Level of study Third/Final year
Credit value 10
Pre-requisite modules None
Other pre-requisites None
The academic literature highlights how brands add considerable value to organisations (Madden et al. 2006). A cursory review of brand league tables (Interbrand, Millward Brown etc) also demonstrates the significant financial value brands have. Consequently, the development and delivery of brands is no longer a peripheral organisational activity. It is a strategic management activity that frequently takes centre stage at a range of organisations. To drive the financial value of their brands it is increasingly common to see organisations monitor the influence strategic brand management activities have on brand equity and so brand value. This means developing an understanding of the principles that underpin brand management is essential if brand and organisational value are to grow. Guided by the literature, this module introduces, explores, applies and evaluates a range of strategic brand management issues that drive brand equity and value.
Brand marketers used to consider customers as passive participants in the branding process. Customers were frequently conceptualised at the end of the value chain consuming perceived brand value. Under this paradigm brands did things to consumers. ‘Classical’ one way billboard or television advertising provide examples. A new brand logic has started to emerge which is central to this module. Customers are now part of real or virtual communities. They expect to be able to shape the nature of brands and engage with brands on their terms. Equitable relationships are central to brand value. As part of this paradigm customers are increasingly co-creators of brand value as part of a more interactive and dialectical process (Holt, 2002). This change has not only been driven by brand innovation but the rise of social and new media technologies where dialogue, conversation and interaction are the key drivers of brand growth. Witness the inclusion of text message prompts at the end of television adverts and inclusion of QR codes in print media. Both actively promote brand engagement and dialogue.
This module contends brands are essentially a cluster of values irrespective of context or sector. In this sense brand values comprise the cornerstone of brand. However, more informed brand marketers’ are mindful of their brand’s context and sector. The growth of the services sector, at the expense of the manufacturing sector, has resulted in the need for brand marketers to understand the principles of services branding. Retail brands no longer play a game of catch-up behind leading brand manufacturers. They are innovators who reshape and drive markets. This is a function of the considerable power their brands enjoy in the overall supply chain. The increasing power of private brands is of particular note. The differences between B2C and B2B brands have also been noted in the literature with brand marketing practices in the latter becoming increasingly advanced (Kotler & Pfoertsch, 2006). Recent developments in fixed and mobile internet based technologies have revolutionised the way brand marketers’ conceive, manage and monitor their brands. It is important brand marketers are sensitive to their brands’ context. Understanding and exploring brand context forms an important part of this module.
The material used to structure the lectures draws on the extant branding literature. The aim is to provide a solid theoretical grounding for subsequent case application and lecture discussion. Guest speakers from global brands will also be invited to speak on topics relating to their specialist area. The aim is to find a balance between theory and practice.