Biography and curriculum vitae

I was born and raised in Barcelona. I studied Economics in the public university in Barcelona. I then worked as a management consultant for three years, after which I got my MBA at IESE Business School. After the MBA I worked for a year as a sales manager. I then decided to shift gears and pursue an academic career. I went to UCLA, where I got a PhD in Consumer Behavior. After that, I came back to IESE, where I am a professor now. I teach Marketing in different IESE programs.


I investigate differences between material and experiential purchases. I understand an experience or an experiential purchase as an event or series of events that a consumer lives through, while a product or a material purchase is a tangible object, kept in one’s possession (Van Boven and Gilovich 2003). Trips, movies, and restaurants are experiences; laptops, shoes, and jewelry are products. I argue that experiences are unique in certain ways and that, because most of consumer research has focused on products, the current frameworks may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Recent research has pointed out differences in the consequences of consuming material or experiential purchases (to name a few: Caprariello & Reis, 2013; Carter & Gilovich, 2010, 2012; Gilovich & Kumar, 2015; Gilovich, Kumar, & Jampol, 2015a; Howell, Pchelin, & Iyer, 2012; Rosenzweig & Gilovich, 2012; Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003).  For instance, experiences are perceived as more self-relevant, provide more happiness, and are more social in nature. On the other hand, my research focuses on the differences between these two types of goods before consumption, this is, on the antecedents that lead to choosing one versus the other. I think in here lays my biggest contribution to the field.


In short, I teach the second part of the marketing core and an elective in the MBA program on non-traditional marketing. I also teach the marketing core in one of IESE’s executive education programs. In the core we work on important topics such as communication, channel management, sales and sales force management, and marketing strategy and planning. In the elective, we study social marketing, content marketing, and experiential marketing. Occasionally I also lecture in different audiences such as company meetings, industry meetings, etc.

Other things that keep me busy

Besides researching and teaching, I also spend regular amounts of time on two additional activities: the development of teaching materials and working with companies. I have written a number of cases and teaching notes, for use in a marketing class at the graduate level. Many of these cases come from real-world experiences I have had with companies, in which I worked with managers to try to solve real-world problems their companies were facing.


Inigo Gallo – CV September 2016