Farley Brand Strategy F15 Syllabus - New York University

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Brand StrategyCourse Syllabus - Fall 2015MKTG-GB.2365.01Professor: Mickey FarleyContact: mfarley@stern.nyu.eduPhone: 203.216.4787Office hours: After class and by appointmentWhat do the world’s top brands have in common?Their management recognizes that a brand is a strategic asset that provides asustainable advantage over competition and is therefore intimately linked to thebusiness model and business success.They have a deep understanding of their brand and its values and develop andexecute brand-building strategies that result in real brand differentiation andrelevance and unique levels of customer engagement, loyalty and advocacy.1

INTRODUCTION:The definition of a brand has evolved over the last few decades from a “distinguishingname or symbol, proof of the authentic origin of products which differentiate them fromthose of different suppliers” (Aaker 1991), to a set of perceptions and “associations thatadd value to those already evoked by the product itself” (Keller 1998). But even thisdefinition does not capture the power and meaning of what today’s global brands havein common – think of Apple, Coca Cola, Virgin, Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Zappos,Dove, Red Bull, BMW, and more.A more broad definition of the brands of tomorrow include “symbolizing a unique andstrong ‘value proposition’; moved by deep authentic and long term values; beingflawlessly incarnated into products and services that change people’s lives; beingbrands that one can meet, interact with and experience through people and places andwhatever mode (digital or bricks and mortar); and being very ethical” (Kapferer 2012).This evolution suggests that there is shared ownership of the brand with its consumersand it creates new challenges for brand stewards in today’s highly competitivemarketplace.The brand strategy principles and concepts developed over the last few decades are anessential foundation for all potential future brand managers. This course will provide thisfoundation, but will also engage students in the dialogue about brands and brandstrategy for the next generation of brand managers.This course will review the key concepts and principles of strategic brand managementacross categories and their application for the brand manager. In particular, this coursewill cover branding basics, the benefits of a brand to consumers and to the company,brand equity, positioning, identity, design; creating, sustaining and growing brandsthrough innovation and marketing; brand portfolio strategy, brand architecture andplatforms; brand extension, repositioning and revitalization; measuring brand strength,valuation; brand values, activation and creating advocacy.2

COURSE OBJECTIVES:This course is designed to familiarize students with the recent evolution of brands andbrand strategy, and with the principles and practices in the development of brands andbranding strategies. Specific objectives are:1. To understand brand basics and why branding is strategic.2. To learn the principles of brand building - creating a brand and developingeffective and innovative brand strategies to launch, maintain and grow successfulbrands and brand portfolios.3. To learn and apply the concepts and tools necessary through case examples,class discussions and assignments.4. To actually use the brand building strategy principles to develop a new or revisedbrand strategy for a real company.5. To participate in group work sessions and teams to become acquainted with theimportance of teamwork and collaboration that is critical to brand buildingsuccess.COURSE DESCRIPTION:This Brand Strategy course will introduce you to the basics of branding, the power ofbrand equity and delve deep in to the theory, concepts and practices of brand strategyfrom brand positioning to activation in the challenges of modern markets.The course approach uses a combination of lectures, textbook reading, cases,group/team project, and class discussion and guest speakers from industry. Classeswill be interactive and collaborative. Class lectures will review Brand Strategy theory,concepts and principles with a strong focus on their application through examples ofbrands in the marketplace (Apple, Kellogg, Virgin, SoBe, Coca Cola, Jack Daniels,Harley, JC Penny, Toyota Scion, Target Stores, Goldfish, Xerox, etc.). You will also beassigned to search for examples to share with the class.Note: This is a SAMPLE of the potential syllabus and may be revised.3

COURSE SCHEDULE (F14 example):4

COURSE MATERIAL:Required materials: Strategic Brand Management; Building. Measuring and Managing Brand Equity –Kevin Lane Keller – Fourth Edition 2013 Lecture notes will be posted on NYUClasses and made available the day beforeeach class in case you want to print a copy Packet of case studies and articles available in the bookstore will include thefollowing:HBR Case studies – Dove, Swatch, Apple, L’Oreal, Red Bull, and Burberry.Articles - Win the Brand Relevance Battle and then Build Competitor Barriers,David A. Aaker; Branding in the Digital Age David Edelman; Design Thinking andInnovation at Apple - Thomke, FeinbergDuring the semester we will discuss current brand examples and relevant articles fromvarious publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Wired, FastCompany, Advertising Age, etc. These articles will relate current events to the conceptstaught in class. I will assign you to bring examples and articles also.COURSE WEB SITE:A course web site will be available through NYUClasses. This site contains the coursesyllabus. Other important course material like power point presentations, handouts,special announcements, assignments, and guest speaker information will be postedduring the semester.COURSE GRADE:Your course grade is based on the following:1. Class participation2. Case Exercises – 3 write-ups (individual)3. Team Brand Strategy Project:25%30%45%All students are expected to participate fully in both individual and group activities. Theclass will contribute to evaluation of the group presentations, and your team memberswill evaluate your participation in-group project activities.1. CLASS PARTICIPATION:There will be plenty of time for you to contribute to class discussions. You’ll be gradedbased on your attendance and the quality of your contribution, not the amount of timeyou demand in the discussion. This means coming to class thoroughly familiar with theassigned reading and, therefore, prepared to raise questions, to open discussion, toidentify topics of interest in the reading, and actively engage other students in thediscussion.5

