Jacob Östberg is Professor of Business Administration, specializing in Marketing. Previously his title was Professor of Advertising & PR. He earned his PhD at Lund University in 2003 with a thesis that was subsequently awarded the Academia Gastronomica Scaniensis research price. Since then he has taught at the Business Schools at Lund and Stockholm University, and as visiting distinguished professor of marketing at Aalto University School of Business in Helsinki, Finland and a visiting scholar at Bılkent University in Ankara, Turkey. After Östberg earned his docentship in Business Studies he chose to broaden his scope by taking a position at The Centre for Fashion Studies at the Faculty of the Humanities, Stockholm University. After he earned a docentship in Fashion Studies he realized that he could no longer escape his academic fate as a marketing scholar and returned to Marketing proper at Stockholm Business School.
Professor Östberg teaches at both the undergraduate and the graduate level and supervises doctoral students in marketing.
Östberg conducts research within the field of Consumer Culture Theory and is head of the "Consumer Culture Theory Research Group". He is also a member of the standing track "Nordic Consumer Culture" at the Nordic Academy of Management.
He studies various aspects of the symbolic dimensions of consumption. For example, he is interested in how individuals in our consumer society create meaning and value through consumption and how brands are filled with meaning in the intersection of popular culture, marketing and consumers’ lived lives.
Östberg’s publications have appeared in Advances in Consumer Research; Consumption, Markets and Culture; European Journal of Marketing; Journal of Consumer Culture; Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Global Fashion Marketing; Journal of Historical Research in Marketing; Journal of Marketing Management; Journal of Place Management and Development; Marketing Theory; and Research in Consumer Behavior as well as in numerous international and Swedish book chapters.
He has also written the books Unboxing Marketing: Creating Value for Consumers, Firms, and Society, where he and co-authors Benjamin Hartmann, Anders Parment and Cecilia Solér give a fresch take on a textbook for marketing students; Marknadsföring, människor och interaction (Marketing, Humans and Interaction), where he and Peter Svensson critically examine the basic marketing management concepts; Konsumtion – begreppbart (Consumption), where he and the ethnologist Lars Kaijser introduces the field of consumer culture; and Märken och människor – om marknadssymboler som kulturella resurser (Of brands and Men – marketing symbols as cultural resources), where he, Anders Bengtsson and Benjamin Hartmann discusse the role that brands play for contemporary consumers. To catch the visual aspects of consumer culture Östberg has worked with videographies and presented award winning films at The ACR Film Festival and in Consumption, Markets and Culture.
To reach people outside of academia, Östberg has written books where he introduces the concept of consumer culture to a wider audience: Vi är vad vi köper: konsumtionskulturen är här för att stanna, together with anthropologist Katarina Graffman and På jakt efter den tid som kommer: bubblor, skam och andra fenomen together with Graffman and fashion scholar Emma Lindblad. Together with Katarina Graffman, Östberg also writes a blog for the trade journal Resumé, and together with Professor Benjamin Hartmann he writes columns for Resumé where they introduce marketing research to a broader audience.