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2011/2012  KAN-MCM_MC40  Social Science of Branding

English Title
Social Science of Branding

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
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
Main Category of the Course
  • Marketing
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
At the end of the course, the student should be able:
  • To understand various social science theoretical approaches to uncover consumers’ symbolic world.
  • To understand how the choice of qualitative methods depends on the theorical framework
  • To understand strengths/weaknesses of core qualitative methods, including their ability to access consumers’ symbolic (subconscious) world.
  • To understand how subconscious mind of consumers forms conceptual/emotional ties to brands.
  • To translate findings into a strategic positioning for a relevant brand.
Science of Branding:
Assessment Oral with Written Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship External examiners
Exam Period Spring Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 20 Minutes
Oral examination based upon a mini-project (maximum 15 pages).
The mini-project is written in groups (2-4 students).
The final grade for the course is weighted between the written and the oral performance.
Make-up examination and re-examination: If the student was ill during the writing of the project and did not contribute to project the make-up/re-exam project can be written individually or in groups (provided that other students are taking the exam). If the student did nota pass the regular exam a new or revised mini project, cf. advice from the examiner at the regular exam, must be handed in to the programme secretary 14 weekdays before the exam date.
Course Content
This course focuses on the symbolic meaning of brands and the important role of brand meaning within consumers’ symbolic worlds which in turn are shared across subcultures as well as brand-, consumption-, and tribal communities. Brand meaning and value are largely based on the emotive resonance created in the mind of consumers. Emotive brand resonance plays a central role in consumer identity projects and consequently influences brand choice. In order to identify such resonance a range of theories are covered to understand the socio-cognitive aspects of consumers’ symbolic world. To access the symbolic world of consumers, students will actively use a range of methods. We will look at the pros/cons of each method as well as how deep each method reaches into consumers’ symbolic world. The goal of this course is to sensitize students to socio-cognitive aspects of consumers’ symbolic (often subconscious) world and how it influences consumer brand preferences. Thus, the course covers both theories about the mind and culture as well as methods that produce insights into consumers’ symbolic world.
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.
  • Bryman, Alan and Emma Bell (2003) Business Research Methods, Selected chapters
  • Selected Papers, available in the bookstore, prior to the start of the class.