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GRA 4145 Brand Management

GRA 4145 Brand Management

Course code: 
GRA 4145
Course coordinator: 
Peter Jarnebrant
Course name in Norwegian: 
Brand Management
Product category: 
MSc in Strategic Marketing Management
2024 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

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 outcomes - Knowledge

Students will gain knowledge of what brands and branding are, including frameworks for understanding where brand strength comes from and how it creates value for the organization and the individual (this includes a basic understanding of brand valuation). Further, we will examine what tools are available to create strong brands; successful application of those requires knowledge of consumers and their behavior, which will also be covered.

Learning outcomes - Skills

Equipped with the knowledge of what brands are and can do for the organization, students will develop skills for how to translate the principles into success in the marketplace, and ultimately create value for the organization and its owners. These skills include the consumer behaviour underpinnings of brand strength, and how to elicit and analyze brand associations. From these, students will learn to derive strategic implications for positioning, brand elements, and the usage of secondary brand associations.

Additional skills include assessing growth-opportunities for brands, e.g. brand extension strategies, and understanding and applying principles for brand portfolio management - this includes the challenges inherent in the continuum from corporate brands to branded articles, from house of brands to branded house.

General Competence

Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to have gained some insight into the broader issues relating to branding: when and how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in an appropriate manner.

As successful branding creates a relationship with the consumer, norms and standards for expected behavior within that relationship apply (such as trust, reciprocity), and these often have ethical dimensions, which students should be aware and able to reflect upon.

Course content

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

The first course segment "Core brand issues" is dedicated to generating 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 overall learning outcome is to develop skills with respect to managing brands strategically.

Teaching and learning activities

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 a case assignment during the course. Groups of 2-3 students hand in a write-up for the case. The case write-up is handed in one week before the case is scheduled to be discussed in class. Other cases might also be utilized, but without write-ups in advance.

Students are expected to contribute to class discussions, including staying updated on current events relating to branding in the world at large—class sessions will contain discussion of such events contributed by students.

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.

All parts of the assessment must be passed in order to get a grade in the course.

Mandatory coursework requirements must be approved before you can take the exams. 


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.

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredComment coursework
Mandatory32Submission of branding-related 'news items' that connect the session's contents with real-world events; these will form the basis for in-class discussion. Maximum one page per submission.
Mandatory coursework:
Mandatory coursework:Mandatory
Courseworks given:3
Courseworks required:2
Comment coursework:Submission of branding-related 'news items' that connect the session's contents with real-world events; these will form the basis for in-class discussion. Maximum one page per submission.
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group (2 - 3)
2 Week(s)
Write up of the case assignment.
Exam code: 
GRA 41455
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
School Exam
Form of assessment: 
Written School Exam - digital
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Support materials: 
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Written examination under supervision.
Exam code: 
GRA 41456
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
24 Hour(s)
Synchronous component.
Digital resources
12 Hour(s)
Asynchronous component—prerecorded videos etc.
Prepare for teaching
90 Hour(s)
Includes preparing for final exam.
Group work / Assignments
30 Hour(s)
Case assignments.
3 Hour(s)
Final exam.
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.