Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Upon completion of the course, students should be able to

- Understand the evolutionary trajectory of consumer-centric brand management

- Apply appropriate branding theories and toolkits to solve contemporary brand challenges

- Critically evaluate different approaches to managing brand performance

- Exhibit fluency with the building blocks of different approaches to branding 

- Analyse and critique branding strategies and come up with alternatives

Credits: 6

Schedule: 25.04.2023 - 01.06.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Tatsiana Padhaiskaya

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Tatsiana Padhaiskaya

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    In this course, we will examine multiple theoretical perspectives on brand and will understand how each theoretical approach involves a different brand management toolkit. We will approach branding from multiple perspectives from rational branding to emotional branding to cultural branding. To complement the theoretical foundations, we will discuss real life strategic challenges that brand and their managers face and learn from the success and failure of particular brand strategies. We will also understand how brands and brand management have evolved in the 21st century and what are the key ethical, environmental and socio-cultural implications of brand management s evolutionary trajectory. We will explore concepts such as unique selling proposition (USP), mindspace positioning, cultural brand strategy and performance metrics such as brand equity, brand love, share of voice.


    We will attempt to simulate the life of a brand manager in a typical multinational organization, who is working with incomplete data, technological vanishing points, multi-method research reports, changing marketplace dynamics, intensifying competition and increased customer power.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Contact teaching/lectures
    Individual work
    Group work (In-Class Exercises)
    Group Work (Presentations)
    Preparation for the course

  • applies in this implementation

    Assessment Methods and Criteria

    Grading is based on a 0-5 scale. 

    90-100 points = 5         

    80-89 points = 4         

    70-79 points = 3         

    60-69 points = 2         

    50-59 points = 1         

    Below 50 points = Fail


    The assessment will be based on the following deliverables:

    Course participation (10 points, individual grading)

    Students self-evaluate own contributions and active participation in the lectures. Active participation may include engagement in class discussions and/or personal reflections on the course readings.

    Short individual assignments (30 points [10 points each], individual grading)

    Three individual assignments related to topics covered throughout the course. Further information will be provided during Session 1.

    Individual assignment submission deadlines: 07.05.2023, 14.05.2023, 21.05.2023

    Group project (30 points, group grading)

    The group project entails an in-class presentation of 20 minutes (15 minutes presentation, 5 minutes Q&A). Groups will have up to 6 members. Further information on the topic of the group project and deliverables will be given during Session 1.

    Presentation submission deadline: 29.05.2023 – 23:55

    Take-home exam (30 points, individual grading)

    Take-home exam is an individual assignment that consists of 5 questions. The assignment will be specified and given to the students during the last session.

    Take-home exam deadline: 12.06.2023 - 23:55 

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    6 credits, 160 hours:

    Class participation
    Short Assignments
    Group Discussions (Academic Articles and Case Studies)
    Group Presentations (Brand Strategy Case Industry Project)
    Final Assignment

  • applies in this implementation

    Workload (6 credits, 160 hours): 

    Lectures 24 h

    Independent studying (incl. readings)     63 h

    Individual assignments 15 h (5h x 3)

    Group project work 42 h

    Take-home exam 16 h


Study Material
  • applies in this implementation

    Lecture slides and assigned readings, no textbook required; course centers around academic and articles assigned by the lecturer (e.g., Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, etc.). Course materials include 11 mandatory and 13 + recommended readings.

Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Spring V
    2023-2024 Spring V

    Enrollment :

    The number of students admitted to the course is restricted to 60.

    Priority is given to (1) Aalto students studying in MSc Program of Marketing, (2) CEMS-students, (3) BIZ exchange students, (4) Aalto BIZ B.Sc. students with 150 credits, (5) other BIZ students

Details on the schedule
  • applies in this implementation

    Timetable and Course Topics





    Session 1:

    Introduction and Course Practicalities,

    History of branding


    14.15 – 16.00

    Session 2:

    Approaches to brand management


    14.15 – 16.00

    Merz et al. (2009)

    Session 3: Mindshare branding


    14.15 – 16.00

    Keller (2003)

    Aaker (2012)


    Session 4: Emotional branding


    14.30 – 16.00

    Pawle and Cooper (2006)

    Lynch and De Chernatony (2004)

    Session 5:

    Cultural branding


    14.15 – 16.00

    Holt (2004)

    Cayla (2008)

    Session 6: Experiential branding


    14.15 – 16.00

    Schmitt (1999)

    Session 7: Managing Brand Portfolios


    14.15 – 16.00

    Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2000)


    Session 8: No lecture (Ascension Day) Self-study and optional Group project consultations




    Session 9: Aligning Brand Strategy and Context


    14.15 – 16.00

    Keller (1999)

    Kähr et al. (2016)

    Session 10: Guest Lecture (TBA)


    14.15 – 16.00


    Session 11: Group Presentations


    14.15 – 16.00


    Session 12: Group Presentations, Course Re-cap


    14.15 – 16.00


    Schedule and readings are subject to minor changes