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2013/2014  KAN-BCM_BC55  Socio-Cognitive Science of Branding

English Title
Socio-Cognitive Science of Branding

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
  • Torsten Ringberg - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
Last updated on 05-08-2013
Learning objectives
At the end of the course, the student should be able:
  • To understand various socio-cognitive theoretical frameworks and how they help make sense of the shared mindset of a consumer community.
  • To collect basic qualitative data and apply various interview techniques (e.g., focus groups, netnograhy, participant observation, and in-depth interviews).
  • To understand strengths/weaknesses of qualitative methods, including their ability to get at consumers’ symbolic (subconscious) world.
  • To understand how consumers' subconscious world is driven by emotional preferences.
  • To analyze qualitative data and identify themes and links among these pointing to a shared mindset.
  • To translate qualitative findings into strategic recommendations for a brand that wants to be part of a consumer community and/or improve its existing positioning within a brand/tribal community.
Socio-Cognitive Science of Branding:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 5 students in the group
The oral exam is individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
This course focuses on understanding the symbolic meaning of brands and consumer communities. It investigates how consumers create an emotional bond with these entities (e.g., consumer communities, brand communities, consumption communities, tribal communities). To identify this emotional bond the course includes a combination of qualitative theories and methods. The theoretical part includes socio-cognitive theories which explain consumers’ symbolic worlds based on different conceptual perspectives. The methodological part covers focus group, netnography, participant observation, and in-depth interviews and requires students to use these methods when collecting data during field work. The fieldwork enables students to evaluate the pros/cons of each method firsthand. The course will students to analyze their collected data, identify shared themes, and finally apply relevant socio-cognitive theories to explain the emotional/symbolic  bonds/values within the consumer community they chose to observe . Finally, students develop managerial implications of their findings for a potential brand.
Teaching methods
The course is based on lectures, cases, team projects & presentations, selected guest lectures. The class sessions include a variety of lectures/discussions, cases/​articles/​presentations, exercises, and industry presentations. The course includes hands-on projects during which students apply a range of different methods to topics of their choice, such as:
• focus groups and/or,
• netnography,
• participant observation,
• one-on-one in-depth interviews.
Expected literature
  • Selected Papers, available in the bookstore, prior to the start of the class.
Bryman, Alan & Bell, (Emma 2011) "Business Research Methods", 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press - Please note: No exact readings from this book will be given in class. You are expected to read the book and be able to draw on the methods for this courseas well as Perspectives on Consumer Behaviour
Last updated on 05-08-2013