GRA 6143 Corporate Branding and Storytelling

GRA 6143 Corporate Branding and Storytelling

Course code: 
GRA 6143
Communication and Culture
Course coordinator: 
Peter Booth
Course name in Norwegian: 
Corporate Branding and Storytelling
Product category: 
MSc in Digital Communication Management
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The course provides participants with a substantial insight into the workings of branded communication, its psychological and sociological basis, fundamental concepts, and its role in strategic management. It integrates traditional perspectives of corporate branding with a narrative approach viewing corporate branding through the lens of storytelling. Students will be introduced to the microfoundations of story and trained in the use of structural storytelling tools for successful brand management.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

By the end of the course students should:

  • Understand the nature and components of corporate brand strength and brand equity – the set of assets (or liabilities) associated with a brand that add (or subtract) value. 
  • Understand how corporate brands and related (product and service) brands interact through brand architecture and metanarratives
  • Understand the psychological and behavioral foundations which form the basis of successful brand management. 
  • Have in-depth knowledge of the microfoundations and structural principles of story and storytelling
  • Have in-depth knowledge of identification and narrative transportation theory
Learning outcomes - Skills

By the end of the course students should:

  • Be able to identify storytelling needs based on corporate goals (reputation, identity, brand differentiation, etc.)
  • Identify a corporate metanarrative combining the organization’s small stories into its grand story
  • Listen to and analyze relevant (competing) stories within and beyond corporate borders,
  • Restructure and align stories with a corporate metanarrative
  • Manage the corporate grand story (organize and coordinate storytelling, transmedia storytelling, etc.) 
General Competence

By the end of the course, students should be able to integrate traditional and narrative perspectives on corporate branding and reflect on the ethical dilemmas involved when approaching corporate branding through storytelling and story-building.

Course content

Topics covered:

  1. The Need for Corporate Branding and Positioning:
    • Understanding the organization as a force for differentiation.
    • The Vision-Culture-Image (VCI) Alignment Model.
  2. Corporate Branding in a Storytelling Perspective:
    • How the fundamental story elements relate to corporate branding
    • Corporate storytelling
  3. Identity, Character, and Identification:
    • Identity understood through character attributes
    • Identification and alienation
    • Determinants of brand personality
  4. Corporate Storytellers
    • Plurivocal narratives and imperfect organizational narratives
    • Organizing storytelling and story building
  5. Corporate Brand Experience and Roles:
    • Identity revealed and experienced through action
    • Consumer identification processes

The course includes selected cases representing a diverse mix of corporate branding opportunities and challenges.

Teaching and learning activities

The course is structured as a combination of lectures, case discussions, and other in-class activities. It emphasizes action learning and relies on active participation in class. Students are expected to read assigned case-materials, articles and book chapters prior to each lecture so that they are well prepared for small group discussions or theoretically informed analyses.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.  

At re-sit all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course. 


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 specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Class participation
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
GRA 61431
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (2 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Term paper to be written in groups of 2-3 students (or individually with special permission from the course instructor).
Exam code: 
GRA 61431
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Students are expected to attend every lecture.
Student's own work with learning resources
70 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
18 Hour(s)
36 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.