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Richard H. “Rick” Baer is an international educator in global marketing at Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is well known and deeply respected among his peers for a 35-year career in marketing and brand management with consumer product giants like Colgate Palmolive International, The Dial Corp and Continental Promotion Group.
Baer’s areas of expertise include brand management, global marketing strategy and tactics, fast-moving consumer goods, international advertising and promotion and pricing. He has been a senior-level marketing executive who boasts a high level of experience in both the U.S. and international consumer-products industry.
Among the many brands that have generated global popularity and benefited from his expertise are Colgate toothpaste, Dial soap, Purex liquid detergent, Palmolive soap, Breck shampoo and Fab laundry detergent. He is also the marketer who first launched the stand-up dispenser of toothpaste that is now standard in the product category, and Baer was the first brand manager outside the U.S. to add fluoride to Colgate toothpaste, seeing it as “critical to world oral health.” His marketing plan for the European launch of the stand-up form of toothpaste packaging resulted in his being awarded Colgate Palmolive’s prestigious Marketer of the Year award.
A global branding-marketing-management expert and senior business executive, Baer has held more than a dozen vice presidential, manager and director-level positions during his 35-year private business career and has lived and worked in countries ranging from Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala and Venezuela to Australia, Italy, Thailand and South Africa. Baer has worked in and interacted with more than 75 countries throughout his business career.
Prior to joining the Thunderbird faculty in 2007, Baer was vice president of the Continental Promotion Group’s international arm, where he was the driving force to increase the company’s global market penetration. His efforts in Canada resulted in a first-year doubling of sales, followed by three straight years of 25-percent or more growth. He also recruited and trained staff and established corporate offices in Toronto, London, Geneva, Barcelona, Sydney and Munich, developing Continental’s global presence and resulting in a ten-fold increase in European business.
Baer was selected as Outstanding Elective Faculty Member at Thunderbird by the school’s student body in the summers of 2008 and 2010 as well as the spring of 2012. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award in fall of 2014. He has received the True Spirit of Giving Award five times, reflecting the student government’s recognition of all that he does for the students.
Baer currently teaches Global Marketing Communication, Global Brand Management and Global Pricing. In his Global Marketing Communication course his students have addressed challenges such as developing an IMC for a new Nestle product and recommending a creative approach to growing Coke’s US Hispanic market share. In the Global Brand Management course, projects undertaken by his students include the introduction of Tropicana Premium Juices into Mexico, Johnson & Johnson sun care products into China, and the branding of the U.S. men’s water polo Olympic team in the U.S.
Areas of Expertise: Brand management, Global marketing strategy and tactics, Fast-moving consumer goods, International advertising and promotion, and pricing.