Strategic Brand Management
Course, Time MKT 382 – 04900, Mondays & Wednesdays, 8 - 9:30
Classroom GSB 3.138
Office, Hours GSB 4.126K, by appointment
Instructor & TA Stephen Walls Joseph Reske
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Phone m:512.422.1918 m:214.683.8743
So many organizations now realize that one of the most valuable assets in their portfolio is the
brand associated with their products and services. In spite of the incredible value, or potential
value, of the organization’s brand, marketing professionals and company executives often do
not understand how to successfully manage their brands within their overall marketing and
corporate strategy efforts. This course will focus on the basic building blocks of building and
managing a brand, as well as advanced and special topics of brand management that will
provide a well-rounded look at issues in integrating the brand into overall marketing and
The book should be available at the University Co-op and possibly other bookstores,
retail & online.
Brand Aid – Brad VanAuken
Additional cases and articles to be purchased/distributed online or in class
Blackboard & Email
Most presentations, course documents, etc. will be available on our Blackboard course site.
When turning in a completed document, you’ll need to submit it through the Digital Dropbox
utility on Blackboard (under the “Tools” menu).
Since the University considers email an official means of communication, I will assume that you
are checking your email daily during the session for any communications from me or your TA. I
will also check my email at least daily.
Email, like mobile phones, is both a blessing and a curse. Based on past experiences, I have just
a few guidelines for communicating over email.
Use email only when you have a very brief question that requires a very brief answer or when
you want to set up an appointment with me.
Assume that I generally check email only once per day.
Do not email assignments to me unless you’ve checked with me first (they may easily get lost
in the shuffle).
Do not use email to discuss grades, express concerns, or launch into passionate diatribes.
Instead, set up time with me to discuss in-person.
Strategic Brand Management
A Few of My Thoughts on Teaching
I consider all of you professionals who are just about to embark on an exciting career and are
attending school as an investment in your future. My goal is to provide tools and create an
environment for learning. My responsibility as an instructor is to ensure that this class contributes
to the overall return on your investment by providing a worthwhile set of tools and resources.
Since you all learn in different ways, your responsibility is to take advantage of all the resources
provided in all the ways that are best for you. I have created a fairly specific structure to this
course, but will maintain a great deal of flexibility so that we can adapt to the needs and
desires of those participating.
While the methods will not always be straight forward, throughout this course I am trying to
encourage you to read the material from the resources provided, critically think about how
they apply to a variety of brand circumstances, make connections to concepts larger than
branding and marketing, and consider how you will make the world a better place through
Communication & Class Participation
I believe strongly that communication is a key skill for anyone involved in any aspect of
marketing, not to mention almost every other aspect of business. Although your assignments
will be evaluated primarily on the basis of effort and content, you will also be evaluated on your
ability to communicate effectively. This will apply to both written and oral presentations of your
Class participation seems to be a long-standing struggle for many instructors. My philosophy is
that you are all bright people who learn in different ways and that you have made a deliberate
choice about your involvement in this program. Therefore, I am not going to set defined
participation targets that must be achieved for a particular grade, with the exception of case
studies. However, because you all come from a variety of experiences and backgrounds, I am
hoping that each of you will contribute greatly to the knowledge built and transferred in this
class by speaking up and sharing your thoughts. I ask that you come prepared to participate
either actively or passively in the discussions by not just reading the required cases and
chapters, but by also forming opinions and questions about the material presented. Although
there will not be a specific grade assigned to your class participation, I will consider significant
contributions in determining the final grade.
You should always be prepared to discuss the readings and your individual assignments during
class when called upon. These will not be attempts to harass or embarrass you, I promise. I
simply want to give everyone more experience in being prepared to speak on the spot about
various topics. I also intend to take a facilitator’s approach to class discussion and will attempt
to draw out a full range of perspectives as opportunities arise.
Strategic Brand Management
1. Brand Case Discussions
Goal: Encourage preparation and critical thinking for class discussions and provide opportunities to speak in
public about your thoughts and opinions.
Because managing a brand is more art than science, we will use case studies to explore examples of brand
management in action. While many of our case studies could cover a very broad range of branding and
marketing topics, we will try to keep our scope more limited to the topics we are covering closely before and
after the case study.
At the beginning of the semester, you all will be placed on teams based on your interests and background.
Each team will choose a brand for which they will prepare a case study for class discussion.
Responsibilities for the presenting team include:
Researching for at least 5 articles that discuss your brand, industry, and its issues (you’ll turn these articles in
with your presentation and cite them within your presentation) - we’ll discuss some good places to look for
Selecting and distributing (by 5pm on Friday before the case is discussed) an article/reading or two for your
classmates to read in preparation for the discussion (10-20 pages of reading)
Developing a presentation to use in leading a class discussion on the case that focuses on the
recommendations that you all have developed as well as any other questions you think the class should
consider - focus on teaching rather than presenting!
Leading the class discussion, attempting to draw out the ways in which we can learn from this case study
Presentations should be structured as follows:
1. Recommendations first. Recommendations should be focused on the topic that your group is assigned to
2. Synthesis of the class concepts. Discussion and analysis should be based on the concepts or models that we
have been using in class and, in particular, those that are focused on the topic that your group is assigned to
consider. Certainly, you can present ways in which your case study is contradictory to the models that we’ve
3. Class discussion. You should attempt to motivate discussion in each part of your presentation, but, at the very
least, we will take an opportunity at this point to open up the conversation for critical thinking and discussion.
4. Other interesting considerations and questions. Take an opportunity to present other interesting aspects of this
case study for us to discuss more broadly.
Responsibilities for all other students include:
Reading the assigned article(s) and being prepared for participating in the case discussion
Writing a one-page response (single-spaced) to the question I will pose for the topic and brand.
