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Branding: Strategic and Cultural Perspectives

Branding has been considered one of the central aspects of marketing. The course addresses a phenomena of branding, born in the realm of business but having been extended into the social and cultural realm as well, affecting not only businesses but various stakeholders on the way.

Companies are working on strengthening their brand through improving their brand image, brand strategy with the view of increasing brand equity and brand loyalty. Brands are a promise to a customer. But how the customers perceive this promise? It is not that straightforward as it seems.

With the rise of the active consumer, companies face the challenge of getting to know their customers to improve the communication. In the global marketplace, companies and consumers are in constant negotiation over meanings of various objects, services, places and people.

Students are therefore introduced to the dialectical processes between firms and consumers in which the meanings of the market are created. As such, BSCP aims to develop the analytical, strategic and creative thinking processes together with the skills related not only to cultural aspects of brand creation, identity, positioning and marketing but also to brands as cultural resources for companies in developing and maintaining their identity.
Having completed the course the students should be able to understand the roles brands but also advertising in general play in markets. Furthermore, students should grasp that marketing strategies need to be in tune with the localized consumer cultures and have the necessary theoretical tools to understand those cultures and relate them to branding strategy.
Some of the topics discussed are: managerial perspectives on branding, brand equities, value, co-creation, authenticity and others.

The aim of the course is on the one hand, to advance students’ knowledge of fundamental models and theories of brands as cultural resources in contemporary consumer culture and, at the other, to introduce and critically reflect on typical and central empirical phenomena of brands as expressions of culture in society at large.


  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    The course consists of a combination of lectures, seminars and group work and requires a significant portion of self-study on the part of students. Assessment for the course will be continuous and is carried throughout the different activities of the course.
    The course workload is 200 hours equivalent to 7,5 ECTS (40 hours per week equivalent to 1,5 ECTS).
    The language of instruction is English.


    Assessment for the course will be continuous and is carried throughout the different course activities. Each assessment task is weighted in relation to its importance in the overall assessment of the course.
    The student’s results from the different assessment tasks are added up to a total course score that will then translate into the final grade for the course.

    Assessment tasks
    The course contains the following weighted assessment tasks:
    1. Individually written exam.
    2. Group project and presentation.
    3. Formulation and substantiation of an item for discussion.
    4. Active participation in seminars.

    After completion of the course, students will receive grades on a scale related to the intended learning outcomes of the course. Passing grades are A, B, C, D and E. Failing grades are Fx and F. A grade Fx can be completed for a grade E.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    See reading list in the current syllabus.

  • Contact

    Course coordinator:

    Head of course: Susanna Molander