Strategic Brand Management (Executive MBA)


The goal of this course is to enhance your knowledge of bra nding and brand management. Specifically, this course aims to: (1) introduce the key elements of brand management, (2) provide a sound framework for brand-focused action planning, and (3) sharpen your leadership, analytical, and communication skills.

Course Organization

The course involves a mixture of case discussions and lectures, with an emphasis on developing a strategic approach that will enable you to (1) understand the environment in which a company operates and identify opportunities and threats, (2) identify and solve brand-related problems, and (3) develop actionable brand management plans.

To facilitate the learning experience, all cases involve writing succinct memos outlining a proposed action that will effectively address the problems/opportunities identified in the case. Case memos are developed both individually and in teams.

The Hybrid Format

The course involves two components: off-campus and on-campus. The off-campus component involves the work students complete on their own, specifically: (1) video materials, (2) print materials (textbook), (3) and short quizzes. The on-campus component involves primarily case discussions.

Course Syllabus

Lecture 1: Brands as a Means of Creating Market Value. This lecture provides an overview of brand management as an integral component of an offering’s overall marketing strategy and outlines a framework for brand management that will be used throughout the course.

Lecture 2: Brand Strategy.This lecture provides an overview of brand strategy, focusing on the issues of understanding customer needs and creating company value.

Lecture 3: Brand Tactics.The focus of this lecture is on understanding and managing the key aspects of brand tactics: brand design and brand communication.

Lecture 4: Brand Architecture.The focus of this lecture is on brand architecture and the issues involved in designing and managing brand portfolios and cobranding.

Lecture 5: Brand Dynamics.The focus of this lecture is on managing brands over time, including the issues of brand repositioning and brand extensions.

Lecture 6: Brand Valuation.This lecture examines the key aspects of understanding and managing brand power and brand equity.

Lecture 7: Protecting the Brand.This lecture offers an overview of some of the key legal issues involved in managing intellectual property, focusing on trademarks as a means of protecting the brand.

Lecture 8: Building Lifestyle Brands. The focus of this lecture is on the role of brands as a means of self-expression and the pros and cons of lifestyle branding.

Module 9: Brand Valuation. The focus of this module is on understanding brand power and brand equity. The lecture is complemented by a discussion of the case L’Oreal in China: Marketing Strategies for Turning Around Chinese Luxury Cosmetic brand Yue Sai, which focuses on strategies for building a luxury brand in China.

Case 1: Puma Social: Marketing Strategies for Building Lifestyle Brands. This case highlights strategies for building lifestyle brands. Specifically, the case examines the role of brands as a means of self-expression, the importance of brand authenticity, and the role of core competencies in defining the essence of a brand.

Case 2: Miele Hong Kong: Marketing Strategies for Building Global Brands. This case highlights challenges in managing a global brand. Situated in a business-to-business context, this case addresses the importance of understanding customer and collaborator value in launching upscale brand extensions.

Case 3: Harley-Davidson: Rejuvenating an Iconic Brand.This case highlights the importance of brands as a means of competitive differentiation. Specifically, this case addresses some of the key issues involved in product line management, brand extension, and brand repositioning.