Erich Joachimsthaler, Ph.D.

CEO & Founder

Erich is a rare combination of consultant, entrepreneur, academic, researcher, author, and positive contrarian. His areas of expertise are leveraging new tech, innovation and growth strategies in the context of industries under deep disruption and transformation due to rapidly changing customer expectations. Over the last 20 years, Erich has led Vivaldi in helping companies to build strong brands, identify their innovation and growth opportunities, and fully realize their potential by evolving their industries and categories from the traditional economy to the platform economy (Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, or Web 3.0).

Erich’s extensive experience and thought leadership in strategy, business models, and innovation have informed his latest book, The Interaction Field: The Revolutionary New Way to Create Shared Value for Businesses, Customers and Society, which describes the emergence of what the next generation of successful companies and brands will look like. In it, Erich presents “a thrilling new way of looking at a successful business model for the future,” predicting that successful companies will shift from transactional businesses to an interactional model. This new model goes further than solely extracting value for the benefit of investors or shareholders — it creates value for all participants engaged in the Interaction Field, as well as society at large. It was published by Public Affairs/Hachette Group in 2020 and won the Bronze medal of the prestigious Axiom Business Book Awards.

Prior to his work at Vivaldi, Erich has held academic faculty positions at The Darden School at the University of Virginia, the University of Southern California, and the Instituto Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE) in Barcelona — which he first joined as a full-time professor in 1989 and, time permitting, he still serves as a Visiting Adjunct Professor of Business Administration. He has guest lectured at over 25 business schools.

Throughout his career, Erich has published over 100 articles in highly respected academic journals and in best-selling, award-winning books. Together with David A. Aaker, he wrote some of the most seminal articles on brand strategy and brand architecture in the Harvard Business Review and the California Management Review. His book Brand Leadership, co-authored with David A. Aaker, was first published by The Free Press in January 2000 and republished in 2009 by Pocket Books London. It describes the new leadership paradigm of building strong brands and has been translated into 14 languages. His book on innovation and growth strategies from a consumer-centric perspective, Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Find and Execute Your Company’s Next Growth Strategy, was published by the Harvard Business School Press, has been translated in 10 languages, and won the AMA-Berry Best Marketing Book of the Year Award.

Erich has received numerous awards of distinction for his work. He won the Best Dissertation Award for his pioneering work on solving the mathematical classification problem. In 2017, he was inducted as an ISBM Fellow, recognizing him as a senior scholar/thought leader, having made significant contributions to the advancement of the theory and practice of B2B marketing. There are only 27 academics and scholars exist worldwide who have been awarded this distinction. Erich also was voted to the Top 50 Chief Digital Officer CDO Influencer list, which is a ranking of global superstars in the fields of digital technology and in the adoption of data-driven culture.

Erich is an internationally recognized authority on the impact of technology on strategy, the digitalization of industries and categories, and the role of innovation and branding, and is quoted regularly in major media. He is one of the most in-demand keynote speakers in industry conferences and company meetings in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. He conducts conferences, speeches and workshops in English, German, and Spanish.

Erich holds degrees in economics, statistics, and business administration, with minors in computer science from both German and U.S. universities, having received a Master of Science degree in quantitative methods and marketing and a Ph.D. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in statistics and consumer behavior from the University of Kansas. He joined Harvard Business School as a Post-doctoral Fellow.

Erich is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world. To book him to speak at your next event, click here.

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Erich Joachimsthaler, Ph.D. - Vivaldi CEO & Founder

Challenges taken on recently

  • Building a real-time decision-making tool to improve brand management for a global consumer electronics brand
  • Reinventing healthcare through building an interaction field company
  • Supporting the post-merger integration process of a large technology company, including portfolio optimization and brand architecture, and positioning the company for the future

Likes to talk about

  • His three children and family dog
  • The mountain bike ride when he and David Aaker figured out the brand architecture spectrum
  • How companies and brands can build competitive advantage in the metaverse and Web 3.0 world

Is reading or listening to

  • "Seeing Around Corners" by Rita McGrath
  • "The Code Breaker" by Walter Isaacson
  • "Empire of Pain" by Patrick Radden Keefe