertising, v29, n4, p.1-11.  

Kirmani, A., S. Sood, and S. Bridges (1999), "The Ownership Effect in Consumer Responses to Brand Line Stretches," Journal of Marketing, v63, n1, p. 88-101.  

Rottentreich, Y., L. Brenner and S. Sood (1999), "Similarity Between Hypotheses and Evidence," Cognitive Psychology, v38, n1, p. 110-128.  

Brenner, L., Y. Rottenstreich and S. Sood (1999), "Comparison, Grouping, and Preference," Psychological Science, v10, n3, p. 225-229.


Selected Research in Progress

Jiang, L., Sood, S., “The Endowment Effect for Experiences vs. Products: The Role of Narrative Processing,”

Gallo, I., Sood, S., and Escalas, J., “Transported through Time: The Narrative Processing of Experiential Purchases,”

Gallo, I., and Sood, S., “Choosing an Experience over a Product: The Role of Uncertainty and Price Sensitivity on the Evaluation and Choice of Experiences”

Takashima, M. and Sood, S., "Brand and the Self: A Cross-Cultural Investigation”

Sanjay Sood

What marketing strategies do firms use to successfully build global brands?

Pulse Conference Featuring Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins (’01)

Professor Sanjay Sood talks to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins about targeted advertising in the new media landscape.