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Svetlana Tokareva, Ph.D.

A global marketing pro bringing industry insights into her classroom.

For more than 10 years, Svetlana Tokareva worked as a marketer and brand manager for companies like Coca-Cola, Kraft, Mondelez, and Kohler. “I started thinking about my contribution to academia because when you have a lot of industry experience, you think about ways you can contribute to the field.” She earned a B.S. in International Business and M.S. in Management from the Moscow Aviation Institute in Russia; an M.S. in Marketing from University of Tampa; and a Ph.D. in Marketing from University of Memphis. “I’m excited to join the Hill and share my experience and knowledge with the students. I want to contribute to their success,” she says.
What was it like to work as a brand manager before you became an academic?
Working as a brand manager is a pretty creative specialization, so you can work on everything from analytics to advertising and design. There’s a broad scope of things. My favorite project I worked on was Tassimo Coffee’s on-demand coffee system launch. I collaborated with professionals from different European countries to develop the product from scratch because that product category wasn’t developed in Russia at the time. I learned a lot from that experience.
What was your Ph.D. dissertation on?
I conducted a literature review in the area of brand extensions, which are when a company develops a new product category under the existing brand name. In addition to exploring future directions in the area of brand extensions, I studied consumer attitudes toward near and distant brand extensions and the effect of product recall on the shareholder value of rival companies.
You’re teaching Principles of Marketing and Global Marketing. How does your professional background inform your teaching?
I want my students to love marketing as I love marketing, and I want to help them achieve their goals. My key objective is to share my industry experience, but the classroom setting is important, too. When you work with employers, they can just train you on the specifics of a job, but when you are in college, you can study how to communicate your ideas, how to find and analyze different information and data, how to adapt new technologies as well as collaborating with others. The liberal arts can play a huge role in developing marketing skills.

About Prof. Tokareva

Assistant Professor of Marketing
Subject: Marketing
Department: Economics and Business Administration

Outside of the Classroom


She’s proud to be a “very, very fast” reader and can finish 200 pages in a day.


She got married in her dream destination of Prague in the Czech Republic.


Her active personality makes yoga and meditation impossible for her to do.