GRA 4145 Brand Management


GRA 4145 Brand Management

Responsible for the course
Peter Jarnebrant

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

If strong brands are among the company's most valuable assets, managing and developing them becomes of crucial importance for the long term profitability of a firm. Brands are special, they are managed by companies, but their positions will often reside in consumers' minds. This implies that a brand strategist has to combine deep customer insight with clear strategic vision. This course gives an introduction to both of these areas of skills.

Learning outcome
The first course segment "Core brand issues" is dedicated to generate customer insight, to understand the way customers perceive brands, store brand associations, and use brand knowledge when choosing among different brands. This serves as a ground for the following sections on establishing brand positions, giving the brand identity, and establishing a credible brand value proposition. Having completed this section, students should know the "nuts and bolts" of branding. This enables a shift to more strategic brand issues.

The main learning outcomes are:

  1. In general, to enable the students to develop skills with respect to manage brands strategically
  2. Establish the abiltiy to elicit and analyze brand associations, and derive stratgic implications for positioning, brand elements, and the usage of secondary brand associations.
  3. Establish basic understanding of different methods for brand valuation
  4. Establish skills enabling the students to assess growth-opportunities for brands, e.g., brand extension strategies
  5. Understand and apply principles for brand portfolio-management, including the challenges inherent in the continuum from corporate brands to branded articles, from house of brands to branded house.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading
Keller, Kevin Lane. 2013. Strategic brand management: building, measuring, and managing brand equity. 4th ed., global ed. Pearson

Collection of articles:
Compendium of articles will be available on the course web page

During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading
De Chernatony, Leslie. 2010. From brand vision to brand evaluation: the strategic process of growing and strengthening brands. 3rd ed. Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann
Aaker, David A. 1996. Building strong brands. Free Press. Chapters 3-5
Aaker, David A., Erich Joachimsthaler. 2000. Brand leadership. Free Press

Book extraxt:
Kapferer, Jean-Nöel. 2012. The new strategic brand management: advanced insights and strategic thinking. 5th ed. Kogan Page. Chapter 3

Course outline
1: Core brand issues:
- Customer based brand equity, the brand value chain, the brand resonance model (CBBE pyramid), brand awareness and –knowledge
- Brand positioning

2: Strategic brand management applications
- Developing consumer-brand relationships
- Strategies for leveraging secondary associations (co-branding,
ingredient-branding, licensing, CoO)

- Building for growth: the brand and line extension strategies
- Developing a brand portfolio-strategy
- Corporate branding challenges

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

The class will be organized around discussing selected topics illustrated by theory and practical cases. The students are expected to be well prepared and highly involved in the discussions. Major topics to be covered are:
- Introduction to brand management. History of branding and future challenges. Consumers and their brands.
- The Customer Based Brand Equity framework. Brand knowledge and -associations
- Brand elements
- Brand positioning strategies
- Tying the knot: the relationships between brands and their buyers
- Secondary brand associations: how can they help to leverage and fortify the brand position
- Leveraging the brand: gaining competitive advantage through brand- and line extensions
- Establishing a brand portfolio strategy: from house of brands, endorsed brands, sub-brands, to a branded house
- Corporate branding issues

Students will also be assigned three cases during the course. Groups of 2-3 students hand in a write-up for each case. The case write-ups are handed in though it's learning one week before the case is scheduled to be discussed in class. Other cases might also be utilized, but without write-ups in advance.

Please note that it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:
60% write up of three case assignments (solved in groups of minmum two (2) and maximum three (3) students). Each case counts 20%, 60% in total.
40 % Individual three hour written examination.

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Assignment 60% Group of max 3 students
Written examination 3 hours 40% Individual

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Examination code(s)
GRA 41454 continuous assessment accounts for 100% of the final grade in the course GRA 4145.

Examination support materials
Bilingual dictionary
Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.