Janell D. Townsend is a Professor of Marketing and International Business at Oakland University. Dr. Townsend also teaches in the Masters of Science in Engineering Management program at TU-Wien, and a PhD seminar in Innovation Management at the University of Zurich.  She has been a Visiting Professor at Michigan State University, and the prestigious Hedi Fritz-Niggli Visiting Professor of Business at the University of Zurich. She earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Marketing and International Business.  

Dr. Townsend’s research interests are broadly defined by strategic and international marketing issues, and fall within the nexus of branding, innovation, and globalization of the firm, helping to extend understanding of complex phenomena in an ever more global marketplace.  Current projects incorporate aspects of brand related investments, the role of design in driving consumer perceptions, innovation management, and globalization of the firm. Much of her work is conducted in the context of the global automotive industry. 

Professor Townsend’s work has appeared in top tier business journals such as the Journal of International Business StudiesJournal of Product Innovation ManagementMarketing LettersJournal of International Marketing, International Marketing Review, and Thunderbird International Business Review, among others.  Her research has received commendations and awards for their contributions from top national and international conferences. She was nominated for the prestigious Haynes Prize for the most promising young scholar in international business by the Academy of International Business, and has served as a track chair in Product and Brand Management at the European Marketing Association’s Annual Conference.  Townsend also edited a special issue of the Journal of Product Innovation Management focused on innovation in the global automotive industry that was published in January of 2014. 

Dr. Townsend regularly consults on research projects with industry, an often acts as a “coach” for executives as they deal with transformative strategic issues.  She has had collaborations over the years with automotive OEM’s, suppliers, and global market research firms.  Recently, she has served as an expert in legal cases involving automotive related products. 

Professor Townsend also has professional experience with Clarion Corporation, Intel, and Unisys, among others.  She actively serves the academic and business communities through work with research, program, academic, student oriented, and professional development organizations.   Dr. Townsend has served on the board of directors for non-profit



Doctor of Philosophy, Michigan State University
DissertationSources and Consequences of Brand Equity in the U.S. Automotive Market
Major: Marketing                             Minor: International Business

Master of Business Administration, Wayne State University
Concentration: International Business

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Wayne State University
Major: Finance; Financial Markets and Investment Analysis


  1. Marketing Strategy and Competition
  2. Brand and Product Portfolio Strategies and Management
  3. Performance Implications of Product Design
  4. New Product Development and Innovation Management
  5. Globalization of the Firm, Brands, and Products