BST 3115 Brand Strategy

BST 3115 Brand Strategy

Course code: 
BST 3115
Course coordinator: 
Tarje Børsum Gaustad
Course name in Norwegian: 
Product category: 
Bachelor Specialisations HSMI
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course, in combination with BTH 3116 Dissertation - Brand Strategy - 15 credits, represents a depth of 30 credits, and constitutes the in-depth study in connection with the diploma. It is valid for students on the Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and the Bachelor's Degree in Retail Management. Other students may choose to take this course as an optional course in their 3rd academic year.

This course builds on MRK 3564 Branding. The course is a continuation and an extension of MRK 3564, but will also go deeper into overall brand strategy and different tactics and strategies one can choose from to succeed. In addition, the course focuses on more practical skills in developing a brand strategy. The students will get experience in collecting and analyzing data on the brand’s current strategic situation, and how to formulate a clear brand strategy. An important part of the course is to collect qualitative data from consumers and be able to analyze these data to get a better understanding of brand strength.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • The students should have knowledge of the important parts of a brand strategy. Key topics are categorization, positioning and brand strategy models.
  • The students should be familiar with the brand value chain as analytic model.
  • The students should have knowledge of important methods in qualitative analysis of brand value and association mapping, and have knowledge on how to collect consumer data and analyze the data to understand the strategic situation of the brand.
  • The students should have knowledge of important strategies to build brand value. Key topics are brand elements, brand alliances, sponsorships, brand communication (e.g. influencers, product placements) and the employees as brand champions.
  • The students should have knowledge of the characteristics of a clear brand strategy
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • The students will be able to use key constructs in brand strategy and be able to develop a brand strategy with a clear brand positioning.
  • The students will be able to collect and analyze qualitative consumer data and achieve insight on the brand’s current strategic situation
  • The students will be able to choose between different strategies to build the brand and deliver on the brand strategy.
General Competence
  • The students must show maturity and willingness to consider the ethical and social dilemmas related to working with brand strategies.
  • It is important that students are aware of their power of influence in relation to the consumer, and how such power can influence the results of the data collection.
Course content

The course applies a management perspective, which is the basis for its approach to strategic branding. The course’s goal is to develop knowledge and skills to analyze and develop a brand strategy, and choose among different strategies on how to achieve this strategy in the market.

Whether you plan to develop a new brand or an existing one, the brand analysis and understanding the target groups are important. The students must get knowledge and experience through a set of analytical approaches to understand the brand's positioning in the market. This analysis will lead to an understanding of a brand's strategic opportunities.

Companies and organizations working with brands have a need to understand brand strategy and positioning. Brand strategies change over time when markets, consumers, competition and the general economy change. To understand brand strategy, students must therefore have knowledge about the market the company and organization operate.

Strategic choices concern which strategies should be used towards different target groups and brands. In this course, increased understanding of how different strategic tools can be used to succeed with the brand strategy will be important. Important strategies are for example brand elements, brand alliances, brand communication and the use of employees as brand champions.

Brand strategy consists of the following topics:

  1. Basic understanding of brands and key constructs
  2. Knowledge about the market and consumers
  3. Categorization theory
  4. Strategic brand positioning
  5. Brand portfolios and positioning
  6. Methods for mapping brand associations and qualitative data analysis
  7. Data collection and analysis to understand the brand’s current strategic situation
  8. Choice of strategies and developing the brand platform
  9. Brand strategy and brand platform document
  10. Choice of strategies to achieve the brand strategy
  11. Brand growth opportunities
  12. Brand strategy in practice – simulation game
Teaching and learning activities

The course consists of 70 hours over one semester, divided into modules.

Teaching will consist as a mix of lectures, group work and group presentations.

The students will develop a brand strategy for a given brand. The lecture will follow the progression of the brand strategy project with in class discussions and workshops with the lecturer as a facilitator and advisor.

In addition, a part of the course will include a digital simulation game (BrandPro). The game will take place during lecture hours.

The students will prepare and deliver a written assignment. The assignment is a research proposal for the bachelor thesis. The assignment can be solved individually or in groups of maximum three students. Academic supervision on the project is given in groups, individually or in seminars.

Groups cannot be changed after November 1.

Licenses to play the simulation game BrandPro must be paid for by the students. Currently, one license costs 35 Euro. However, this price could change.

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

Re-sit examination

A re-sit in exam codes BST 31151 and BST 31152 are offered autumn 2021 and last time autumn 2022.


Two years of college education in economics and business administration, marketing or equivalent is required for taking the course. 


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.


Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge

Knowledge of Marketing Management, Consumer Behaviour and Methods.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
3 Month(s)
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Presentation and discussion
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
30 Minute(s)
Presentation and defence of brand strategy developed for a given brand.
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
70 Hour(s)
Feedback activities and counselling
20 Hour(s)
Each group is given guidance twice in connection with the work on the project paper.
Prepare for teaching
160 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
50 Hour(s)
100 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 15 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 400 hours.