2. CASES:Cases are descriptions of real-world business situations that provide opportunities todefine and discuss brand strategies. Case analyses will illustrate how brand strategyprinciples and concepts apply to these complex situations. Analyzing cases promotesyour decision-making capabilities by developing a process of thinking. Typically, there isno single “right” answer to a case, but there are many weak answers resulting frominadequate analysis. Case discussions also provide opportunities to develop yourcommunication skills.The success of our case discussions is largely up to you. Good case discussionsinvolve interactions among students. My role will be to introduce the case, monitor thegeneral direction to address key issues and then facilitate the discussion, rather thandirect the discussion. You collectively must raise relevant issues and discuss. I willhelp synthesize the different perspectives and form a framework for decision-making.Case discussions are based solely on the material presented in each case. Please donot collect any post-case information. Our emphasis will be on the decision-makingprocess at the time of the case rather than on the decision outcome. Since managersmust constantly make decisions without all the information they desire, being able tomake decisions under these circumstances is a critical skill.In preparing cases, assume that you are a marketing manager or outside consultantwho has been given responsibility for the situation described in the case. Do not focussolely on a description of the facts in the case, rather focus on the following threefactors: statement of the problem(s) or decision(s) to be made; description of yourdecisions or recommendations; supporting logic and analyses. Your recommendationsshould be based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of case data. Your analysisshould anticipate potential objections to your recommendations and illustrate itssuperiority over alternative recommendations.Case Assignments – Brief write up (Individual assignment)There will be 3 required case write-ups. They should be a short write-up (1 to 2 pages,single spaced). For each case, I will identify the 2 or 3 specific issues for you toaddress (these will be posted on NYU Classes at least a week in advance). You will beexpected to apply the concepts we have learned via readings, lectures and classdiscussions to prepare the following:1. Restate the issue/question.2. Present your answer with supporting facts/rationale. A paragraph for eachelement of the issue may be appropriate.3. You should provide a brief Executive Summary up front or a Conclusion at theend to summarize your net impression.These write-ups should be done individually. You may discuss them with your groupmembers prior to writing them up. But each of you should prepare your own write-ups.6

3. TEAM BRAND STRATEGY PROJECT:You will work with a group of 5 to 6 students throughout the semester to act as abranding consultant to develop recommendations for a new or revised brand strategyfor an existing company applying the concepts learned in the course. Your objective isto prepare a compelling and well thought through Brand Strategy Proposal, which youwill present to the class as if they are the management of the company and you areasking for their approval and funding.The Team can select a “client” with a new or existing brand that appears to have astrategic brand issue (e.g. opportunity or challenge) – new, struggling or declining. Thismay involve a brand extension or a sub-brand decision; developing a new brandpositioning; revitalizing a tired brand; or revising a brand strategy in the face of newcompetition.Team Brand Strategy Project Schedule (F14 Example)9/1010/29Project Teams identified. Team proposals due. The professor mustapprove all projects.Brand Situation Assessment and develop Key Insights and identifyChallenges and OpportunitiesPrepare written summary – hand in on 10/13Project Teams meet with Prof FarleyAssessment feedback from Prof FarleyDevelop Preliminary Brand Strategy Proposition elementsPrepare written summary – hand in on 10/27 for reviewProject Teams present to class for discussion & input10/29 – 11/12Qualitative consumer, client, customer research to get feedback and refine11/13 – 12/5Develop Brand Strategy Proposition (may include)1. Brand Positioning2. Brand Platform3. Brand Strategies4. Brand Activation/Marketing5. Communications ProgramPrepare final presentationProject Team work shops with Prof FarleyFinal Presentations to classFinal Written Presentation due9/11 – 10/13W/o 10/6W/o 10/1310/17 – 10/23W/o 11/1712/3 – 12/812/8Team Project Brand Strategy Proposition deliverables will be “client” specific anddetailed in the project proposal.Note: This is a SAMPLE of the potential syllabus and may be revised.7

11/13 – 12/5 Develop Brand Strategy Proposition (may include) 1. Brand Positioning 2. Brand Platform 3. Brand Strategies 4. Brand Activation/Marketing 5. Communications Program Prepare final presentation W/o 11/17 Project Team work shops with Prof Farley 12/3 – 12/8 Final P

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