Jim Barnes
Jim Barnes

Professor Emeritus at Memorial University, now principal at BMAI Strategy

Jim Barnes is an internationally-recognized educator, author, speaker, and consultant on subjects relating to marketing and the building of customer relationship strategy. He has been a teacher for more than 40 years, was co-founder of a successful marketing services company, has written or coauthored eight books, and has served as consultant to many national and international companies. He has been a university professor, researcher and dean, and has lectured at universities around the world. He is a thought leader on customer strategy, the creation of genuine customer loyalty, and the establishment of meaningful customer experiences.

Jim was Professor of Marketing at Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1968 until his retirement in August 2009 and served as the first Dean of Business Administration (1978-1988). During his tenure as Dean, Memorial University established its MBA program, the Centre for Management Development, the Associates Program, and the first university-based centre for entrepreneurship in Canada. He has been a visiting professor at universities in Canada, England, Australia, France and Ireland. In 1977, he co-founded Bristol Group, a Canadian full-service marketing firm that now has well over 100 employees in four offices, including Qatar. He served as Chairman of Bristol until 2004.

Jim advises clients in North America and Europe on building customer strategy, customer insight, and the measurement of customer loyalty. He helps companies create more profitable relationships with their customers and clients. He regularly addresses sales and management groups around the world, delivering keynote speeches and hands-on workshops in China, Turkey, Singapore, Australia, India, Brazil, Colombia, Ireland, the UK, the US, and many other countries. Through his consultancy company, Barnes Marketing Associates Inc, he offers consulting services to clients in Canada and abroad. Since 2001, he has served as a member of the distinguished panel of international experts at, where he offers advice on customer strategy through the Internet to more than 300,000 members worldwide.

Jim Barnes has developed a reputation for measuring the unmeasurable. In the early 1990s, intrigued with the emerging field of relationship marketing, Jim was concerned that many companies continued to rely on conventional approaches to market research and on simplistic measures such as customer satisfaction. With the involvement of the Royal Bank of Canada, he set out to develop a methodology to measure the strength of a company’s relationship with its customers. The resulting Barnes Relationship Equity Index is a multidimensional diagnostic tool that has been used by many companies in Europe and North America, including Tesco plc, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Eircom (Ireland), Bell Aliant, Eli Lilly-Elanco, and CIBC. That pioneering work has led to further projects that involve the construction of complex customer loyalty models for client companies.
Jim Barnes has published and presented more than 100 papers in international journals and at conferences around the world. The paper “The Almost Customer: a missed opportunity to enhance corporate success”, published in Managing Service Quality, and coauthored with then-MBA students Brian King and Gordon Breen, was recognized by Emerald Literati Network as one of the 50 best management articles published world-wide in 2004.

Jim has also written eight books, including Build Your Customer Strategy: a guide to creating profitable customer relationships, published in 2006 by John Wiley & Sons; and Secrets of Customer Relationship Management: it’s all about how you make them feel, published in 2001 by McGraw-Hill. His management books have been translated into many languages. His marketing textbook, Marketing: a customer-centric approach, coauthored with Monty Sommers, has been continuously published since 1972 and is now in its 11th edition. His book, Research for Marketing Decisions, published by McGraw-Hill Ryerson in 1991, was the first indigenous Canadian marketing research textbook.

Jim Barnes has had the privilege of working with many national and international companies, including IKEA International, AstraZeneca Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Genzyme Canada, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Roche Pharmaceuticals (Ireland), Bell Aliant, Xerox (USA), Tesco plc (UK), Eircom (Ireland), Eli Lilly/Elanco, HSBC (Turkey), Kraft Foods Canada, Siebel Systems (Canada and Portugal), Serca-SYSCO Canada, CIBC, Molson, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Royal Bank of Scotland, Toyota Canada, Stratos Global, An Post (Ireland), Purity Life Health Products, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Verafin, and Johnson Insurance.

He has served as a member of the board of directors of three publicly-traded companies: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Newfoundland Power, and NewTel Communications. He served for ten years as a member of the Board of Governors of the Institute of Canadian Bankers and was Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Saltfish Corporation, a Canadian crown corporation.
In 1997, Jim received the inaugural Leaders in Management Education Award from the Financial Post, and in 1999 he was named a Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alumni Association of Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2005. He holds degrees in Commerce and Economics from Memorial University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a PhD from the University of Toronto.