Additionally, you may also consider the following questions - What did you learn from the case? What other
questions/factors would have been interesting to consider? Do you connect it to any other brands? Are
there any other analysis approaches that would be especially interesting for this brand?
Providing feedback to the presenting team
Due Dates: See Course Schedule for Brand Case Discussion Dates
Goal: Display mastery use of brand analysis techniques to explore and articulate the basic sources of equity for a
given brand and provide recommendations for improvement of their position.
There will be two exams that will be based on our case studies, text, and class discussions. The test will consist of
short essay questions and you will generally be given a week to complete them.
You will be expected to have read all of the material assigned, both by me and the student groups presenting
cases. You may also decide to conduct some research on your own. Questions will be created to make sure
you have an understanding of the brand’s equity based on brand principles we discuss. You should also be
forming thoughts about the health of the brand (including sub-brands) today, the best way for them to increase
Strategic Brand Management
brand equity in the future, and, ultimately, how the brand (and sub-brands) can be leveraged and managed to
make the company more successful.
Be aware that all of your answers must be your own, although you are certainly allowed to discuss the exams
with other classmates.
Exam Due Dates: October 22nd & December 10th
3. Brand Thyself™ (or Brand-A-Friend™)
Goal: Practice using brand building concepts using a brand that you know well (or should get to know better).
Since 6th century B.C., “know thyself” has been a rallying cry of philosophers, psychologists, and brand instructors.
In that spirit, you get the opportunity to develop yourself (or a close friend) as a brand. Your task is to develop a
branding proposal of you (or your friend). While your presentation can be in any format you choose –
PowerPoint slides, presentation “storyboards”, printed, electronic, etc. – it should include the following, at a
target audience (potential partners, friends, employers - all or any of those)
core brand values
brand association (mental) map
brand building pyramid
brand position map (current and future, if different) & positioning statement
at least one brand element: brand name, logo, slogan, jingle, or character
optional extras that you can consider include: other brand elements, future directions for your brand, and
anything else that would add to your brand.
You should also add any notes to the presentation that help me understand it better. Because you will not be
there to present it to me directly, these notes will help further articulate your ideas. Grading for this assignment
will be based on meeting the requirements above with an appropriate amount of effort, detail, creativity, and
use of class concepts.
Due Date: November 11th
In grading, I will always be looking for effort, creativity in thought, connection of class and business school
concepts, and the extras that just make the work that much better. For all of the assignments above, I’ve
attempted to explain the minimum criteria. If you meet the expectations of those criteria, you can
expect a grade in the B to B+ range. Only as you exceed expectations will I award scores in the A range.
Be aware that in determining the final grade, I do not round up. That is, if you receive anything lower
than a 90.0, your grade will fall in the B grade range. Per McCombs MBA guidelines, we will be using the
+/- grading system in this class as follows:
A: 93.0 - 100 B+: 87.0 - 89.9 C+: 77.0 - 77.9 D+: 67.0 – 69.9 F: below 60.0
B: 83.0 - 86.9 C: 73.0 - 76.9 D: 63.0 - 66.9
A-: 90.0 - 92.9 B-: 80.0 - 82.9 C-: 70.0 – 72.9 D-: 60.0 – 62.9
I am happy to discuss grade concerns, but I have a few guidelines.
All discussions about grades must be in person. I will not discuss grades over email or by phone.
In setting up an appointment, I ask that you wait 3 days after you receive the grade but no more than
14 days. I want to be sure you have time to consider the grade in a rational context, but I do expect
you to address your concerns soon after the grade is returned.
Strategic Brand Management
I am rarely open to discussing grades after you have received your final grade, unless there is a
calculation error. I would prefer that you address grade concerns by assignment, not just because
you were expecting or hoping for a higher final grade.
Maximum Points for Each Assignment
Brand Case Presentation – 20 points
Brand Case Written Responses – 3 points each; 21 points total
Exam 1 – 20 points
Brand Thyself – 14 points
Exam 2 – 25 points
Course Schedule - Tentative
Session 1 30-Aug Course Introduction
Session 2 6-Sep Introduction to Strategic Brand Management Teams Formed
Introduction & Chapter 1
Session 3 11-Sep Case Discussion - Apple
Session 4 13-Sep Sources of Brand Equity & Brand Knowledge
Chapter 2 & 8
Session 5 18-Sep Brand Positioning, Values, Promise
Chapters 4, 5, & 6
Session 6 20-Sep Case Discussion - Brand Values & Promise
Session 7 25-Sep Case Discussion - Brand Positioning
Session 8 27-Sep Heather Kennedy - Whole Foods
Session 9 2-Oct Brand Elements
Chapter 7 + Show & Tell
10 Case Discussion - Brand Elements
Session 9-Oct Brand Communications, Secondary Associations & Co-
Chapters 9, 10, 13, & 14
12 Klaudia Flanigin - Publicis
13 Case Discussion - Communications
14 Branding Online Exam 1 Due by 22-Oct
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18 Case Discussion - Branding Online
19 Brand Hierarchies, Portfolios, & Extensions
20 HEB Guest Speaker
21 Case Discussion - Hierarchies, Extensions, & Portfolios
22 Brand Research
23 Brand Equity Measurements Brand Thyself Due 11-Nov
24 Tony Rogers - Wal-Mart
25 Managing Brands Across Time & Cultures
Chapters 16 & 19
26 Case Discussion - Cultural & Geographic
27 Film: The Persuaders
28 Corporate Social Responsibility Programs
29 Case Discussion - Social Responsibility
30 Branding Ethics
31 Wrap Up Exam 2 Due by 10-Dec