CEMS Block Seminar: Challenges to Brand Management in the Contemporary Markets



Olga N. Alkanova, Can.Sc., Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Graduate School of Management, St.Petersburg University


Ilona Mikkonen, PhD, University Lecturer, Aalto University
(Visiting Professor)

The seminar is held jointly at Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland) and Graduate School of Management, St.Petersburg University (St. Petersburg, Russia)



3 ECTS, 30 contact hours


Goals and objectives:



In today’s marketplace, companies are not competing only based on the functionality of their products; creating strong brands is essential for success. Branding can be defined as the process of creating emotional bonds between consumers and company’s products through composing an unique mix of intangible elements (personality, promise) and tangible elements (logo, colors, sounds). Brand management refers to the process of careful construction of the mix and controlling of the elements so that the brand associations remain coherent and positive.

In the contemporary markets, however, there are a number of challenges to successful brand management. In this seminar three such challenges will be explored: brand communities, brand extensions, and employer branding. In addition, brand storytelling issues will be partly addressed within heritage branding topic.



Course Content:



The Seminar includes (but is not limited to) the following topics:

  • Introduction to brand and brand management
  • Understanding and Building Customer Communities
  • Brand communities and value creation
  • Brand extensions: Risks and benefits
  • Employer and internal branding: what’s in there for consumers?
  • Heritage brands



Teaching methods:



Lectures, group work, reaction papers, case studies




Course reading:


Branding and brand management:

• Keller, K L 1993, ‘Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Managing Customer-Based Brand Equity’, Journal of Marketing Research, 29, pp. 1-22.

• Keller, K L, Lehmann, D R 2006, ‘Brands and Branding: Research Findings and Future Priorities’, Marketing Science, 25 (6), pp. 740-759.

Brand communities:

• McAlexander, J, Schouten, J, & Koenig, H. 2002, 'Building Brand Community', Journal of Marketing, 66, 1, pp. 38-54

• Muniz Jr., A, & O'Guinn, T. 2001, 'Brand Community', Journal of Consumer Research, 27, 4, pp. 412-432.

Brand extensions:

• Carter, R, Curry, D 2013, ‘Perceptions Versus Performance when Managing Extensions: New Evidence about the Role of Fit between a Parent Brand and an Extension’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41 (2), pp. 253-269.

• Völckner, F, Sattler, H 2006, ‘Drivers of Brand Extension Success’, Journal of Marketing, 70 (2), pp. 18-34.

• Yorkston, E, Nunes, J, Matta, Sh 2010, ‘The Malleable Brand: The Role of Implicit Theories in Evaluating Brand Extensions’, Journal of Marketing, 74 (1), pp. 80-93.

Employer branding:

• Mosley, R W 2007 ‘Customer Experience, Organizational Culture and the Employer Brand’, Journal of Brand Management, 15(2), 123-134.

Heritage branding:

• Urde, M, Greyser, S A, & Balmer, J M T 2007, ‘Corporate Brands with a Heritage’, Journal of Brand Management, 15 (1), pp. 4–19.



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