The Brierley Institute 

Leveraging Top MBA Talent for Real-Time Business Needs

A core aspect of our work at the SMU Cox Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement involves bringing the skills and abilities of top MBA resources to work on your company’s challenges and opportunities, with the guidance of experienced faculty and Hal Brierley.

Businesses that work with us receive cutting-edge strategic and tactical recommendations and customer insights, delivered by top-performing MBA candidates who are uniquely skilled in customer engagement,. Through these projects, our corporate members and project sponsor have access to top MBA talent to support recruitment efforts.

The institute also hosts an annual Professors Institute forum where faculty from the country's top universities gather with industry thought leaders to share best practices in customer engagement. Brierley Institute partnering companies have an opportunity to speak to this forward-thinking group and present challenges that can be addressed by academic research. The discussions inspire innovation, spark curiosity, and drive the development of academic research. For more information about the Professors Institute, click here.

Bart Schaller

EVP, CMO at Synchrony Financial, SMU Cox Alumnus

"The student engagement enriches both us and our business partners. We’ve gained new insights and looked at business questions from a different perspective."
  • Three Ways to Engage

    Our students embrace the opportunity to take on real-world business challenges and propose solutions to drive loyalty and bottom-line results. Whether a project is incorporated into our existing MBA curriculum or proposed as an extracurricular, we co-design it with you. Students are hand-selected to work on each project and will work with your team throughout the duration of the partnership to provide updates as they approach final recommendations. Dr. Marci Armstrong, Brierley Institute director and Brierley Endowed Professor, guides and directs the students.

    The Brierley Institute offers three types of projects, with opportunities to customize and combine aspects of each. The SMU Cox School of Business supports and encourages corporate engagement and opportunities for strategic partnership. Whether collaborating in the classroom or beyond, or, we invite you to connect and explore ways we can partner together.


    Customer Engagement Program (Loyalty/Rewards Program) Project

    Students either evaluate and redesign an existing customer engagement program or design and implement a new customer engagement program. These projects allow students to consider customer engagement opportunities from both the company’s and the customer’s perspective, articulate goals for desired customer behavior change, identify customer segments offering the greatest profit potential, evaluate the competitive landscape, develop a strawman customer engagement program design, conduct qualitative and quantitative research to measure customer receptivity, quantify the financial impact, and build a business case (including a communications plan featuring digital/social/traditional media) for implementing the proposed customer engagement program..

    Big Data Project

    Students analyze real-time customer data provided by a corporate sponsor using a variety of methods such as regression, descriptive analytics and data visualization. This may include calculating customer lifetime value (CLV) for individual customers, then segmenting customers based on CLVs or other variables. There are a wide range of corporate opportunities and challenges that can be tackled with this research. In a final group presentation to corporate sponsors, students draw customer insights from their analyses and propose strategic and tactical recommendations for profitable growth.

    Primary Data Collection Project:

    Students design a research study and a survey, collect primary survey data, analyze the data, draw customer insights, then make recommendations to you in a final presentation. The research focus is customizable based on business projects, questions, areas of interest and the sponsoring organization’s industry.

  • Brierley Partner Companies

It’s a symbiotic relationship between our company, SMU Cox, and the Brierley Institute. Their students get real-world experience, and we leverage the students' professionalism, talent, and deep expertise to help us grow.

Chris Crocker

CMO, Arcis Golf

Contact Us

Interested in working with the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement?  

Connect SMU Cox Corporate Engagement.