College of Business
School of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Sport Management, and Hospitality and Tourism Management
Dr. Brian Whelan is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Western Carolina University. In addition to his academic credentials, Dr. Whelan has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, holding senior and executive-level positions at some of the world's largest financial services firms, including Morgan Stanley. Bank of America, Blackrock and Barings. Dr. Whelan earned his Doctorate in Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, his Master of Science in Marketing from West Virginia University, and his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Hofstra University. Prior to joining WCU, Dr. Whelan was a Lecturer in Marketing at the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte, where he focused his teaching and research initiatives on branding, social media marketing and consumer behavior. Prior to joining the Belk College of Business, Dr. Whelan was a Managing Director and Global Head of Corporate Communications for Barings, and was responsible for global communications and community relations initiatives across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. Dr. Whelan has also served on numerous corporate boards, including Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas and the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business Board of Advisers.
Dr. Whelan brings over 20 years of marketing communications experience to the classroom, and utilizes a highly interactive teaching method that makes extensive use of real-world business scenarios and exercises created from his experiences in industry. His goal is to demonstrate to his students how academic theory impacts business practice, and he seeks to illuminate the connectivity between academia and practice in all of his courses. Dr. Whelan's primary teaching interests include branding, consumer behavior and digital marketing. He is also a member of the graduate faculty, and teaches in the MBA program.
Dr. Whelan's research interests focus on the intersection of branding and consumer behavior; specifically, how individuals form personal attachments and loyalty to brands in a perpetually changing digital world. Dr. Whelan is also actively researching the impact that social media activity has on brand attachment and loyalty, and is acutely interested in the impact that social media activity has on the formation of brand attitudes, brand affinity and brand loyalty among Gen Z and Millennials. Dr. Whelan has also published research on the potential impact that blockchain has on both branding and marketing.