Strategic Brand Marketing

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 14 January 2019
Friday 22 March 2019
11 March 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA NP5312 Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MA NP53MO Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MSC N51012 Marketing and Brand Management,
MSC N51024 Marketing and Brand Management

Module description

'If every asset we own, every building, and every piece of equipment were destroyed in a terrible natural disaster, we would be able to borrow all the money to replace it very quickly because of our brand value … The brand is more valuable than the totality of all these assets.' (The CEO of McDonald's, cited in Armstrong & Kotler, 1999, p. 242)
Achieving brand equity, or a strong brand, is the fundamental aim of all brand communication activity. Brands are built with a strategic purpose to create meaningful distinctions between products and services of different kinds, and to establish a relation between producers and consumers. However, brands do more than indicate ownership; they make promises, they strive to create trust, they enable the organisation to charge a premium price, and they can be seen to govern behaviour in many aspects of everyday life. The notion of brandscapes has come to signify how brands shape the contemporary consumer society locally and globally. It is therefore important to view brands both as a market-based device within the economic sphere, and as sets of practices which are situated in a wider socio-cultural context.
This module addresses key concepts within contemporary branding theory with a focus on a marketing communication perspective. Strategic brand communication considers all the means by which brand meaning is created and circulated – not only through channels such as promotion and distribution, but also, for example, through the ways in which employees are utilised for the purpose of communicating a consistent brand message. We will critically analyse the underlying ideas that inform how brand messages are constructed, and how for example stereotypes or normative ideas of gender are reproduced in those messages.

Module aims

The module is designed to:
• To introduce students to key theories of branding and brand communication
• To provide critical approaches to understanding brands and branding practices
• To demonstrate how concepts of branding translate into contemporary business practices, and wider cultural practices
• To address the role of global brands, and the challenges of managing them

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

• Demonstrate an understanding of key perspectives, theories and concepts that inform the contemporary understanding of branding

• Identify and analyze key brand communication strategies and approaches such as emotional, functional and cultural branding.

Critically evaluate the role of brands and branding in contemporary society

Module information

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

This module adopts a philosophy of experiential learning and aims to develop and further improve your employability skills in order to enhance your status as a graduate with impact.
The module is based on a term-long teamwork project, the skill set that you are required to have and further improve throughout the module consists of:
Teamwork and leadership skills as you will be working with your team for the whole term and you will be expected to lead on certain aspects of the project
Excellent communication skills (oral and written) required for the presentation as well as your written coursework
Excellent organisational skills manifested in the management of your own project meeting various deadlines and prioritising tasks.
Employability, this module will give you the chance to work closely with local businesses and local employers and so you are expected to act professionally throughout. You will have the chance to receive constructive feedback from leading industrial parties on the work you present.

Learning and teaching methods

Including number and format of contact hours, e.g. lectures, seminars, classes, practicals Specify where students can find this information Lecture weekly (2 hours) Seminar – weekly (1 hour)


  • Hooley, Graham; Piercy, Nigel F.; Nicoulaud, Brigitte; Rudd, John M. (2017) Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning: Pearson; 6 edition.
  • Leslie De Chernatony; Malcolm McDonald; Elaine Wallace. (2011) Creating powerful brands, Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Keller, Kevin Lane. (c2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring, and managing brand equity, Boston: Pearson.
  • Trott, Paul. (2017) Innovation management and new product development, Harlow, England: Pearson.
  • (©2018) Customer engagement marketing, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Peer Assessment of Presentation     
Coursework   2,000 word individual essay    50% 
Practical   Presentation    50% 
Exam  120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Reassessment) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Hongfei Liu, email:
Hongfeil Liu and Aneela Malik



External examiner

Dr Rita Kottasz
Kingston University
Senior Lecturer in International Business
Available via Moodle
Of 36 hours, 36 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

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