INTERNATIONAL MARKETING AND BRAND MANAGEMENT MOD II
Global markets have been witnessing a growing relevance of brands in contemporary economy and society. For companies, brands are fundamental sources of competitive advantage in turbulent markets where competition rapidly increases and evolves. For the post-modern consumer, brands have been progressively fundamental resources for self-identity production and unique source of value in the experiential turn of the economy. Globalization and rising consumer mobility push companies to rethink of their brands by considering cross-cultural challenges in the pursuit of sustainable global brands. Brands and branding have become pervasive in people’s lives, not without causing negative reactions amongst consumers, thus imposing companies to re-envision the essence of their brands. The pervasiveness of brands and branding is further boosted by the penetration of branding principles and techniques outside of the business domain, with their adoption in NGOs, universities, cultural institutions such as museums, and places like countries, regions and cities. Digitalisation has been significantly impacting the way in which brands are conceived and designed since the web and social media platforms have been radically changing how consumers build relationships with brands.
Based on such background the learning objectives of the course are:
Knowledge and Understanding: The student will reach an understanding of brand management concepts, models and tools of analysis as well as an understanding of strategic branding processes in relation to firms’ internationalisation in the global context. Moreover, the student will develop knowledge on the new trends in brand management in relation to digitalisation. Focus will be on the underlying mechanisms of brand digitalisation, including global brand value co-creation, connectivity and engagement with costumers’ communities.
Knowledge application ability: At the end of the course, the student will be able to conduct a brand analysis, understand and explain underlying brand strategies by utilising a technical language.
Ability of autonomous assessment: Aim of the course is to make the student learn the rationale for brand analysis and make him/her autonomous in analysing, assessing and comparing brands, by stimulating reflections on “so what to do?” for strengthening brands. Classroom discussions and project work elaboration will boost the student’s ability to put the course learning points into practice.
Communication skills: Through discussion sessions and presentations, the student will be required to communicate and explain the learnt concepts and models as well as the results of individual and group work in an exhaustive way.
Learning ability: The student will manage individual study on bibliographic references, group work, individual and group search of materials and data for the brand analysis. Overall the student is asked to show an ability to apply the built knowledge and to develop critical thoughts.
The course is addressed to master students in management. Students need basic background knowledge in marketing and management.
The course includes the following topics:
Section 1: Understanding brands and branding (12 hours)
Brand and brand management: key concepts, variables and fields of application; issues and challenges in global branding and internationalization strategies; brand functions and role in corporate and business strategies; consumer-based brand; business to business branding; internal branding.
Section 2: Strategic brand management (10 hours)
Introduction to brand management approaches with particular reference to internationalization strategies, global brands and regionalisation; brand architecture and the leveraging of secondary associations through brand alliances and co-branding; brand extension; risks and advantages of these brand strategies.
Section 3: Brand analysis and measurement (8 hours)
Introduction to techniques of brand analysis and to the tracking of brand performance; the brand audit methodological framework.
Section 4: Country of origin and the “Made in” (10 hours)
Geographical associations in the global scenario; globalness/localness and brand equity; the notion of brand origin in global fragmented value chains; leveraging country-of-origin effect in brand strategies: advantages and challenges. Focus: building the “place image” through place brand management
Section 5: Digitalisation and brand communities (8 hours)
Introduction of brand management opportunities and challenges in the digital scenario; digitalisation and brand equity; digital brand communities and cross-cultural community building; digital branding strategies and brand value co-creation.
The course is organised in lectures, classroom discussions and case study presentations.
For students regularly attending class, the examination will be composed of two parts: a) project work; b) oral exam. Through the project work the ability to work with brand and branding concepts and models and to autonomously and critically develop a brand analysis will be tested. The oral exam will assess the ability to build arguments based on the theoretical insights developed during the course.
The final mark will result from the average of the two parts of the exam.
For students that do not regularly attend class, the examination will be an oral exam.
Keller, K. L. (2013). Strategic Brand Management. Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity (4th ed.), Pearson.
At the beginning of the course, additional readings will be available to students on Moodle.