Dr Stephen Downes


Casual Academic

School /
Work Unit

Economics, Finance and Marketing

Contact Details

No Phone


City campus


College of Business

About Dr Stephen Downes

Dr Stephen Downes has 20 years’ experience in marketing communications, marketing strategy and brand strategy in Australia, Asia and the US and is principal of market research and brand strategy consultancy QBrand Consulting Pty Ltd.

He has lectured at RMIT since 2004, teaching the postgraduate subjects Brand & Product Management and Services Marketing & Management in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing from 2004-2006, and Advertising Theory & Practice and Advertising Strategy Planning in the School of Applied Communication since 2007.

After initially qualifying in medicine, Stephen worked in radio, first as presenter and producer of an award-winning medical program and later as news director and breakfast co-host on 3RRR-FM.

He then worked in a wide variety of marketing communications roles – as an advertising copywriter and creative director in healthcare communications agencies; as a communications strategy planner; as a publicist; and in agency sales and business development.

Since the late 1990s, Stephen has consulted in marketing strategy and market research, with a particular focus on brands. Clients of QBrand Consulting, established by Stephen in 2004, have included healthcare companies Smith & Nephew, Amgen and Ipsen, the industry superannuation fund Cbus, the Australian Olympic Committee, the University of Melbourne, Homer Hudson ice cream and the Victorian RSL.

Stephen also leads a specialised practice in brand defence and brand protection, providing strategic advice, specialised consumer research design and expert opinions in litigation and regulatory proceedings concerning trade marks, brand imitation and misleading promotional claims. He is regularly retained as an expert witness by leading law firms including Allens Arthur Robinson and Mallesons Stephen Jaques. Brands on which he has provided advice and/or evidence include Virgin, Red Bull, Cadbury, Fiji Water, Yellow Pages, Gardena and Dairy Farmers.

Stephen has Bachelors degrees in Medicine and Surgery (MB,BS) from the University of Melbourne and a Masters degree in Marketing (MMktg) from the Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne.

He has academic, research and cultural interests in brands and consumer behaviour, and is a regular media commentator on these issues on behalf of RMIT and as a contributor to Crikey! (www.crikey.com.au).

He is passionate about baseball and a wide variety of musical genres, especially 1970s funk.