is a Professor of Marketing and Vice Dean for Doctoral Education at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Professor Steckel’s primary research areas include marketing and branding strategy, marketing research, direct marketing, consumer response to marketing strategy, and management decision making. He has consulted, testified as an expert witness, and conducted modeling and analysis in numerous cases involving antitrust, damages assessment, trademarks, marketing and branding strategy, forecasting, and the statistical analyses of market response. He has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Retailing, Marketing Science, Interfaces, and the Journal of Consumer Research.
Decades of trademark litigation cases have relied on survey evidence that aims to assess what consumers in the marketplace subjectively believe to be true. These methods are intended to answer important trademark questions, including whether consumers believe a mark to be a common term or a brand name and whether consumers mistakenly believe a product bearing a defendant’s mark originates from the plaintiff. While survey and marketing experts often rely on versions of commonly used trademark surveys (e.g., Teflon, Thermos, Eveready and Squirt formats), these formats in their conventional design may, in some situations, mask critical information about consumers’ beliefs or attitudes that could change the research conclusions — the strength or certainty of those beliefs or attitudes.