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2013/2014  KAN-BCM_BC54  Strategic Brand Management and PharmaSim Simulation Game

English Title
Strategic Brand Management and PharmaSim Simulation Game

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Spring
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Thyra Uth Thomsen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Torsten Ringberg - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
Last updated on 02-07-2013
Learning objectives
1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the central theories, concepts and metrics of the course and the ability to apply them in a relevant way to analyze, evaluate and critically reflect upon the concrete case situation in order to develop a strategic brand management plan for a strategic business unit.
2. Demonstrate the ability to define and apply relevant goals and indicators required to manage brands in the concrete case situation.
4. Demonstrate the ability to identify and analyze relevant qualitative and quantitative information from the concrete case situation using appropriate theories, concepts and metrics.
5. Reflect incisively and critically on the results of the performed analyses and their implications for the strategic brand management process in the concrete case situation.
Strategic Brand Management and PharmaSim Simulation Game:
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

Aim of the course
The most valuable asset that a company has is its brand/s . A brand value includes physical, emotional, and symbolic factors and how relevant, affordable, available, easy to use, unique etc. these are compared with consumers’ physical and emotional needs.  This is true for large conglomerates as well as for small start-up companies. Often a company itself is considered a brand. Brand Management is the concept of organizing marketing activities around the identification, positioning, communication and optimization of brands and brand portfolios. Although manufacturing processes, product designs, service and retail concepts often can be duplicated, strongly held consumer beliefs, emotions, and attitudes regarding a brand or business often cannot be so easily reproduced. Like people, brands have their own individual personality. This differentiation drives the ability for a brand to grow and expand or alternatively, may limit a company’s potential if not managed effectively.
Since part of brand value is less tangible, creating and nurturing a brand is a challenge; i.e., building a brand is both an art and a science. By understanding the concept of brand value, marketers can gain valuable perspectives that allow them to interpret effectiveness and tradeoffs of various brand strategies and tactics. The Strategic Brand Management course provides students with both theoretical frameworks and tools necessary to thinks strategically and to manage a portfolio of brands, including making decisions in a simulated brand environment. As such, students will play in teams of around three persons against other companies and participate in all aspects of information analysis, strategic decision making, and implementation over 9-10 simulated periods (years).
The course provides students with a global theoretical framework for strategic brand management, which enables the students to make and implement well-informed strategic decisions in a simulated environment. The simulation game involves topics such as creating brand value and positioning, measuring the financial aspects of brand value, as well as understanding the functions of brand management to deliver sustained customer value and brand loyalty. It also demands practical management of strategic planning, product management, and marketing mix decisions (price, promotion, discounts, segmentation, etc.). Students learn how to grow brand value through carefully designed and implemented brand and line extension decisions. Students also study how to adjust brand strategies over time to maximize the company earnings.
PharmaSim Simulation Game
PharmaSim drives home the Four Ps of Marketing: Pricing, Promotion, Product and Place (distribution), while introducing students to the concepts of brand value and marketing planning for multiple product lines. The brand management simulation covers segmentation, positioning, management of a portfolio of brands, integrated marketing communications, and multiple channels with intermediaries.  PharmaSim is co-authored with Thomas Kinnear of the University of Michigan, and is used at leading universities worldwide. PharmaSim allows students to apply business concepts in a dynamic, integrative environment.
The Case:  Groups with 3-4 students take the role of a brand management team in the over-the-counter pharmaceutical industry during 9-10 simulated periods. As members of the brand management team, students analyze data, make strategic product decisions such as reformulating their brand, introducing a line extension, and launching a new brand and manage the marketing mix for their products. Student teams learn how to optimize interaction with consumers and channel partners, measuring their progress through marketing research.

Teaching methods
This course will include active team work in small groups who compete with one another, preceded by as well as interspersed with course instructions. The actual simulation takes place during an intense two-week period. The simulation is supplemented with several lectures prior to the two-week simulation. Attendance and participation are essential during all activities.
Expected literature

PharmasSim from Interpretive.com

A licence to the game will be provided by the programme (if funding allows) more information will be given in the weeks before the course starts

Last updated on 02-07-2013