Soma Somasundaram

Soma Somasundaram
Phone: (619) 260-4889
Office: Olin Hall 322

Associate Professor of Marketing

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marketing
  • MBA, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, Marketing
  • MBA, Panjab University, India, Marketing and Finance
  • BA, University of Delhi, India, Economics (Honors) and Mathematics

Tyagarajan Somasundaram (Soma) joined the marketing faculty in the University of San Diego School of Business in 1988. Recently, he completed a course on managing brand meanings at the Harvard Business School. Somasundaram is active in consulting with telecommunication, semiconductor capital equipment, automotive and consumer packaged goods companies. His most recent consulting engagements were with Eli Lilly, Flextronics, Nokia and Cymer. For Nokia, Somasundaram presented to the chief technology officer and senior vice president (CDMA) the results of his investigation into rapid developments in "middleware" and the strategic implications of wireless handset evolution into "thin clients." Somasundaram also studied for Flextronics the functional capabilities required in PDAs and wireless smartphones over the next five years. He led a team that developed a technology roadmap for wireless data enabled devices that would have to be developed by Palm, Motorola, Kyocera, SONY-Ericsson (, Motorola, Kyocera and Hewlett-Packard by integrating their product design and manufacturing strategies with ODMs (Acer, Leo, HTC, Legend) in China, Taiwan and Korea.

Somasundaram teaches marketing management and consumer behavior courses. Recently he taught a course on strategic alliances and technology transfer in emerging markets in Beijing and Shanghai. His academic interests are brand valuation and brand equity, consumer satisfaction and the role of warranties and other cues on perceptions of product quality. Prior to enrolling in the PhD program, Somasundaram held brand management and field sales management positions in India and Nigeria.

Selected Publications

  • Bates, K., Ivanic, A., Somasundaram, T. (2018) Accents and Ethnic Stereotypes in Radio Advertising: Implications for Spokesperson Selection, Advertising & Society Quarterly , 19(4),
  • Ivanic, A., Bates, K., Somasundaram, T. (2014) The Role of the Accent in Radio Advertisements to Ethnic Audiences: Does Emphasizing Ethnic Stereotypes Affect Spokesperson Credibility and Purchase Intention?, Journal of Advertising Research, 54(4), 407-419.
  • Light, D., Somasundaram, T. (1994) International Direct Marketing Strategy: A Comparison with Alternative Media, Journal of Direct Marketing, 8(1), 71-78.
  • Somasundaram, T., Light, D. (1994) Rethinking a Global Media Strategy: A Four Country Comparison of Young-Adults' Perceptions of Media Specific Advertising, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 7(1), 23-38.
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